For 85 year olds, race/ethnic demographics is like the U.S. 40 years ago

81% of persons 85 or older in 2016 were white, compared to whites being 61% of the total population. The last time the total population was 80% white was in 1980. For white 85 year olds, their concept of American demographics may be 40 years out of date. (Also here.)


Pew Research says that for white Americans, the most common age was 58, but 11 for Hispanics, 27 for Blacks and 29 for Asians. Among all racial and ethnic minorities, the most common age was 27.

One reason non-Hispanic whites are disproportionately older than other Americans is that they were the biggest population gainers from the post-World War II baby boom – an era before many of today’s minority immigrants entered the country. Data from 2018 here.

The median ages in 2019 were whites, 44; Hispanics, 29; Blacks, 34; and Asians, 37. States with the highest median ages are Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont which are among the very few states with whites accounting for well over 90% of the state’s population.

From here and here.

One thought on “For 85 year olds, race/ethnic demographics is like the U.S. 40 years ago”

  1. Look at the ages of our Senators and one can infer that most have an outdated view on race/ethnicity.

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