New York State’s Counties Have Different Trends in Population Aging

Nader Mehri

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Approximately 3.7 million New Yorkers (19%) were aged 60 or older in 2010. Although the state’s population size has remained relatively constant over the last decade, the age 60+ population has increased to more than 4.5 million, representing 23.4% of New York’s population in 2019. Since 2015, the share of New Yorkers who are 60 or older has been larger than for the U.S. overall, and in NYS, the older adult population has been growing faster than any other age group. The age 60+ population has been increasing in all 62 counties in New York (see Figure 1). However, there are large differences across counties, ranging from 18.6% in Bronx County to 43.1% in Hamilton County. The age 60+ population is 25% or greater in 41 of New York’s counties. Population aging has widespread implications for New York, including the need to implement policies to help adults stay in their homes as they age, design programs to reduce social isolation, and develop age-friendly outdoor spaces, buildings, and services. These trends also suggest the need for a comprehensive state aging data center to help state and local policymakers and service providers track, understand, and plan for these statewide and county-level demographic changes.

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Source: Data are from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division (June 2020): Annual County Resident Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019. For more county-specific information, go to https://asi.syr.edu/n-y-state-population-aging-trends/

About the Author
Nader Mehri (nmehri@maxwell.syr.edu) is a postdoctoral researcher with the Aging Studies Institute in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Center for Aging and Policy Studies (NIA P30AG066583) at Syracuse University.