Population Research and Policy Review 21: 73–90, 2002.
© 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Age-sex structure of the United States in 2000: Early results from
RENEÉ E. SPRAGGINS, JULIE A. MEYER, LISA I. HETZEL & DENISE
U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC, USA
Abstract. Recently data on age and sex for the United States have been released in the Census
2000 data product Summary File 1. This paper presents some early analysis on the shape of
the age and sex structure from Census 2000 data through statistics and graphics on national
and sub-national levels. Also highlighted are comparisons with data from the 1990 census.
Keywords: Census, sex, age
In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau counted 281.4 million people in the United
Of this number;
• 72.3 million, or 26 percent of the U.S. population, were under age 18;
• 174.1 million, or 62 percent, were age 18 to 64;
• 35.0 million, or 12 percent, were age 65 and over;
• 143.4 million, or 51 percent were female; and
• 138.1 million, or 49 percent were male.
This paper provides a portrait of the age-sex structure of people in the
United States. It highlights information about various age groups in the na-
tion, the four regions, states, counties, and places with populations of 100,000
or more. It also includes comparisons with data from the 1990 Census.
The age and sex questions in the census
Since it was ﬁrst taken in 1790, the decennial census has gathered information
on the age and sex distribution of the population. For over 200 years, this
has served as a basic source of information on males and females, and the
changing distribution of ages in the United States. The decennial censuses
provide data by age and sex for many levels of geography, such as state,
county, city, census tract, and block.