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Old and Young States

by Elaine Schwartz    •    May 31, 2011

Maine is an old state. At 42.7, the median age of Maine’s population is the highest in the U.S. The youngest state is Utah (large families and many children), with a median age of 29.2. Other “young states” include Texas and Alaska. And, while Florida does not have the highest median age, it does have the highest percent of people above 65. In the entire U.S., at 37.2 years, the median age is 5 years higher than it was in 1990.

This map of the U.S. shows which states are older and which have a younger population.

The Economic Lesson

A new Peterson Institute report cites health care for aging populations as a major source of governments’ budget pressures. Financial journalist Gretchen Morgenson discusses the report in Sunday’s NY Times. Also, research indicates that productivity and innovation diminish with age.

An Economic Question: How might an aging population affect each component of fiscal policy: spending, taxing, and borrowing?

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