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Age Distribution

Variable Definitions:

Population Under Age 18: The percentage of the population that is under the age of 18

Population Ages 18-24: The percentage of the population that is between the ages of 18 and 24

Population Ages 25 – 34: The percentage of the population that is between the ages of 25 and 34

Population Ages 35 – 44: The percentage of the population that is between the ages of 35 and 44

Population Ages 45 – 54: The percentage of the population that is between the ages of 45 and 54

Population Ages 55 – 64: The percentage of the population that is between the ages of 55 and 64

Population Ages 65 & Older: The percentage of the population that is ages 65 and older

American Community Survey (ACS), 5-year estimates, Table B01001

Years Available:*
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

*Note: Each year of available data shown above is a 5-year estimate, or an average of data collected over a five year period. 5-year estimates are used to increase the reliability of the data at small geographies like neighborhoods and census tracts. The years shown on the NDSC map represent the final year of the five year average (e.g. “2010” represents 2006-2010 data, “2011” represents 2007-2011 data, and so on). For the most impactful comparison of data over time, the ACS recommends comparing non-overlapping years (e.g. 2010-14 with 2015-19).


Why are these variables important to measure?

Population Under Age 18
18 years of age is the legal voting age in the United States. The share of population under this age can provide a sense of the youth of a community and how significant it is in relation to other age groups. This is important because young people require specific types of services such as day care centers, elementary schools and high schools. While they generally do not participate in the labor market, this cohort represents the economic and social future of a community.

Population Ages 18 – 24
People between the ages of 18 and 24 are considered to be in early adulthood. As legal adults many of the members of this category attend college or are part of the workforce. Since these are young adults who often dedicate themselves to develop their educational and professional capacities before raising a family, this number is important to measure economic opportunity. 

Population Ages 25 – 34
People between the ages 25 of 34 are considered to be in the latter stages of early adulthood. During this period it is common for people to start families and begin to solidify their careers. It is important to measure this broad period of adulthood because it can tell us how many people are of prime health and in the workforce, which can have an important impact in the social and economic dynamics of a neighborhood.

Population Ages 35 – 44
The ten-year span of adulthood when many people are at their most economically productive is usually between ages 35 and 44. During this period many people advance in their career, raise children, and build a financial foundation for their families. Measuring the percentage of the population at this stage of life is important as it can provide a sense of the stability, productivity of a neighborhood or, conversely, help diagnose issues such as persistent unemployment.

Population Ages 45 – 54
During this ten year period many people have fully established themselves into adulthood both in terms of their personal and professional development. By this stage, many have already raised children, solidified their career path, and are accumulating work experience towards retirement or a career transition. It is important to measure this stage in people’s lives as it provides a picture of how many people in a neighborhood have reached a stable stage of adulthood, how well this compares with expectations, and how it is related to conditions of neighborhoods such as work stability and health measurements.

Population Ages 55 – 64
In this ten year span between ages 55 and 64, many people reach the end of their working life. During this time, their children have reached adulthood and often left the household to pursue their own educational and professional goals. Life expectancy has increased significantly over the past fifty years, making this age period a markedly more active one for many adults than was the case for their parents. On the other hand, health conditions may start to become a more significant factor as people transition to older adulthood. It is important to measure this stage in life to understand how many people in a neighborhood are exiting the workforce and to plan for the health and social services they will require in the next stage of their lives.

Population Ages 65 & Older
Given increases in life expectancy in recent decades, the population ages 65 and older can include people with a wide range of ages. Because the postwar Baby Boom generation is currently entering this stage of life, the percentage of the population in this age group will likely to continue to grow over the next few decades. While some people continue working after 65 or make a career change, a great number of older adults retire from the workforce. People ages 65 and older often face health deterioration, which requires comprehensive care, especially for those in the upper end of the age bracket. It is important to understand how many older adults live in a neighborhood in order to know the services they require, such as hospitals, nursing homes and services for veterans.

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