U.S. Demographic Shifts: Millennials Now Comprise One Quarter of Population
by Mardee Handler
Move over, baby boomers, millennials are taking over the country – and not just when it comes to smart phones and social media. The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a report saying that, as of July 1, 2014, millennials number 83.1 million, exceeding the size of the 75.4 million baby boomer population.
Millennials, which now represent one fourth of the U.S. population, include members of the population who were born between 1982 and 2000. As a group, they are far more racially and ethnically diverse than baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964. While the U.S. population as a whole has become more diverse over the past decade (32.9 percent in 2004 compared to 37.9 percent in 2014), 44.2 percent of millennials are part of a minority race or ethnic group (defined as “a group other than non-Hispanic, single-race white”).
Diversity appears to increase conversely with age. The Census Bureau reports that the under-5 age group became “majority-minority” for the first time in history, meaning 50.2 percent were part of a minority race or ethnic group.
On a geographic basis, other highlights of the recent Census population estimates as of July 1, 2014 include:
- Among states, Florida had the highest percentage (19.1 percent) of residents in the 65-and-older age group. Alaska had the lowest percentage (9.4 percent) of residents in this age group.
- Sumter County, Florida was the only county in the U.S. with a majority (52.9 percent) 65-and-older population. The median age in Sumter County was 65.9, the highest in the nation.
- Madison County, Idaho had the lowest median age (23.1) in the U.S.
- Maine had the highest median age (44.2); Utah had the lowest (30.5).
- Between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, five states experienced a decline in median age: North Dakota, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming and Iowa.
- Five states or equivalents were majority-minority: Hawaii (77.0 percent), the District of Columbia (64.2 percent), California (61.5 percent), New Mexico (61.1 percent) and Texas (56.5 percent).
- Males made up the majority of the population (52.6 percent) in Alaska, while females comprised the majority (52.6 percent) in the District of Columbia.