Median age: Shared prosperity requires setting up young people of color to succeed.

Insights & Analyses

  • White populations have the highest median age among people of color at 37 while Mixed populations have the lowest at 21, a trend that has existed since 2010.

  • States with large proportions of White people like Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire have the highest median ages.  

  • People of color have the highest median age in cities in coastal states like California and Florida while White people have the highest median age in Western inland states like Texas and Arizona. 

  • While most of the cities with the highest median age are predominantly White, such as Scottsdale and St. Petersburg, Hialeah has the third highest median age and is majority people of color.

Drivers of Inequity

Wide differences in the median age among different racial and ethnic groups are driven by multiple demographic trends. The baby boomer population is primarily White due to policy in the 1950s that banned immigrants of color, and this population is aging — driving up the median age of White Americans. At the same time, birth rates among African Americans and U.S.-born people of color are now outpacing rates for White Americans, lowering the median age for these groups. Additionally, the rise in interracial marriages in the 21st century due to growing cultural acceptance and increased diversity has led to a mixed-race baby boom.

Strategies

Grow an equitable economy: Policies to build bridges across generations

Strategy in Action

SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership trains over 49,000 home-care aides yearly. SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership is the largest training provider for home-care aides in the country. By 2030, one in five people living in Washington State is expected to be 65 years or older, compared to one in seven in 2016, making home-care aides the state’s fastest growing occupation. This unique partnership between the State of Washington, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), home-care providers, and health-care purchasers and payers trains more than 49,000 aides a year across the state of Washington and is offered in 13 different languages. The program has a 92 percent satisfaction rate and participants say the training helped them do their jobs better and that they appreciated being connected to other home-care aides. Learn more.

Photo: Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Related Indicators