It’s no coincidence that people in the same age group tend to settle in the same neighborhoods. Factors like vicinity to business districts, recreational features, and cost of living all create pockets of older and younger generations in different communities. Just think about the times you’ve ended up in a Millennial-filled farmer’s market or a Baby Boomer-packed diner. But, doesn’t it seem that some U.S. cities are becoming populated by different age groups, rather than just specific neighborhoods?
At Coventry Direct, we have relationships with lots of older Americans and often talk about how the lives of these folks are shaped by where they live. So, the topic of cities with greater populations of older or younger residents piqued our interest. We wanted to know which U.S. cities are filled with differently aged folks to get a sense of where older Americans might find themselves and where our customers’ younger family members and coworkers may be settling.
So, we decided to look at the United States Census data across 50 major United States cities and analyze the population age ratios and median ages of those residents. Considering the median ages for men and women across these cities, we came up with lists of the 20 oldest and youngest American cities by resident age.
First, we looked at the oldest cities in America.
Unsurprisingly, the stereotype that America’s seniors migrate to the Florida warmth proved correct. 11 Florida cities made the top 20 list, including four among the five cities with the oldest residents. According to an article from CNBC, high temperatures, low income tax, and low cost of living also made Florida an attractive retirement state.
The American city with the oldest median age was The Villages, Florida, where the median age is 67.5 years. Interestingly, the city is a census-designated place but is predominantly made up of an age-restricted community that features resort-like entertainment and recreational activities for older residents.
Another popular trend among the oldest cities in America was their proximity to the beach. Even cities further North bordered the water, such as Marinette, WI, nestled on the Green Bay and Barnstable, MA, a little town on Cape Cod. A study reported by MarketWatch showed that people who live on the coast show better mental health, which demonstrates even more of an incentive for older folks to retire to a waterside community.
Next up, we looked at the American cities with the lowest median age. The results were far less consistent than those of the Florida-centric oldest cities, providing insights into where younger Americans live.
The youngest city in America is Provo, Utah, where the mean age is 25 years. Notably, much of the population of Provo consists of college students at Brigham Young University and the families of academics and staffers of the university. According to Utah.com, another major asset of Provo for young residents is the cities’ vicinity to national and state parks that provide all sorts of recreational activities. Logan, Utah was right behind Provo as the second-youngest city in the country.
Provo wasn’t the only college town to make the list of the youngest cities. State College, Pennsylvania, home to Penn State University, and Athens, Ohio, home to Ohio University, also had some of the country’s youngest residents.
Finally, the list shows that many Midwestern and Southern cities were home to many young residents. According to the Manhattan Institute, lower costs of living and promises of booming industries in these Midwestern cities attract younger career starters.
Altogether, according to the data we saw in the Census, it looks as though young people are moving inland, while older people are moving out to the water, especially in Southern locations. This could have an exciting impact on our country’s culture, especially as remote working, learning, and living allow Americans to live wherever they like.
At Coventry, we will continue to look at trends of where our customers live and how it shapes their experiences and their families. We know that understanding these trends helps us answer questions about policies and life insurance for our customers that care as much as we do.