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U.S. Census Shows Aging Gig Harbor Population

According to new numbers released late Wednesday, Gig Harbor got grayer over the past decade.

The population's average age in Gig Harbor, along with Washington state, got older in the past 10 years, with women continuing to live longer than men, according to new U.S. Census data released Wednesday night. 

Within the city limits of Gig Harbor, the  in the last decade.

The city has seen a climb in the older age group. The median age increased from 44.6 years in 2000 to 48.1 years in 2010. The median age for men was 41.8 and 46.5 for women.

With more Baby Boomers entering their golden years, the age group that saw the biggest jump was the 55 to 74 years of age with 563 people. During the ten years, the population in that group grew from 1,392 to 1,955.

In contrast, the demographic for ages 10 through 19 saw a slight decrease with 46 people less in 2010.

In 2000 the total households consisted of 2,880 people. Out of that number, 1,765 of them lived in a family household, and 1,115 people lived in nonfamily households. In 2010, there were a total of 3,291 households, and 1,937 were in a family and 1,354 in nonfamily household.

According to the Census, "family households" include a householder and one or more other people related to the householder by birth, marriage or adoption. They do not include same-sex married couples. "Nonfamily households" consist of people living alone and households which do not have any members related to that person.

Despite an obvious increase in the number of households, the average family size stayed the same with 2.75 in 2000 and 2.69 in 2010.

In addition, the number of total housing units expanded from 3,085 to 3,560. However, the percentages for the occupied and vacant housing remained the same with 93 percent and 7 percent, respectively. The occupied housing jumped from 2,880 to 3,291. The vacant housing also increased from 205 to 269. 

Here’s a look at the numbers:

  • In Washington state, the median age was 37.3 in 2010, up from 35.3 in 2000.
  • The percentage of males to females was the same, 49.8 percent to 50.2 percent.
  • The median age for males was 36.2 and 38.3 for females last year, up from 34.4 for males and 36.3 for females in 2000. 
  • The average household size was 2.51 people, nearly flat from 2.53 in 2000.
  • The average family size was 3.06, about the same as 3.07 in 2000.

But looking at households, families made up 64.4 percent in 2010, down from 66 percent 10 years ago. 

And of those family households, those with their own children under 18 dropped from 32.7 percent to 29.1 percent.

At the same time, the proportion of other relatives living in households jumped considerably. In 2000, the Census counted 236,631 "other relatives" living in all households, or 4 percent of the population. Ten years later, that grew to 349,380, or 5.2 percent -- a 30 percent jump in the proportion.

Our age groups have shifted, too. Children made up smaller percentages of the population in all age groups for the state. For example:

•The percentage of preschoolers shrank slightly, from 6.7 percent in 2000 to 6.5 percent in 2010. The percentage of 5- to 14-year-olds shrank from 14.6 percent to 12.9 percent. And 15- to 19-year-olds shrank from 7.3 percent to 6.9 percent.

Also losing ground was the percentage of 25- to 44-year-olds.

On the growth side, the percentage of 20- to 24-year-olds rose, as did older age groups.

Those 85 and older rose 39 percent, from 84,085 in 2000 to 117,271 last year.

The Census also looked at people’s racial and ethnic backgrounds. Of people who considered themselves one race and Asian, the proportion of people of Indian descent grew the greatest, more than doubling from 23,992, or 0.4 percent of the population, in 2000 to 61,124, or 0.9 percent, last year. Other Asian groups grew more slowly, with the population of Japanese descent actually shrinking, from 35,985, or 0.6 percent, in 2000 to 35,008, or 0.5 percent, in 2010.

Among people who identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, those of Mexican descent grew the most, nearly doubling from 329,934, or 5.6 percent of the population, in 2000 to 601,768, or 8.9 percent, last year.

Other data released Wednesday:

Pierce County:

  • Median age:  34.1 (2000: 34.1) 
  • Males 49.7 percent; females 50.3 percent (2000: unchanged)
  • Median age by gender:  males 34.9, females 36.8 (2000: males 33.1, females 35.1) 
  • Average household size: 2.59 (2000: 2.60)
  • Average family size: 3.09 (3.10)

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