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Kemmer Gazette | The state’s elderly population is growing

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CHEYENNE — The state’s elderly population (65 and older) increased 3.6% between July 2020 and July 2021, according to US Census Bureau estimates. In comparison, Wyoming’s total population grew by only 0.3% over the same period. The median age (half of the population is younger and the other half is older) increased by 0.3 to 38.9 years, while it rose from 38.5 to 38.8 from 2020 to 2021 for the United States.

The figure indicates that the aging of the population of the United States and Wyoming has been rapid. “Although the impact of aging baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) was the main reason, emigration of young people and declining fertility rate also played a role,” said Dr Wenlin Liu. , Chief State Economist of Wyoming, Economic Analysis. Division. “Since the first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011, there has been a rapid increase in the size of the elderly population.”

Even with rapid aging, Wyoming’s median age still ranked in the middle compared to other states in 2021.

Wyoming has one of the highest proportions of the baby boomer population (57-75 years old in 2021) and one of the lowest proportions of Generation X (41-56 years old in 2021) in the country. For example, the number of residents aged 45-54 was approximately 13,000 (or 16.8%) fewer than the 60-69 age group. “Wyoming does not have enough resident workers to replace baby boomers retiring under normal economic conditions,” Liu said. “Wyoming’s demographic transition and labor market environment provide excellent opportunities and encouragement for unemployed residents seeking employment in the state as many baby boomers exit the workforce.”

Wyoming’s population ages 65 and older grew from 70,090 in 2010 to 103,877 in 2021, or 48.2%, higher than the US growth rate of 38.7% over the same period. The share of the state’s elderly population (65 and older) was 17.9% in 2021, higher than the US level of 16.8%.

Wyoming’s senior population is expected to reach 135,000, well over one-fifth of the state’s total residents by 2030, when all baby boomers will be in that age group.

Since 2020, the population under 18 has decreased by 1.0% while preschool children (under 5 years old) have decreased by 3.3%. The 18-64 age group fell slightly, -0.2% over the year. Wyoming’s total minority population reached 96,483 in July 2021. Minority is defined as any group other than single-race non-Hispanic whites.

Minority growth was 1,179, or 1.2%, compared to a 0.3% increase for the state’s total population. In fact, it is the addition of the minority population that has contributed to all of the state’s population growth since 2010. Hispanics were the largest minority group at 61,087 in July 2021, an annual increase of 1, 5%.

The black or African American population remained the same as July 2020, at 6,016. Other minority races, such as American Indian and Asian, declined slightly, while races with two or more recorded growth of 3.1%. The majority, non-Hispanic whites, rose just 0.1%. At 16.7% of the state’s total population, the proportion of minorities in Wyoming was still ranked 8th lowest in the nation, while 40.7% of US residents are minorities. “The nation and people of Wyoming continue to grow in racial and ethnic diversity,” Dr. Liu said.

The U.S. Census Bureau also released estimates of the county’s 2021 population by age, gender, race, and Hispanic origin. Here are some highlights:

Hot Springs County’s black or African American population in 2021 was 31.0% higher than a year ago. Big Horn, Platte and Washakie counties also experienced growth rates of over 7.0% each during the year.

The Hispanic population grew fastest in Crook County at 10.4% between 2020 and 2021, followed by Weston and Sheridan counties at 9.9 and 8.7%, respectively.

Fremont County had the highest minority population percentage in 2021 at 30.9%, dominated by the Native American population, followed by Carbon (23.9%), Laramie (22.2%) and Sweetwater (20. .9%) where most of the minority population was Hispanic.

The largest county, Laramie, also had the largest minority population in 2021, including 15,638 Hispanics, 2,168 African Americans, 1,215 Asians, and 2,600 from two or more races. They make up 25.6%, 36.0%, 21.0%, and 23.5% of the state’s total Hispanic, Black, Asian, and two or more races population, respectively.

The counties with the smallest proportion of minority population in 2021 were Crook (6.2%), followed by Lincoln (8.3%).

The oldest county in the state was Hot Springs, with a median age of 48.7, and 28.1% of its population was 65 or older in 2021. Other counties with a higher proportion of elderly population (65 and older) were Johnson (26.6%), Platte (26.5%) and Park (24.9%). These counties tend to have the smallest proportion of children, and their median ages were all over 45.0.

The youngest county was Albany, with a median age of 28.9 in 2021, followed by Campbell (36.0), Sweetwater (37.1), and Uinta (37.5). The median age in the state’s two largest counties, Laramie and Natrona, was 37.9 and 38.1 each.

Crook and Campbell counties had the highest percentage of preschool (under 5) population (6.9% and 6.6% each) in 2021, followed by Fremont (6.2%) and Uinta ( 6.1%). The proportion was 5.6% statewide in 2021.

Campbell County had the lowest percentage of the population aged 65 or older, at 12.2%, followed by Albany (13.0%) and Sweetwater (14.1%) counties.