Wyoming grows older; energy downturn partly to blame

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - U.S. Census figures indicate that Wyoming's population is getting older.

The Census Bureau estimates that the number of people age 65 and over in the state grew 3.7 percent between July 2016 and July 2017.

The median age of Wyoming residents rose the fastest in the country to 37.7 years during the period. However, Wyoming ranks the 16th youngest state in the nation.

State economist Wenlin Liu says the downturn in Wyoming's energy industry played a big role as many younger workers left the state.

The state's oldest county was Platte, with 25.1 percent of its population age 65 and over in 2017, followed by Hot Springs, Johnson, Park and Niobrara.

Albany County was the state's youngest, with median age of 27.6, followed by Campbell, Sweetwater and Uinta counties.