Reading the map: Each panel contains 18 bars representing the distribution of five-year age groups within a locality’s population (from ages 0 to 4 at the bottom to ages 85 and older at the top).
Many of the state’s more rural localities have top-heavy age distributions, as they have large older populations and small working- and school-age populations. Suburban localities, composed largely of working adults and their children, typically display more balanced age distributions. A few localities have spikes in their distributions around ages 15 to 19 and 20 to 24, indicating a significant presence of college students.
Populations are significantly older in Southside, Southwest, and Eastern regions. This upside-down age structure, primarily driven by outmigration of younger population and families, not only presents challenges of elderly support and care, but also explains why the workforce and school enrollment in these areas have been declining.