The median age in the United States increased by a year in the time since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Fueled by Baby Boomers reaching age 65 or older, the median age has risen to 38.2, meaning that half the nation's population is almost 40 years old or older. Moreover, as the nation continues to grow older, it is also changing by race and ethnicity. The Hispanic population in the United States grew by 2.0 percent (1,164,289) between 2017 and 2018, and now totals approximately 60 million, according to the Census Bureau. This population is roughly 18 percent of the total U.S. population. Los Angeles County, California, has the largest Hispanic population in the country, with a population of 4.9 million in 2018. The Black or African American population totaled almost 44 million, or approximately 13 percent of the nation's population. Cook County, Illinois, had the largest black or African American population, which was about 1.3 million in 2018. Harris County, Texas, had the largest numeric increase between 2017 and 2018, gaining 14,017 (1.5 percent) people.
Texas topped all other states by increasing its population by almost 400,000 between July 2016 and July 2017, while Idaho saw the highest percentage growth in the U.S., according to recent U.S. Census statistics. Texas ranked as the second most populous state in the U.S. in 2017 with a population of 28,304,596. California is the largest state, with a population of 39,536,653. Idaho's increase of 36,917 in 2017 represented a 2.2 increase in the state's population, giving it the highest percentage increase in population. Overall, the U.S. population grew by 2.3 million between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, representing a 0.72 percent increase to 325.7 million. Furthermore, the population of voting-age residents (adults age 18 and over) grew to 252.1 million (77.4 percent of the 2017 total population), an increase of 0.93 percent from 2016 (249.5 million). Eight states lost population: Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The nation's population continues to age and become more diverse, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over the last 16 years, the nation’s median age — the age where half of the population is younger and the other half older — rose from 35.3 years in 2000 to 37.9 years in 2016. Individuals age 65 and over grew from 35 million in 2000 to 49 million in 2016, accounting for 12.4 percent and 15.2 percent of the nation's total population, respectively. As to race and ethnic groups, all races and groups increased in the year after July 1, 2015. The Hispanic population (including all races) grew by 2.0 percent to 57.5 million, and the Asian population increased by 3.0 percent to 21.4 million. The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population grew by 2.1 percent to 1.5 million, while the American Indian and Alaska Native population grew by 1.4 percent to 6.7 million. The black or African-American population increased by 1.2 percent to 46.8 million. The white population grew the least by percentage, increasing half a percent to 256.0 million. Those individuals who identified as being of two or more races grew by 3.0 percent to 8.5 million.
The South dominates the nation in terms of people and political clout. The 16 states and the District of Columbia forming the U.S. Census Bureau's South region hold 38% of the nation's population, according to the Census Bureau's 2016 population estimates. The South also has 36% of the total Electoral College votes. Also, ten of the 15 fastest-growing large cities were located across the South in 2016, with four of the top five in Texas. The Census Bureau estimates the total United States population in 2016 at 323,127,513, with the South tallying a population of 122,319,574. The Northeast holds 17 percent of the population, while the Midwest accounts for 21 percent of the population. The broad Western portion of the United States only accounts for 24% of the nation's population. The South has 196 of the 538 Electoral College votes.
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