Census estimates released; Kentucky shows slight population growth

New estimates released by the Census Bureau today show that the resident population of Kentucky was 4,454,189 as of July 1, 2017, an increase of 0.4% from last year and an increase of more than 2.6% from the 2010 Decennial Census.  Kentucky remains the 26th largest state by population, trailing Louisiana (25th) and coming in just ahead of Oregon (27th).

All of Kentucky’s population growth since 2010 has been in the population segment age 65 and older, which has grown by 23% since the last Decennial Census.  The number of individuals younger than 65 has declined during this time.  Persons age 65 and older now constitute 16% of the population, up from 13.3% in 2010 and 12.5% in 2000.  In the past year, more than 52,000 Kentuckians turned age 65.

There were 1,010,539 Kentuckians under the age of 18 in 2017, the smallest number since 2005.  Persons younger than 18 now constitute 22.7% of the state’s total population, compared to 23.6% in 2010 and 24.6% in 2000.

In addition to total population, the newest Census Bureau figures also include estimates of the components of population change within the state.  Despite the shifting age distribution detailed above, the annual number of births in Kentucky remains substantially larger than the annual number of deaths.  Although there are approximately 10,000 more births than deaths in the state each year, this difference has, on average, been declining over the past several years.

Natural increase has accounted for the majority of Kentucky’s population growth since 2010, but migration from abroad has also been an important component of population change.  Since the 2010 Decennial Census, an estimated net 45,944 new Kentuckians have moved into the state from outside of the U.S.  Over this same period the estimated net number of individuals moving between Kentucky and other U.S. states was -12,593, indicating that the Commonwealth lost population to other states.  However, in the past year, the net number of individuals moving between Kentucky and other U.S. states was positive, albeit small.

These most recent population estimates are available only for individual states and the U.S. as a whole.  Estimates of 2017 county populations will be released in March 2018 and estimates of 2017 city populations will be released in May 2018.

The Census Bureau produces annual estimates of the population for the nation, states, counties, and cities and towns, as well as for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and its municipios. Additional information on the Population Estimates Program can be found at https://www.census.gov.

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