The U.S. population is getting older. Aging Baby Boomers and declining fertility rates mean that for the first time in the country’s history, older people—those 65 years and older—are projected to outnumber children by 2030. Additionally, people under age 35 account for only 45.4% of the population, a proportion that is nearly 10 percentage points lower than three decades prior.
The share of the population under age 35 has been on the decline for decades. In 1990, nearly 54% of the U.S. population was under 35. As of 2019, that figure had dropped to just 45%. After a slight increase in 2014, the U.S. fertility rate has dropped for five straight years, and the number of births fell to the lowest level since 1985. As the country’s fertility rate declines and as Baby Boomers age, the proportion of older people is increasing. By 2030, one out of every five Americans will be of retirement age.
Due to a variety of factors, young adults of today have significantly lower homeownership rates. While just over one-third of householders under 35 own their own homes, 64% of all householders do. Rising home prices, low inventory, and more stringent mortgage requirements since the housing market crisis have made buying less feasible. Additionally, people under 35 are more likely to live in high-cost cities and have student loan debt, a combination that makes it challenging to save sufficient funds for a down payment. Given homeownership has long been considered one of the best ways to build wealth, how cities respond to the lack of affordable housing and where young people choose to settle down could have long-term impacts on the financial health of these younger generations.
While the population in the U.S. is becoming older on average, the population age distribution varies on a geographic basis. Some places are retiree havens, while others have large numbers of young families and kids. At the state level, Utah and Alaska have the highest percentages of their populations under age 35, at 55.1% and 50% respectively. Maine and West Virginia have the oldest populations, with just 38.5% and 40.3% of their populations under age 35, respectively.
To find the youngest states in the U.S., researchers at Porch analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The researchers ranked states according to the proportion of the population under age 35. Researchers also calculated the total population under 35, the total population across all ages, the homeownership rate for households under 35, and the homeownership rate for all households.
The analysis found that in Utah, 55.1% of the population is under 35 years old. The homeownership rate for Utah households under 35 is 43.0%, compared to the 70.6% homeownership rate for all households there. Out of all U.S. states, Utah is the youngest, and the homeownership rate for those under 35 is the 6th highest. Here is a summary of the data for Utah:
- Percentage of the population under 35: 55.1%
- Population under 35: 1,766,519
- Total population: 3,205,958
- Homeownership rate for households under 35: 43.0%
- Homeownership rate for all households: 70.6%
For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:
- Percentage of the population under 35: 45.4%
- Population under 35: 148,919,424
- Total population: 328,239,523
- Homeownership rate for households under 35: 34.1%
- Homeownership rate for all households: 64.1%
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Porch’s website: https://porch.com/advice/youngest-cities-in-the-us/