CASPER — Wyoming’s senior population grew by over 40 percent from 2010 to 2020 — the second-fastest rate in the nation, according to research from AginginPlace.org, an online resource hub for seniors.
The group compared 2010 and 2020 demographic statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau to figure out how states’ age groups have changed.
Across that decade, the number of Wyomingites above age 65 grew from 12.4 to 17.8 percent — an increase of about 43.6 percent.
That rate was second only to Alaska, where the number of senior citizens increased by roughly 70 percent.
From 2018 to 2019, the growth of Wyoming’s senior population outpaced the rest of the nation, according to a fact sheet from Wyoming’s Economic Analysis Division.
The fact sheet attributes that change to the aging Baby Boomer generation and the emigration of younger Wyomingites to other states.
When it comes to average age, Wyoming’s still middle-of-the-road. According to census data, the state had the 20th oldest population in 2020, and the median age hovers around late 30s. Since 2010, the overall adult population has grown by 10.4%.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people under age 18 fell by 1.4 percent.
Despite Wyoming’s aging population, the state is below average when it comes to options for senior care. In its 2020 scoreboard, AARP ranked the state 41st in the nation for choice of setting and care provider.
For those who want to age-in-place, a new housing initiative under Wyoming’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is giving grants for personal care services and disability access modifications.
The Housing Stability Services program, which launched during the summer of 2021, serves adults ages 55 or older and people with disabilities, as long as they’re eligible for ERAP. Each applicant can receive up to $5,000 in assistance.
For information about how to apply for the program, visit health.wyo.gov/aging.