Alabama is growing slightly more diverse, while also producing fewer babies, according to a U.S. Census report released this week.
The new figures on age and race within states and counties show that half of Alabamians were older than 37.9 years of age in 2010. That median — or middle mark — is now up to 38.6-years-old as of 2014.
That’s because Alabama saw about 10,000 fewer young children from 2010 to 2014. The Census shows 305,000 children under the age of 5 in 2010. That was down to 295,000 in 2014.
The new report is broken down by race, and the decline can be seen across racial and ethnic groups. White and black, Hispanic and Native American, all saw fewer young children in Alabama in 2014.
There was a slight increase in recent births among the state’s small Asian population. But the only category to see any sizable growth among the youngest members were those reporting as “two or more races.”
That was the fastest growing category for race or ethnicity from 2010 to 2014, climbing from 64,000 Alabamians in 2010 to 75,000 in 2014. Nationwide, about 2.5 percent of Americans now answer as “two or more races.”
Meanwhile, Alabama has seen a steady year-over-year rise in the number of residents over the age of 65. For instance, Alabama had about 77,700 residents over the age of 85 in 2010. That had climbed each year to reach 83,600 residents over 85 in 2014.
The Census report this week shows Maine with the highest median age at 44.2 and Utah as the most youthful state with a median age of 30.5.
Within Alabama, the new numbers on race and ethnicity show that Pickens County saw the largest jump in Hispanic population, climbing 170 percent since 2010. But that’s still fewer than 1,000 residents in the small county. Most counties saw more modest gains.
Only Barbour, Tallapoosa, Montgomery, Jefferson and Chilton saw a drop in the Hispanic population since 2010. Jefferson County, home to the state’s largest Hispanic population, dropped about 3 percent from about 25,500 Hispanic residents to just under 24,900 in 2014.
Mobile County has the largest Native American population at about 4,000 residents. Jefferson has the state’s largest Asian population at 10,500 residents, followed by Madison County at 9,000.
There were slight changes in terms of white and black demographics.
Macon and Greene counties continue to have the highest percentage of black residents at just over 80 percent, while Winston and Cullman in north Alabama continue to have the highest percentage of white residents at just over 96 percent.
However, all four counties had grown slightly more diverse in the last four years. For instance, Macon County went from 83 to 81 percent black as the county shrank. Winston went from 97 to 96 percent white as the small black population doubled.
The Census released overall population estimates for states, counties, metro areas and cities earlier this year.
Alabama in 2014 had 4.85 million residents. The new report shows about 70 percent are white, 27 percent are black, nearly 2 percent are “two or more” races and 1 percent are Asian. Here’s the racial breakdown and median age for the state’s four most populous counties.
|White||Black||Native American||Asian||Two or more||Median age|
Updated at 9:45 a.m. on June 28, 2015: Readers have requested data for Hispanic residents. The Census separates race and Hispanic origin. Residents are asked to identify as white and Hispanic, or white and non-Hispanic, black and Hispanic, black and non-Hispanic, etc.
Overall 4.1 percent of Alabamians in 2014 identified as Hispanic, up from 3.8 percent in 2010. Here are the five counties with the largest Hispanic population. Each sits in North Alabama and each is home to the state’s massive chicken industry.