Posted on August 10, 2007

Minorities Help Slow Aging Trend

Jared Miller, Casper Star-Tribune, August 10, 2007

Growth in Wyoming’s minority population is one factor in a slowing of the state’s aging trend, officials say.

Minorities accounted for two-thirds of overall growth from 2000 to 2006, according to new U.S. Census Bureau figures.

Young Latinos especially are moving into the state to take jobs. Their average age is 10 years younger than the majority white population, said Wenlin Liu, senior economist with the state Department of Administration and Information.

Latino numbers increased by 12.8 percent between 2000 and 2006, to a total population of 35,729 in July of last year.

Wyoming’s total minority population reached more than 61,000 in July 2006, an increase of about 7,700 since 2000, or 14.4 percent, Census figures show.

All other races, including blacks, American Indians, Asians and mixed races recorded at least double-digit growth, while the majority non-Hispanic white population grew by only 3.1 percent.

However, minorities still make up less than 12 percent of the state’s population, the ninth lowest in the country.

Another factor in Wyoming’s aging slowdown is an increase in children—especially preschool aged—for the first time in many years.

The number of births in 2005, 7,231, was the highest since 1987, Liu said.