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Brickell

Median Age by State

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After one too many jokes about Florida's old population, I decided to look it up. Here's what I found. Yes Florida has a lot of old people, but by no means is it the oldest. Look at Utah wow. Those Mormons know how to crank out the kids.

From the 2003 census

40.2 Maine

40.1 Vermont

40.0 West Virginia

39.1 Florida

39.1 Pennsylvania

39.0 Montana

38.8 New Hampshire

38.5 Connecticut

38.1 Rhode Island

38.0 Wyoming

37.9 Hawaii

37.9 North Dakota

37.8 Iowa

37.6 Massachusetts

37.5 New Jersey

37.2 Ohio

37.1 Deleware

37.1 New York

37.1 Wisconsin

36.9 Alabama

36.9 Maryland

36.9 Tennessee

36.9 Virginia

36.8 Missouri

36.8 Oregon

36.6 Kentucky

36.6 Michigan

36.6 South Carolina

36.4 South Dakota

36.3 Arkansas

36.2 Minnesota

36.2 Washington

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36.0 Oklahoma

36.0 United States

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35.8 Nebraska

35.8 North Carolina

35.7 District of Columbia

35.7 Indiana

35.6 Iowa

35.6 New Mexico

35.3 Illinois

35.1 Nevada

34.7 Louisiana

34.6 Mississippi

34.5 Colorado

34.1 California

34.0 Idaho

33.9 Arizona

33.8 Georgia

33.2 Alaska

32.7 Texas

27.7 Utah

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I suppose the largest factor here is economic growth and job opportunities. With Florida as an obvious outlier due to its huge numbers of retirees, most of the oldest states are northeastern or midwestern, and either economically isolated or declining. Very few young grads with their eyes on the almighty dollar pack up their dorm rooms and head to Maine or Vermont. They do go to the Sun Belt where lucrative entry-level job offers flow from the mouths of abundant and generic corporations like the traffic does not on their suburban highways.

One of the things that always strikes me about New England is the number of lifelong elderly residents. My grandmother, for instance, died last year at 80, having spent probably all but two or three of those years within ten miles of her birthplace, Pawtucket, RI.

If not for all its schools, I'm sure Massachusetts would be up there in average age as well, though it seems that major metro areas like Boston also tend to attract a younger population, for obvious cultural reasons.

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One of the things that always strikes me about New England is the number of lifelong elderly residents. My grandmother, for instance, died last year at 80, having spent probably all but two or three of those years within ten miles of her birthplace, Pawtucket, RI.

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That's a RI and I guess overall New England thing. My entire extended family minus one uncle who move to California lives and has lived not only within 15 miles of their birthplace, but 15 miles of eachother too. At one point my grandparents, two aunts and uncle, and cousins all lived on the same street, and we lived about 2 miles farther down. I think it also has to do with the large Italian population in RI, Italians value family and closeness, and it shows in their living patterns.

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That's a RI and I guess overall New England thing.  My entire extended family minus one uncle who move to California lives and has lived not only within 15 miles of their birthplace, but 15 miles of eachother too.  At one point my grandparents, two aunts and uncle, and cousins all lived on the same street, and we lived about 2 miles farther down.  I think it also has to do with the large Italian population in RI, Italians value family and closeness, and it shows in their living patterns.

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My great-grandmother lives in Pennsylvania, which I see as part of the Northeast and possibly the Middle-Atlantic. She turns 97 this year and aside from times in the hospital she has lived 85 of those years in the same home. My grandmother was the same and has never lived outside the corporate limits of Easton, Pennsylvania. Thank the Lord my mom branched out and joined the Air Force and moved us about the nation and world. I really do think it's a Northeast thing... but a lot of them come down here (Hampton Roads) to retire. Them and military-retired, too.

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That Florida figure is still somewhat deceiving, as some of the state's major cities boast median ages that are well below that 39.1 figure:

Tallahassee - 26

Fort Myers - 32

Orlando - 33

Jacksonville - 34

Tampa - 35

West Palm Beach - 37

Daytona Beach - 37

Hialeah - 38

Miami - 38

Miami Beach - 39

Ft. Lauderdale - 39

St. Petersburg - 39

Lakeland - 40

Sarasota - 41

Clearwater - 42

It's mostly all of the retirement communities away from the urban centers that drive up the median age of the population and help to give Florida the moniker of "heaven's waiting room."

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