Sep 19, 2023 - News

New census data shows Oregon getting older

Median age of U.S. residents, 2005–2022
Data: U.S. Census; Note: The Census Bureau will not release estimates for 2020 because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on data collection;Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

The median age of people living in Oregon rose from 37 years old in 2005 to 40.5 in 2022, according to new census data.

Why it matters: We're trending older than the rest of the country, and aging populations can affect everything from public services to taxable income.

By the numbers: Over the same period, the national median age rose from 36.4 to 40 years old.

  • Utah stayed the state with the youngest median age over that time, rising from 28.5 years in 2005 to 32.1 last year.

Context: The latest census figures align with numbers out earlier this year that showed Oregon is now the oldest state west of the Mississippi River, tied with Hawaii.

Details: Senior state economist Josh Lehner, who writes frequently on this topic, has argued that Oregon's population skews older due to a low birth rate and low share of people under 17 years old, rather than an outsized elderly cohort.

What's next: Demographics change as people move, and Lehner advises to keep watching the numbers.

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