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New Mexico’s Senior Population Grows

New Mexico’s Senior Population Grows

Number Of People Under 18 Decreases

Like the rest of America, New Mexico is getting older.

In 2010, the median age for state residents was 36.7 years. Six years later it was 37.6 years.

And nationally, the median age – where half the population is younger and half is older – rose from 35.3 years in 2000 to 37.9 years in 2016, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

You can blame all that aging on the baby boomers.

“The baby-boom generation is largely responsible for this trend,” said Peter Borsella, a demographer with the Census Bureau’s Population Division. “Baby Boomers began turning 65 in 2001 and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

The number of Americans aged 65 and older grew from 35 million in 2000 to 49.2 million in 2016, accounting for 12.4 and 15.2 percent of the population respectively.

In New Mexico, the number of people aged 65 or older grew from 281,726 in 2010 to 342,426 last year. People over the age of 65 made up 16.45 percent of New Mexico’s population last year, up from 13.5 percent in 2010.

And while the number of New Mexicans over the age of 65 has increased, the number of people under the age of 18 has decreased. In 2010, 516,390 New Mexicans were under 18 years old. By last year that had dropped to 490,663.

And it turns out that women in New Mexico are are generally older than men. The median age for women in 2016 was 39.2 years compared to 36.2 for men.

In the 65-and-over crowd, women dominate. Last year there were 186,208 women aged 65 and older in the state compared to 156,218 men.

Maine had the highest median age at 44.6 years, while Utah had the lowest at 30.8 years.

And the Census Bureau said that the nation’s population is growing more diverse. Some facts:

  • The Hispanic population (including all races) grew by 2 percent to 57.5 million.
  • The Asian population grew by 3 percent to 21.4 million.
  • The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population grew by 2.1 percent to 1.5 million.
  • The American Indian and Alaska Native population grew by 1.4 percent to 6.7 million.
  • The black or African-American population grew by 1.2 percent to 46.8 million.
  • The white population grew by 0.5 percent to 256 million.
  • Those who identified as being of two or more races grew by 3 percent to 8.5 million.
  • The non-Hispanic white population grew by 5,000 people, remaining at 198 million.

New Mexico had the highest Hispanic share of its total population at 48.5 percent.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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David Lynch is an award-winning film critic and journalist and the current editor-in-chief of the New Mexico Daily Lobo.

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