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Which U.S. state has the oldest residents on average? Hint: It’s not Florida

In World
February 01, 2024

Florida is where old folks come to rest in the sun.

We’re famous for it, ever since the land boom of South Florida in the 1920s and after World War II when many elderly people were moving south from the Midwest and the northeastern states. The advent of air conditioning, effective mosquito repellants and the Interstate highway system accelerated the process.

It was so common it became a stereotype: when you get old, you retire to Florida.

So it’s no surprise when you look at the states with the oldest average resident ages to find that the state where the oldest generations live is… Maine. What, what?

Turns out Florida isn’t even in the top five if you include Puerto Rico.

Which states have the oldest average residents?

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, as of 2022 the average ages for residents are:

  • Maine: 45.1 years old (43.9 for men, 46.4 for women)

  • Puerto Rico: 44.7 years old (42.4 for men, 46.8 for women) (technically a U.S. territory)

  • New Hampshire: 43.3 years old (42 for men, 44.6 for women)

  • Vermont: 43.2 years old (42.4 for men, 44 for women)

  • West Virginia: 42.9 years old (41.6 for men, 44 for women)

  • Florida: 42.7 years old (41.3 for men, 44.2 for women)

The average age for U.S. residents is 39 years old. The national average age for men is 37.9, and for women it’s 40.1.

The state with the youngest average age (32.1) is Utah.

Which states have the highest percentage of older residents?

Between 2000 and 2020, the population of Americans 65 and older increased in every state, according to the Census Bureau.

Florida has the fifth-highest percentage of older residents. 28.4% of Floridians are 60 or older, according to Census data, the most after Maine (30.6%), Puerto Rico (30.4%), Vermont (29.8%) and Delaware (28.5%).

Which states have the most residents 60 and over?

Now we’re talking. While Maine has us beat in percentages, they can’t come near us in sheer numbers.

There were 423,421 people 60 and over living in Maine, as of 2022. In Florida, there were 6,314,895.

The only state with a greater number of more-mature residents was California, with 8,492,450. Nearly 8% of all Americans aged 60 or older live in the Sunshine State.

A good part of that is from retirees moving here. Maine tends to see life-long residents aging in place, according to the Washington Post, while we welcome new residents every year.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Florida, famous for retirees, behind Maine for average oldest people

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