Based on median age, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today which counties in New Mexico had the oldest populations and which had the youngest.

The U.S. median age ticked up from 37.6 on July 1, 2014, to 37.7 on July 1, 2015. The N.M. median age ticked up slightly from 37.1 on July 1, 2014, to 37.3 on July 1, 2015. Among counties with a population of 1,000 or more, only two nationwide had a median age of 60 or older including Sumter County, Fla. (66.6 years) and the other was Catron, N.M. (60.1 years).

The Bureau of Business and Economic Research is a member of the Census Bureau State Data Center Program. This quick look on the Census Bureau Population Estimate data release today is part of our public service mission to help New Mexican’s identify trends happening in their local area and know about current data releases.

The Tables specifically referenced can found at:

The counties in New Mexico with the highest median age on July 1, 2015, were Catron at 60.1, Sierra, at 56.1, and Harding, at 54.9. This means that half the population was older than this age and half was younger.

The youngest counties — that is, those with the lowest median age — were Roosevelt, at 30.2, McKinley, at 30.7 and Curry, at 30.8.

While the nation aged, seven counties in New Mexico become younger: Debaca, Harding, Union, Eddy, McKinley, Luna, and Socorro. New Mexico also had four counties which had no change: Lea, Guadalupe, Quay and Sierra.

Nationally, non-Hispanic, single-race whites numbered 198.0 million. Hispanics were next, with a population of 56.6 million, followed by blacks or African Americans, at 46.3 million, Asians (21.0 million), American Indians and Alaska Natives (6.6 million), and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (1.5 million).

In New Mexico, the populations of each group were as follows:

  • Race Alone or in Combination
    • Whites 1,768,183
    • Blacks 69601
    • American Indians and Alaska Natives 246,717
    • Asians 49,952
    • Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 6,523
  • Non-Hispanic, single-race whites: 829,130
  • Hispanics Race alone or in combination groups  1,023,866
    • Whites 939,053
    • Blacks 20,169
    • Asians 9,166
    • American Indians and Alaska Natives 52,272
    • Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 3,206

Unless otherwise specified, the statistics refer to the population who reported a race alone or in combination with one or more races. Censuses and surveys permit respondents to select more than one race; consequently, people may be one race or a combination of races. The sum of the populations for the five “race alone or in combination” groups adds to more than the total population because individuals may report more than one race.

The federal government treats Hispanic origin and race as separate and distinct concepts. In surveys and censuses, separate questions are asked on Hispanic origin and race. The question on Hispanic origin asks respondents if they are of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin.

Starting with the 2000 Census, the question on race asked respondents to report the race or races they consider themselves to be. Hispanics may be of any race. Responses of “some other race” from the 2010 Census are modified in these estimates. This results in differences between the population estimates for specific race categories for the modified 2010 Census population numbers versus those in the 2010 Census data.

The UNM Geospatial and Population Studies department produces independent population estimates that more accurately track migration into and out of the state. GPS will publish these annual estimates in early July. For more information and in-depth analysis contact Sr. Research Scientist Robert Rhatigan at (505) 277-4034 or rhatigan@unm.edu.

The Data Bank, which is part of UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research, will assist interested parties in navigating the Census or other data websites and assist in understanding the different data sources.

For additional information and or assistance, call (505) 277-3038 or dbinfo@unm.edu. Finally, you can also reach out to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office 301-763-3030 / pio@census.gov.