Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Just In: New Census Data

More of Montgomery County’s young adults, likely facing economic challenges, are living with their parents, according to information about households released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau. From 2000 to 2010, the number of adult children living at home in Montgomery grew 36 percent.

Montgomery County also saw a 19.3-percent increase in the past decade of households headed by women. Households led by females with children experienced a 10.6-percent increase over a decade ago.

Another indication of changing local households is a slowing trend of two-parent, traditional couple households. In 2010, the husband-wife family – married with children under-18 years old – made up 26 percent of the county’s population, down from 28 percent in 2000.

Those conclusions were drawn by planners and demographers at the Planning Department in response to Thursday’s 2010 U.S. Census release, Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics. The profiles focus on household characteristics and ages.

They also found that Montgomery County’s population is aging, with more than 12 percent now in the 65 and older category. In the past decade, Montgomery County’s 45-64 age group increased by 28 percent. This group of prime wage earners – the Baby Boom generation – will swell the ranks of the elderly in the coming years.

In 2010, the median age in the county was 38.5, up from 36.8 in 2000.

Montgomery County households reflect the aging trend. Over the past decade, the county saw an increase of 25 percent in households with people over age 65, totaling 86,105 (24 percent of households) in 2010.

The aging population has tremendous implications for local economic development, delivery of social services and community planning. The aging trend reinforces the need to provide a diversity of housing options, transportation options and other services that help the elderly age in place. Current county master planning efforts propose mixed uses in strategic areas near transit that can provide places to live and mobility choices that span generations. Those options include a diversity of housing to serve both the elderly as well as 20-somethings.

The Census release also detailed the changing faces of Montgomery County, with detailed information about residents’ racial background. Asians make up 14 percent of Montgomery County, an increase of 37.3 percent since 2000. The total population of Asians is 135,973, of which the largest Asian group in 2010 is Chinese (38,180), a 33.5-percent increase. Asian Indians (32,979), the second largest group, have grown by 39.6 percent.

For more Montgomery and neighboring county data from today’s U.S. Census demographic profile release, visit montgomeryplanning.org/research/data_library/census/2010/.

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