In 2010, the median age increased to 37.2 from 35.3 in 2000, with the proportion of older Americans increasing. The 1.9-year increase between 2000 and 2010 was a more modest increase than the 2.4-year increase in median age that occurred between 1990 and 2000. The aging of the baby boom population, along with stabilizing birth rates and longer life expectancy, have contributed to the increase in median age.
The male population grew faster than the female population, potentially due to a narrowing of the gender gap in longevity:
In 2010, there were 96.7 males for every 100 females in the United States, representing an increase from 2000 when the male-to-female ratio was 96.3 males for every 100 females. The increase in the population of older males was notable over the last decade, with males between the ages of 60 and 74 increasing by 35.2 percent, while females in the same age group increased by just 29.2 percent. This increase in the male population relative to the female population for those 60 and over has led to a notable increase in the sex ratio among this age group – potentially because of the narrowing gap in mortality between older men and women.
Fewer couples are getting married; but more are living together. From USA Today:
Unmarried couples made up 12% of U.S. couples in 2010, a 25% increase in 10 years, according to Census data out today. Two-thirds of the cities with the largest shares of unmarried couples were in the Northeast and Midwest, up from about half a decade earlier.
The New York Times has a story today about a new U.S. Census report that shows America is on track to be a majority-minority nation earlier than predicted -- in 2042, not 2050. This is further evidence that America is undergoing its most profound demographic transformation since the arrival of the Europeans here in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
I offered some thoughts on these extraordinary changes in a recent essay, On Obama, Race and the end of the Southern Strategy. I have little doubt that it is these changes that have the emergence of a bi-racial President candidate much more likely. This also is a subject we cover in our recent report on the growing political power of Hispanics, Hispanics Rising II.
For those coming to the Democratic National Convention, I will be talking about America's historic demographic changes at a presentation of our powerpoint, the Dawn of a New Politics, Thursday morning, August 27. Look for an announcement about this and other NDN events at the Convention later this morning.
"Older politicians will have to get beyond their ideological blinders to recognize the opportunity waiting for any candidate or political party that can embrace both halves of the Millennial era civic ethos paradox."