At the end of the year, it’s likely that both Maine and Florida will have more elderly residents than children, “a ratio that’s unprecedented in U.S. history but one that’s coming soon to several more states,” writes Wall Street Journal staffer Paul Overberg.
According to Census Bureau estimates featuring figures about July 2015, Maine had just 2% more children under 18 than adults 65 or older. Florida had just 4% more. As recently as 2010, their margins were 30% and 23%, respectively. The U.S. margin was 54% last year, and 84% in 2010.
The first two states to reach this milestone did so in very different ways, according to Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire. Maine loses many young adults who move away but its elderly residents show a strong preference to age in place. By comparison, Florida’s retirement migration is strong and rising from recession-dented levels.