The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that the nation is getting older, even as the millennials are outpacing the baby boomers. The U.S. median age ticked up from 37.6 on July 1, 2013, to 37.7 on July 1, 2014, and each of Connecticut’s eight countries got just slightly older as well. The youngest counties in Connecticut — those with the lowest median age — were Tolland, at 38, Fairfield and New Haven, both at 39.8 and Hartford, at 40.1. The counties in Connecticut with the highest median age on July 1, 2014, were Litchfield at 46.3, Middlesex at 44.6 and New London at 40.9. (Median age means that half the population was older than this age and half younger.)
The Census Bureau also announced that millennials, or America’s youth born between 1982 and 2000, now number 83.1 million and represent more than one quarter of the nation’s population. Their size exceeds that of the 75.4 million baby boomers, according to newly released estimates.
Overall, millennials are more diverse than the generations that preceded them, with 44.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group (that is, a group other than non-Hispanic, single-race white). The U.S. Census examined population changes among groups by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin nationally, as well as in all states and counties, between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2014.
Even more diverse than millennials are the youngest Americans. The Census Bureau indicates that those younger than 5 years old became majority-minority for the first time, with 50.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group, as of 2014 data. Reflecting these younger age groups, the population as a whole has become more racially and ethnically diverse in just the last decade, with the percentage minority climbing from 32.9 percent in 2004 to 37.9 percent in 2014.
Nationally, non-Hispanic, single-race whites was the largest group in 2014, at 197.9 million. Hispanics were next, with a population of 55.4 million, followed by blacks, at 45.7 million, Asians (20.3 million), American Indians and Alaska Natives (6.5 million) and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (1.5 million).
In Connecticut, the populations of each group were as follows:
- whites 2,475,371
Race alone or in combination groups
- Hispanics - 541,152
- Blacks - 461,437
- Asians - 184,332
- American Indians and Alaska Natives - 40,267
- Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders - 7,779
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). Among the remaining states, Nevada is the closest to crossing this threshold, with a population 48.5 percent minority. More than 11 percent (364) of the nation’s 3,142 counties were majority-minority in 2014.
The nation’s 65-and-older population grew from 44.7 million in 2013 to 46.2 million in 2014. This group, which now contains the oldest four years of the baby boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964), is 21.7 percent minority, less diverse than younger age groups.
In contrast to most states, including Connecticut, where the population got older, five states experienced a decline in median age between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014: North Dakota, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming and Iowa. Maine experienced the largest increase in median age among states, rising from 43.9 to 44.2 over the period.
There were only 10 states where males made up a majority of the population in 2014. Alaska had the highest male percentage (52.6 percent), followed by North Dakota (51.3 percent).