NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The U.S., as a whole, is growing older, the latest data from the U.S. Census shows. But in New Mexico, a few counties have actually seen a slight reduction in their median age. Here’s a hint: Bernalillo County hasn’t gotten any younger.

Nationwide, the population is getting older. From 2000 to 2021, the U.S. median age increased from 35.4 years old to 38.8 years old, data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows.

“With birth rates trending downwards and the aging of the Baby Boom and Generation X cohorts, the median age will likely continue to rise in the coming years,” Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Census Bureau’s Population Division said in a press release.

Much of New Mexico has also grown slightly older. The median age in Bernalillo County, for example, has increased by a little over two years, since 2010. The latest data shows that 50% of Bernalillo County’s population is over 38 years old. There’s only about 16,000 residents between the ages of 18 and 24, but more than 20,000 between ages 75 and 79, data from 2021 shows.

But a few counties in the state did get a tiny bit younger. Catron, Cibola, Roosevelt, and Union Counties each saw a little decrease in their median age from July 2020 to July 2021. Cibola County’s median age decreased by 0.2 years to 37.7 years. Roosevelt County also decreased by 0.2 years. It’s not much, but it means that these counties managed to avoid the aging trend seen across the nation.

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An Aging Nation - Change in Median Age by County: July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

While the U.S. is growing older as a whole, some counties have managed to become a little younger recently. Image from U.S. Census Bureau.

While a few New Mexico counties have become younger, the state as a whole is older. In fact, only one state became younger from 2020 to 2021: Maine. And even then, the decrease was only slight. Utah, meanwhile, is still the youngest state in the nation, with a median age of 31.8.