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Oldest County in Every State

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 1/25/2017 Steven Peters


Group of four senior people sitting on wall outdoors, laughing © Thinkstock Group of four senior people sitting on wall outdoors, laughing The U.S. median age has steadily increased over the past several decades. While the typical American was only 29.5 years old in 1960, the median age has risen to 37.6 years old by 2015. Much of this increase is due to improving life expectancy and the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age.

While the country is aging on the whole, at a local level, some areas have significantly older populations than others. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median age in all U.S. counties to identify the county in every state with the oldest residents. Sumter County, Florida has the highest median age of any U.S. county. The typical Sumter resident is 65.3 years old.

Click here to see the oldest county in every state.

Generally, counties located in northeastern states tend to have older populations than those in southern or western states. Also, states with older populations tend to have less variation in age between counties. In Maine, for example, the median age is 43.8 years old, the highest of any state. The difference between Maine’s oldest county and its youngest county is only 10.2 years. In Virginia, a state where the typical resident is 6.2 years younger than the typical Maine resident, the county with the oldest population has a median age nearly 37.6 years higher than the state’s youngest county. This is the largest age gap of any state.

The aging baby boomer generation, which began turning 65 in 2011, is a large driver behind the increasing median age, and is a major factor in the oldest counties in each state. In 2015, 14.1% of Americans were 65 years or older. In Sumter County, Florida, more than half of the residents are 65 and older.

To determine the oldest county in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median age for all U.S. counties from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey. The share of residents 65 and older and the average retirement income were also from the ACS. The average retirement income was calculated from the aggregate retirement income received in the last 12 months and the number of households receiving retirement income in a given county.

This is the oldest county in every state.

cherokee_county_courthouse_in_centre_ala © Wikimedia Commons cherokee_county_courthouse_in_centre_ala 1. Cherokee County, Alabama

> Median age: 45.4
> State median age: 38.4
> Population 65+: 19.8%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,689

Wrangell City and Borough, Alaska © Wikimedia Commons Wrangell City and Borough, Alaska 2. Wrangell City and Borough, Alaska

> Median age: 50.4
> State median age: 33.4
> Population 65+: 21.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,472

La Paz County, Arizona © Wikimedia Commons La Paz County, Arizona 3. La Paz County, Arizona

> Median age: 54.8
> State median age: 36.8
> Population 65+: 35.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,292

Baxter County Arkansas © Wikimedia Commons Baxter County Arkansas 4. Baxter County, Arkansas

> Median age: 51.5
> State median age: 37.7
> Population 65+: 29.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,510

Sierra County, California © Wikimedia Commons Sierra County, California 5. Sierra County, California

> Median age: 54.5
> State median age: 35.8
> Population 65+: 24.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $31,008

Mineral County, Colorado © Wikimedia Commons Mineral County, Colorado 6. Mineral County, Colorado

> Median age: 60.9
> State median age: 36.3
> Population 65+: 36.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $34,118

Litchfield County, Connecticut © Thinkstock Litchfield County, Connecticut 7. Litchfield County, Connecticut

> Median age: 46.0
> State median age: 40.4
> Population 65+: 17.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,879

sussex-county-delaware © Wikimedia Commons sussex-county-delaware 8. Sussex County, Delaware

> Median age: 47.0
> State median age: 39.3
> Population 65+: 23.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $27,799

The Villages, Florida © Thinkstock The Villages, Florida 9. Sumter County, Florida

> Median age: 65.3
> State median age: 41.4
> Population 65+: 50.9%
> Avg. retirement income: $31,364

Union County, Georgia © Wikimedia Commons Union County, Georgia 10. Union County, Georgia

> Median age: 53.3
> State median age: 35.9
> Population 65+: 30.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,441

Kalaupapa, Hawaii, Kalawao County © Wikimedia Commons Kalaupapa, Hawaii, Kalawao County 11. Kalawao County, Hawaii

> Median age: 51.9
> State median age: 38.0
> Population 65+: 24.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,607

Idaho City, Idaho © Wikimedia Commons Idaho City, Idaho 12. Boise County, Idaho

> Median age: 52.0
> State median age: 35.5
> Population 65+: 20.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $27,118

Henderson County, Illinois © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. Henderson County, Illinois 13. Henderson County, Illinois

> Median age: 49.1
> State median age: 37.3
> Population 65+: 22.9%
> Avg. retirement income: $16,992

Brown County, Indiana © Wikimedia Commons Brown County, Indiana 14. Brown County, Indiana

> Median age: 48.3
> State median age: 37.3
> Population 65+: 20.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $19,649

Dickinson County, Iowa © Wikimedia Commons Dickinson County, Iowa 15. Dickinson County, Iowa

> Median age: 48.7
> State median age: 38.1
> Population 65+: 23.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,043

decataur county kansas © Wikimedia Commons decataur county kansas 16. Decatur County, Kansas

> Median age: 52.3
> State median age: 36.0
> Population 65+: 27.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $30,309

Lyon County Kentucky Eddyville © Wikimedia Commons Lyon County Kentucky Eddyville 17. Lyon County, Kentucky

> Median age: 49.0
> State median age: 38.5
> Population 65+: 22.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $26,147

Tensas Parish, Louisiana © Wikimedia Commons Tensas Parish, Louisiana 18. Tensas Parish, Louisiana

> Median age: 43.0
> State median age: 36.1
> Population 65+: 19.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,174

Newcastle, Lincoln County, Maine © Wikimedia Commons Newcastle, Lincoln County, Maine 19. Lincoln County, Maine

> Median age: 49.8
> State median age: 43.8
> Population 65+: 24.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $26,373

Ocean City, Worcester County, Maryland © Wikimedia Commons Ocean City, Worcester County, Maryland 20. Worcester County, Maryland

> Median age: 49.1
> State median age: 38.2
> Population 65+: 24.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $31,147

Barnstable_County_Courthouse,_Barnstable_MA © Wikimedia Commons Barnstable_County_Courthouse,_Barnstable_MA 21. Barnstable County, Massachusetts

> Median age: 51.3
> State median age: 39.3
> Population 65+: 27.1%
> Avg. retirement income: $31,723

Harrisville, Alcona County, Michigan © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. Harrisville, Alcona County, Michigan 22. Alcona County, Michigan

> Median age: 56.6
> State median age: 39.5
> Population 65+: 33.9%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,630

Aitkin County, Minnesota © Wikimedia Commons Aitkin County, Minnesota 23. Aitkin County, Minnesota

> Median age: 53.1
> State median age: 37.7
> Population 65+: 29.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,883

Amite County, Mississippi © Amite County, Mississippi Amite County, Mississippi 24. Amite County, Mississippi

> Median age: 45.3
> State median age: 36.5
> Population 65+: 20.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $19,416

Hickory County, Missouri © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. Hickory County, Missouri 25. Hickory County, Missouri

> Median age: 53.5
> State median age: 38.2
> Population 65+: 31.5%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,420

Drummond, Granite County, Montana © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. Drummond, Granite County, Montana 26. Granite County, Montana

> Median age: 53.7
> State median age: 39.7
> Population 65+: 28.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,828

hooker county © Wikimedia Commons hooker county 27. Hooker County, Nebraska

> Median age: 57.9
> State median age: 36.2
> Population 65+: 35.8%
> Avg. retirement income: $12,678

Storey County, Nevada © Wikimedia Commons Storey County, Nevada 28. Storey County, Nevada

> Median age: 54.7
> State median age: 37.2
> Population 65+: 26.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $23,245

Carroll County, New Hampshire © Wikimedia Commons Carroll County, New Hampshire 29. Carroll County, New Hampshire

> Median age: 50.3
> State median age: 42.2
> Population 65+: 23.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $28,382

Cape May County, New Jersey © Wikimedia Commons Cape May County, New Jersey 30. Cape May County, New Jersey

> Median age: 48.3
> State median age: 39.4
> Population 65+: 23.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $27,453

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Catron County, New Mexico © Thinkstock Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Catron County, New Mexico 31. Catron County, New Mexico

> Median age: 57.1
> State median age: 37.0
> Population 65+: 32.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $29,196

Carmel City Hall, Hamilton County, Indiana © Thinkstock Carmel City Hall, Hamilton County, Indiana 32. Hamilton County, New York

> Median age: 51.9
> State median age: 38.1
> Population 65+: 25.8%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,441

polk county nc © Wikimedia Commons polk county nc 33. Polk County, North Carolina

> Median age: 50.9
> State median age: 38.0
> Population 65+: 26.9%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,390

Carson North Dakota © Wikimedia Commons Carson North Dakota 34. Grant County, North Dakota

> Median age: 53.6
> State median age: 35.4
> Population 65+: 27.7%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,573

Noble County, Ohio © Wikimedia Commons Noble County, Ohio 35. Noble County, Ohio

> Median age: 50.2
> State median age: 39.2
> Population 65+: 22.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,250

McIntosh County Oklahoma © Wikimedia Commons McIntosh County Oklahoma 36. McIntosh County, Oklahoma

> Median age: 47.4
> State median age: 36.2
> Population 65+: 24.1%
> Avg. retirement income: $18,533

Wheeler County Oregon © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. Wheeler County Oregon 37. Wheeler County, Oregon

> Median age: 56.5
> State median age: 39.1
> Population 65+: 34.3%
> Avg. retirement income: $21,739

Sullivan County Pennsylvania © Wikimedia Commons Sullivan County Pennsylvania 38. Sullivan County, Pennsylvania

> Median age: 51.8
> State median age: 40.5
> Population 65+: 26.5%
> Avg. retirement income: $16,929

Bristol County Rhode Island © Wikimedia Commons Bristol County Rhode Island 39. Bristol County, Rhode Island

> Median age: 43.9
> State median age: 39.7
> Population 65+: 18.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,763

McCormick County South Carolina © Wikimedia Commons McCormick County South Carolina 40. McCormick County, South Carolina

> Median age: 51.9
> State median age: 38.6
> Population 65+: 29.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $27,705

Custer County South Dakota © Wikimedia Commons Custer County South Dakota 41. Custer County, South Dakota

> Median age: 52.8
> State median age: 36.8
> Population 65+: 24.8%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,932

Cumberland County Tennessee © Wikimedia Commons Cumberland County Tennessee 42. Cumberland County, Tennessee

> Median age: 49.7
> State median age: 38.4
> Population 65+: 28.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $24,442

Llano County Texas © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. Llano County Texas 43. Llano County, Texas

> Median age: 56.3
> State median age: 34.1
> Population 65+: 33.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,806

Kane County Utah © Wikimedia Commons Kane County Utah 44. Kane County, Utah

> Median age: 43.6
> State median age: 30.1
> Population 65+: 20.6%
> Avg. retirement income: $35,000

lunenburg-essex-county-vermont © https://www.flickr.com/photos/mar_ibert/ lunenburg-essex-county-vermont 45. Essex County, Vermont

> Median age: 48.8
> State median age: 42.4
> Population 65+: 22.0%
> Avg. retirement income: $15,980

Highland County, Virginia © Wikimedia Commons Highland County, Virginia 46. Highland County, Virginia

> Median age: 59.0
> State median age: 37.6
> Population 65+: 34.0%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,287

Jefferson County Washington © Wikimedia Commons Jefferson County Washington 47. Jefferson County, Washington

> Median age: 55.6
> State median age: 37.4
> Population 65+: 30.1%
> Avg. retirement income: $28,417

Pendleton County, West Virginia © Wikimedia Commons Pendleton County, West Virginia 48. Pendleton County, West Virginia

> Median age: 49.1
> State median age: 41.8
> Population 65+: 24.0%
> Avg. retirement income: $17,645

Vilas County Wisconsin © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. Vilas County Wisconsin 49. Vilas County, Wisconsin

> Median age: 52.6
> State median age: 39.0
> Population 65+: 28.2%
> Avg. retirement income: $25,187

south_fork_owl_creek_wy © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. south_fork_owl_creek_wy 50. Hot Springs County, Wyoming

> Median age: 49.6
> State median age: 36.8
> Population 65+: 22.4%
> Avg. retirement income: $22,016

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