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DATA: A look at the Valley's aging population

Downtown Phoenix
Posted at 4:59 PM, May 26, 2023

PHOENIX — This week the U.S. Census Bureau released data related to the demographics and housing profile of the nation’s population.

When it comes to the Phoenix metro the data confirms what many already knew: The Valley has grown, and it has grown older.

The Phoenix metro population grew from 4.2 million in the 2010 census to 4.8 million in 2020, a 15% increase for the decade. The median age of residence increased by almost three years, from 34.7 to 37.5.

Meanwhile, the share of people under 18 is down nearly three points to 23.5% and the share of the population 65 and older increased from 12.3% to 16.6%.

When looking at raw population counts by individuals aged from infancy to 115 there are more people living in the Valley between nine and 39 than there were 10 years ago, but the numbers pale in comparison to the growth population of older Valley residents.

There is a range of 10,000-20,000 more people living here now than a decade ago for every age between 55 and 78 years old.

The aging of the Valley is not specific to any ethnicity recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau.

At 46.7, not only does the White Non-Hispanic population have a higher median age than all others, but it is also aging the fastest. The median age of Black Valley residents increased from 30.6 to 33.

The Hispanic ethnicity is the youngest overall with a median age of 27.5, but it is also aging as the median was 24.6 just 10 years ago.

The share of people under 18 in the Valley is falling at a faster rate compared to the nation. Today, minors make up 23.5% of the Phoenix metro’s population.

That's down 2.9% in a decade. The national decline of minors is 1.9 points from 24% to 22.1%.

Even with an aging population comparing the Valley’s two largest ethnic groups, White Non-Hispanic and Hispanic, shows a stark contrast.

The share of Hispanics by age increases from 1.5% under one year of age and peaks at 2.1% for 12-year-old Hispanics. It then falls consistently from there. The White Non-Hispanic population starts with infants at 0.8% and gradually increases until it peaks at 1.5% at the age of 62.