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U.S. Demographics: Largest 5-year cohorts, and Ten most Common Ages in 2021

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by Calculated Risk on 4/24/2022 08:11:00 AM

Eight years ago, I wrote: Census Bureau: Largest 5-year Population Cohort is now the “20 to 24” Age Group.

This month the Census Bureau released the population estimates for July 2021 by age, and I’ve updated the table from the previous post.

The table below shows the top 10 cohorts by size for 2010, 2021 (released this month), and the most recent Census Bureau projections for 2030.

In 2021, 6 of the top 7 cohorts were under 40 (the Boomers are fading away), and by 2030 the top 10 cohorts will be the youngest 10 cohorts.

There will be plenty of “gray hairs” walking around in 2030, but the key for the economy is the population in the prime working age group is now increasing.

As I noted in 2014, this was positive for apartments, and more recently positive for housing.

Population: Largest 5-Year Cohorts by YearLargest
Cohorts201020212030145 to 49 years30 to 34 years35 to 39 years250 to 54 years25 to 29 years40 to 44 years315 to 19 years35 to 39 years30 to 34 years420 to 24 years55 to 59 years25 to 29 years525 to 29 years15 to 19 years20 to 24 years640 to 44 years20 to 24 years45 to 49 years710 to 14 years10 to 14 years5 to 9 years85 to 9 years60 to 64 years10 to 14 years9Under 5 years40 to 44 yearsUnder 5 years1035 to 39 years50 to 54 years15 to 19 years


Click on graph for larger image.

This graph, based on the 2021 population estimate, shows the U.S. population by age in July 2021 according to the Census Bureau.

Note that the largest age groups are all in their late-20s or 30s. There is also a large cohort in their mid-teens.

And below is a table showing the ten most common ages in 2010, 2021, and 2030 (projections are from the Census Bureau, 2017).

Note the younger baby boom generation dominated in 2010. In 2021 the millennials have taken over and the boomers are off the list.

This is why – a number of years ago – I was so positive on housing. And this is still positive for the economy.

Population: Most Common Ages by Year20102021203015031392493040319293844832375472836646334172035358453630918343410522733

IMPORTANT NOTE: The data above is based on the Census 2021 estimates and 2017 projections. Housing economist Tom Lawler has pointed out some questions about earlier Census estimates, see: Lawler: “New Long-Term Population Projections Show Slower Growth than Previous Projections but Are Still Too High”

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