Latest Census Bureau Population Estimates Indicate Aging across Tennessee

According to numbers released today by the US Census Bureau, Tennessee’s 2015 median age is 38.6 years, slightly older than the US median age, which rose from 37.7 in 2014 to 37.8 in 2015.

The data release includes national, state, and county population estimates for 2015 by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin.

A partner to the US Census Bureau, the Tennessee State Data Center is housed within the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at UT’s Haslam College of Business.

Tennessee highlights:

  • The majority of Tennessee counties followed the national trend and had higher median ages in 2015 than in 2014: 70 counties in Tennessee aged, 10 did not change, and 15 had lower median ages than in the previous year.
  • The oldest counties (those with the highest median ages) in 2015 were located between Middle Tennessee and Knoxville: Cumberland (50.5), Pickett (49.1), Loudon (47.4), Clay (47.2), and Jackson (46.7).
  • The youngest counties (those with the lowest median ages) were in Middle and West Tennessee: Montgomery (30.5), Rutherford (33.4), Davidson (34.4), Shelby (35.2), and Putnam (36.5).
  • The 2015 male and female shares of the total population were the same as the national average: 49 percent male and 51 percent female.
  • The 2015 racial categories, alone or in combination with one or more other races, were reported as follows:
    • White: 5,308,260
    • Black or African-American: 1,192,750
    • American Indian and Alaska Native: 69,939
    • Asian: 144,530
    • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander: 11,262

While the eldest baby boomer age range (65–69) had the highest growth rates in Tennessee, the age range with the largest number of people in 2015 was 20–24 years old.

The age groups with highest percentage growth from 2014 to 2015 and from 2010 to 2015 were 25–29, 60–64, 65–69, 70–74, 75–79 and 85 and over. The 65–69 age range had the highest growth rates in both time frames:

Table: Fastest-Growing Age Groups in Tennessee

Age Group 2014-2015 Growth 2010-2015 Growth
25-29 3.2% 6.8%
60-64 2.4% 9.0%
65-69 4.0% 26.1%
70-74 3.3% 23.0%
75-79 2.9% 14.0%
85 and over 2.7% 13.8%

 

Full sets of data, including age, race, sex and Hispanic origin, are available from the US Census Bureau’s population estimates data site. Graphic representations of Tennessee data are also available from the Tennessee State Data Center.

The Tennessee State Data Center provides US Census data and products, training, and technical assistance to users, feedback to the Census Bureau on data usability, and assistance to state and local governments.

CONTACT:

Melissa Stefanini (865-974-6070, tnsdc@utk.edu)

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)