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Ohio's median age rising, per Scripps Gerontology chart

11/21/2002

The median age of Ohioans in 2000 was 36, compared to 33 years old in 1990, according to a study by the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University.

In comparing data from the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census reports, researchers created a chart called “Aging in Ohio” that lists the changes in population of Ohioans aged 65-74, 75-84 and 85 and over for each of the state’s 88 counties.

Among their findings: The increase in the proportion of Ohio residents aged 65 and older is 7.2 percent. As Scripps researchers have predicted, there is a decline in population among the “youngest old,” 65-74 years old, of 4.6 percent but increases among 75-84-year-olds of 22.6 percent and among the “oldest old,” 85 and older, of 28.1 percent.

“The fact that the greatest amount of growth is occurring among the ‘oldest old’ has significant implications for health policy and planning and for long-term care services. It’s also important to keep in mind that this growth rate is just a taste of what will happen when baby boomers all reach those age groups,” says Suzanne Kunkel, director of Scripps and associate professor of sociology and gerontology.

County populations include these changes in aging:

County Full 2000 1990/2000Growth inGrowth in

populationmedian ages 65+ pop. 85+ pop.-----__

Cuyahoga1,393,978 34/37 - 1.8% + 33.4%

Franklin1,068,978 30/33 + 12.6% + 27.6%

Hamilton 845,303 32/36 - 1.3% + 21%

Montgomery 559,062 32/36 + 6.5% + 26.6%

Summit 542,899 34/37 + 7.5% + 25.6%

Kunkel, Shahla Mehdizadeh, director of research for the Ohio Long-Term Care Research Project at Scripps, and Valerie Wellin, research assistant at Scripps, assembled the chart report. It was produced with support from the Ohio Long-Term Care Research Project.

Ohio Census data is at www.odod.state.oh.us/osr/cen2000.htm

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