As Baby Boomers age and birthrates continue to remain low, a major demographic shift is about to take place
A historic shift is coming to the demographic makeup of the United States, and it is being led by the states of Florida and Maine. By the end of the year, both states will likely have more elderly residents than children, something that has never happened before in the history of the country.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, estimates form the Census Bureau showed Maine only had 2 percent more children under 18 than adults 65 or older and Florida had just 4 percent more. Just six years ago, those margins were 30 percent and 23 percent respectively.
Overall the United States margin has dropped 30 percent, standing at 54 percent in 2015 compared to 84 percent in 2010. This shift is not only occurring because the massive Baby Boomer generation is beginning to reach and pass the age of 65, but also because the U.S. birthrate has been stuck at post-recession lows, accelerating the shift.
While Maine and Florida are both soon to have a larger population of elderly residents than young ones, they have reached this end in different ways. In Maine, the elderly show a strong preference to age in place while the young typically tend to move away. In Florida, the rates are spurred by strong retirement migration that is climbing back up from lower recession levels.
West Virginia and Vermont will likely be the next two states after Maine and Florida to reach the milestone. Meanwhile Alaska, Utah, and Texas have the highest ratios of children to elderly.