In an aging nation, Texas’ population remains one of the youngest

The U.S. Census Bureau announced last month that the median age across the nation between 2021 and 2022 was 38.9 years old, up 0.2 years from the prior year.

Texas was the second youngest state in the nation, trailing just Utah for the title of youngest state. The median age of the total Texas population was 35 years old. That broke down to a 35.8 median age for females, and a 34.2 median age for males.

Utah, interestingly, has held the distinction of being the nation’s youngest state for the last five years. In 2021, the median age of females in Utah was 31.8 and the median age for males was 30.8. On the other extreme is Maine. Males living in Maine had a median age of 43.5 and females had a median age of 46.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 5 year estimates

Where are the youngest people in Texas?

Some areas of Texas have a noticeably younger population than others. Individuals under the state median age are primarily located in the major metropolitan areas of the Texas Triangle: Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. However, the youngest Texans also live in rural areas in northwest Texas between Odessa up to Lubbock and in the Panhandle. Other young populations live along the Texas-Mexico border region, such as in El Paso and in the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas Counties Median Age_USCB ACSSource: U.S. Census Bureau, Median Age from S0101 American Community Survey 2020 5-Year Estimates

Note: Legend indicates age range in years. The lightest color represents the total population median age (males and females combined) of Texans in 2021 and younger. Dark colors indicate age breakdowns above the median age.

According to the Texas Demographic Center, Texas’ population growth between 2011 and 2019 was largely driven by natural increase. But since 2020, domestic migration from other U.S. states has accounted for most of Texas’ population growth.

Individuals from other states are also more likely to be millennials, ranging between the ages of 25 and 44 years old.

A lower cost of living and greater economic opportunity are the main factors for those deciding to move to Texas. Many are also attracted to the diverse job market in energy and technology. According to the Texas Demographic Center, individuals moving to Texas have a higher education level than most native Texans, and have occupations in management, finance and business, computer, engineering and science, and health care.

Why does this matter?

Paying close attention to Texas’ evolving population can signal challenges ahead. For instance, a young and growing population has implications for Texas’ future in areas of housing, health care, education and workforce.

In response, Texas 2036 is pioneering initiatives to cultivate a resilient, future-ready workforce where more Texans earn a family-sustaining wage. That includes paying attention to the composition of Texas’ labor force to ensure the state can supply the needed workers in key industries of opportunity and ensuring young Texans have the postsecondary educational opportunities to prepare them for a meaningful career.

We at Texas 2036 remain invested in data-driven solutions to keeping Texas as the best place to live, work and raise a family for generations to come.

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