Idaho’s population is aging faster than the nation’s, with people 65 and older increasing by 19 percent in the last four years, according to estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The nation’s senior population grew by 14.2 percent.
In Kootenai County, the senior population grew by 17 percent between 2010 and 2014. Idaho’s total population was 1.6 million as of March 17.
This growing group of senior Idahoans, which includes the oldest four years of the baby boom generation, accounts for 14.2 percent of the state’s population. Yet the number of seniors is actually growing more slowly each year since its peak in 2011, when there were 10,558 new people in that age bracket.
Butte and Clark counties are the only two of Idaho’s 44 counties that have a decreasing senior population.
While the number of seniors, along with the age groups 19 and younger and 20 to 39, have more than doubled in the last four years, the number of middle-age people between 40 and 64 has decreased. This group still accounts for the largest segment of the state’s population at 47 percent.
Residents between age 20 and 39 form the second largest increase at 1.5 percent and are filling in for the decline of the middle-aged, according to a press release by the Idaho Department of Labor.
– Erica Curless
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