Thursday, June 20, 2013

Town and City Median Ages in Herkimer County

So recently I have been posting about the various generational typographies and what life was like for each of the last three generations when they hit the age of 25. An undeniable truth is that our region is getting older!  Of course so is the rest of the’s the aging of the Baby Boomers that’s presently driving our median age higher and higher among other things.

Of course when we hear that the current median age for Herkimer County is 42.0 years of age, we tend to think of that as being evenly distributed around the area. And generally speaking, that perception is fairly accurate. However, the distribution of our population based on age isn’t quite homogenous as one may think.

The graph below shows the median age for each of the towns as well as the city of Little Falls in Herkimer County. Each of the municipalities is shown with their median age (43.0, for example, for the Town of Columbia in Herkimer County) and then a 90% confidence interval has been depicted around that median age based on the margins of error supplied through the American Communities Survey. So in the case of the Town of Columbia, you can see that while the estimated median age is 43.0, we are 90% confident, based on the sampling, that the actual figure (if we were to survey 100% of the Town) would be between 46.3 and 39.7 years of age. Basically this is the same as saying that the estimated median age for Columbia is 43 years of age, +/- 3.3 years.

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So this same process has been used to look at all of the towns and as well as the City of Little Falls. So what does this tell us about the distribution of the population based on their median age then?

Well, in Herkimer County several things stand out. Three towns have populations that are considerably different from the county as a whole – namely the Town of German Flatts, the Town of Little Falls, and the Town of Webb.

German Flatts has a comparatively small confidence interval, spanning only +/- 1.4 years. In addition, German Flatts falls significantly below the median age of the rest of the county at 39.0 years versus the county median age of 42.0. This would suggest that German Flatts has a statistically younger population than the rest of the county.

In much the same way as German Flatts is younger than the rest of the county, the Town of Little Falls is significantly older than other parts of Herkimer County. Again, comparing the Town’s median age of 46.7 to the County’s 42.0, even with the Town’s median age confidence interval of +/-3 years of age, Little Falls is statistically older than the rest of the county.

The clear outlier, however, is the Town of Webb! The median age in the Town of Webb is 57.9 years of age – nearly 16 years higher than the counties. No other municipality even falls within the range of its 90% confidence interval (it stretches from 52.5 years of age to 63.3). Undoubtedly this has to do with many things unique to the Town, including its attraction to retirees.

Here's a table that gives the median age, upper and lower bounds of the 90% confidence interval and, for each town and the City of Little Falls in Herkimer County. Note on the above graph which places over lap and which do not !

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