WASHINGTON — Oklahoma was one of five states that got “younger” between 2011 and 2012, and the state's median age was more than a year lower last year than the national median, according to a new Census Bureau report.
Oklahoma's median age in 2012 was 36.2 years old, down from 36.3 in 2011. The national median age last year was 37.5 years old, up from 37.3 in the previous year.
The Census Bureau report also looked at expanding minority populations and noted that two counties in Oklahoma became majority-minority counties last year.
Texas County, where the Hispanic population has boomed because of pork processing plants, and Cherokee County, where the Cherokee Nation is based, were among the six U.S. counties that earned the distinction in 2012.
Three of the others were in Texas, and one was in North Carolina.
More than 11 percent — 353 — of the nation's 3,143 counties were majority-minority as of July 1, 2012, the Census Bureau reported.
Nationally, the population of children younger than 5 was 49.9 percent minority in 2012.
“The proportion of young children that is minority has been increasing since the 2010 census, and if this proportional growth continues, we expect that the crossover to majority-minority for this group will occur within the next couple of years,” acting Census Bureau Director Thomas Mesenbourg said.
Oklahoma's population of 3.81 million people in 2012 included 1,889,825 men and 1,924,995 women. The breakdown by age groups shows that men outnumber women in Oklahoma until middle age, when the number of women eclipses that of men.
There were more men than women in every age group in Oklahoma last year under 45.
Beginning with those between 45 and 49, women became the majority in every age group.
Of the Oklahomans 65 or older last year, 235,224 were men, and 299,023 were women.
Of those 85 or older, 22,338 were men, and 43,222 were women.
Only 10 states had more men than women in 2012, the Census Bureau report shows.
Besides Oklahoma, four states and the District of Columbia experienced a drop in the median age.
North Dakota, which has attracted thousands of oil-field workers in recent years, had the biggest drop — 0.5 years.
Other states with a decline were Hawaii, Alaska and Kansas.
According to the data, McIntosh County, in eastern Oklahoma, had the highest median age of the state's 77 counties — 48.1.
Payne County, which includes Stillwater and Oklahoma State University, had the lowest, at 27.2
Oklahoma County's median age was 34.2, the same as in 2011.
In the 2010 head count, the median age in Oklahoma County was 34.3.
The average age in Cleveland County last year was 33; in Canadian County, it was 35.8; in Pottawatomie County, it was 37.1; and in Logan County, it was 38.