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County's elder population increasing, middle-aged declining says Census

Hispanic population up 4.6 percent for Idaho County

Pictured at a December 2017 event, attendees at the Grangeville Senior Center enjoy an afternoon meal.

Photo by David Rauzi
Pictured at a December 2017 event, attendees at the Grangeville Senior Center enjoy an afternoon meal.

As Idaho County’s population gets older, its percentages of youth and the middle-aged are decreasing, according to estimates released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 2017 data shows Idaho County’s median age at 50.1, one of 29 in the state to be above the state’s median at 36. It is also one of six counties – including neighboring Clearwater and Adams counties — to have a median age older than 50.

Hispanic population up 4.6 percent for county

Included within the Census’ data estimates were changes in Idaho’s Hispanic population, and Idaho County’s numbers saw a 4.6 percent increase last year.

In 2017, the county’s Hispanic numbers totaled 567, up by 25 from the year prior, and comprising 3.5 percent of the population. During the 2010-2017 period, Hispanics have increased as a percentage of the population by nearly 1 percent.

The county’s total 2017 population was 16,369, a nearly 1 percent increase (up 141) from the year prior. Those ages 40-64 made up the largest percent (32.7) of the county’s population, followed by those age 65 and older at 27 percent, 0-19 at 21.7 percent and 20-39 at 18.6 percent.

Of the four age brackets, only the 40-64 group saw a decrease from 2016 to 2017; a 2.4 percent drop (down 133). This middle-aged population has been steadily declining in numbers, going back to Census data starting in 2010 where the population was at 6,219, and since then has seen year-to-year drops of between 1.7 to 3.1 percent to where it is at 5,360 in 2017.

The 0-19 bracket increased by 24 last year (up 0.7 percent) for a total 3,544. However, it has seen a net decline since 2010 when the population was at 3,743. During these eight years, four have seen marginal growth – 0.3 to 0.7 percent – but otherwise decreases between 1.7 to 3.1 percent.

In contrast, more of the county’s population are becoming eligible for senior discounts.

The 65 and older bracket has increased steadily since 2010 when it reported 3,473 total, climbing between 2.2 to 4.6 percent to a total 4,423 in 2017.

The 20-39 age bracket has seen a net increase during the 2010-2017 period, from 2,867 to 3,042. Apart from two years that saw population decreases between 0.2 to 0.6 percent (drops of 18 and 5, respectively), the remainder saw increases between 1 to 2.5 percent.


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