White Americans Are Aging, Multiracial Population Is Young and Growing Fast: Census Data

Americans who identify as white alone have the oldest median age among various racial groups at 43.1 years old, while multiracial Americans have a median age of 29.5

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The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2020 Census Demographic Profile and Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DHC) on May 25, offering a more in-depth look at demographic and housing statistics for Americans.

Some racial demographics were already available through the initial 2020 U.S. Census releases, but the DHC provides a more thorough analysis of how racial groups in 2020 differ in terms of age and size compared to the 2010 Census.

The data revealed that Americans who identify as white alone have the oldest median age among various racial groups at 43.1 years old. The Asian population reported a median age of 37.0, the Black population had a median age of 34.6, and American Indian and Alaska Native population reported a median age of 31.0 years. The median age of the Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander group was not available. The Census counts the Hispanic or Latino population as an ethnic category, and respondents selecting that group presented a median age of 30.0.

The youngest cohort were Americans who selected "Two or More Races" or multiple racial groups. Multiracial respondents reported a median age of 29.5.

From 2010 to 2020 the the American population classified as white alone decreased in three age categories (under age 18, 18 to 44 years, and 45 to 65 years). However, the number of white Americans rose in the 65 years and above age category, which witnessed a growth of over 25%

The Asian population demonstrated a different pattern. Unlike the white population, the number of Asian Americans increased in all age categories by at least 23 percent.

For the Black population, growth occurred in all age categories except for those aged 18 and under, which saw a 6 percent decrease over the ten-year period.

The multiracial population skewed the youngest, with 32.5% of its members aged under 18. This group saw growth across all age brackets, as the multiracial population increased by over 164% since 2010.

Growth in some categories is at least partially due to the changes the Census Bureau made to help people more accurately identify their racial identity. Specifically, in the case of the Hispanic or Latino population, questions on the Census were changed and responses were recorded with more detail to ensure the most accurate answers.

The Census Bureau is planning to release further data in September, 2023, detailing more in-depth answers about the racial and ethnic backgrounds of Americans. The bureau says that the Detailed Demographic and Housing Characteristics File A (DHC-A) will have data on "approximately 370 detailed racial and ethnic groups," such as Chinese, German, and Mexican, as well as more specific details on the population of tribal groups belonging to the American Indian and Native Alaskan population, such as Navajo Nation.

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