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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

June 26, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Census: Influx of young guys reverses aging trend in county

King County is getting younger and more male: is it the "brogammers"? (Photo: Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

Are “brogammers” the reason the county is getting younger and more male? (Photo: Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

King County is suddenly looking a little younger. And more male.

For more than a decade, the county’s population — like the nation’s — has been steadily aging as the boomer generation edges toward its golden years.

But Census Bureau data released today show a surprising reversal in King County between 2012 and 2013.

Even as the U.S. median age continued to rise in this period, here in King County, the age ticked down by one tenth of a year to 37.2.

Granted, it’s a small decline, but it’s the first one we’ve had since the 2010 Census.

How did King County buck the aging trend?

My analysis of census data shows that millennials — and especially the guys — are responsible.

Nearly one third of King County’s growth in 2013 was due to young adults ages 20 to 34. The county added 11,200 of them — the largest increase of any age group.

That was just enough to offset the county’s graying trend.  The population age 65 and older grew by 10,700 last year.

The Census data show that of the newly arrived millennials, three out of five are guys.

Are you thinking “tech workers”? Yeah, me too.

Overall, King County gained 3,600 more men than women last year.

That is a big gap. In fact, among all counties in the U.S., King ranks third for the most male-lopsided population growth in 2013. Only Honolulu and Los Angeles counties were numerically more weighted toward the guys.

And this represents another reversal for King County. One year earlier, women outnumbered men by 700 among new county residents.

While there are still more women than men here, the gap has shrunk from 6,500 in 2010 down to 1,700 in 2013.

Also in the new census data:

Like the rest of the country, King County continues to diversify. Whites who are not Hispanic account for 63.2 percent of the population in the new data, down from 63.8 percent in 2012.

All race and ethnic groups in King County saw population growth between 2012 and 2013. The fastest-growing groups are Asians and Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders. Both grew by about 4 percent in 2013. Whites increased at the slowest rate — 1.3 percent.

Asians were not just the fastest-growing group — they also had the largest numerical gains. King County added 12,200 Asians last year — slightly more than the 11,500 increase in the white population.

This marks the third consecutive year in which Asians were the largest group of new residents in King County.

Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, king county


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