The age dependency ratio measures how many people in the working-age range of 15 to 64 live in a geographical region compared to the number of non-working people, who are either 0 to 14 years old or at least 65 years old.
A high age dependency ratio means an area has more dependents than workers in it. Notice that the U.S. Census Bureau may use data from people 17 years of age or younger instead of those 14 years of age and younger when making age dependency calculations.
Determining the age dependency ratio matters because it tells us how healthy a population is and how well it's doing economically. A high age dependency ratio usually means that things aren't going well, while a low age dependency ratio usually indicates prosperity.
The closer a population reaches an age dependency of 100, means that it has one new dependent for every one person it produces. The typical age dependency calculation looks like this: The age dependency ratio = The under-18 + 65-and-over populations/18-to-64 population x 100. The Census Bureau calls an age dependency ratio of 100 “less than ideal.” However, a population too close to zero also brings up potential problems brought by low birth rates.
Making use of age dependency data works a bit like this example from Idaho. It reportedly has the highest age dependency ratio in the Nation.
In 2022, Idaho reports indicate a dependency ratio of 70 for the population of 1,896,652 based on 2010 census data. In 2021, this state reportedly led the nation in population growth. This may indicate more births but also means new residents moving to the area.
2021 population estimates indicate that 16.3% of this population includes people ages 65 and over. Persons under 25.1% include children less than 18 years old, and 6.5% are less than 5 years old. This state has finally seen some population growth, but they still may not have a high birth or migration rate.
Age Dependency Ratio
Child Dependency Ratio
|District of Columbia||674,815|