American Now Has the Most Aged 55 and Up in History, But Not All States are Equal
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The USA Today reported that America now has the greatest number of people aged 55 and up (28 million) than at any time in history. That age, however varies significantly state to state. While the median age nationwide was 36.8 in 2009, Utah, Alaska and Texas median ages were 28.8, 32.8 and 33 respectively. The states with the oldest median aged individuals were Maine (42.2), Vermont (41.2) and West Virginia (40.5).
The demographic impact of age on economics is numerous. All else equal, we would expect younger aged-states to have a lower per-household income (as the wage earners are not as far along into their prime earning years). An interesting finding, shown in the second table below, finds that three youngest states ranked in the top six states for 10-year job growth rates (measured from October 2000 through October 2010). Both the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient Statistic (-0.445) and the Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient (-0.400) showed a significant negative correlation at the 99 percent level of confidence. Younger-aged states were more likely to have greater job growth rates and older median aged states were more likely to have lower job growth rates (i.e. greater job losses in the past decade). In comparison, the U.S. in the same 10-year interval posted a -1.06 job loss rate. Maine’s job growth rate was -1.67 percent, Vermont’s was -1.31 percent while West Virginia posted a positive 1.13 percent.
Age does make a difference in job growth rates but is not the only factor. Demographics have economic effects.