Population of Children

In 2006, there were an estimated 73.7 million children under 18 years of age in the United States, representing nearly 25 percent of the population. Young adults aged 20–24 years composed slightly more than 7 percent of the population, while adults aged 25–64 years composed over 53 percent of the population and adults aged 65 years and older accounted for more than 12 percent.

Since the 2000 Census, the number of children under 5 years of age is estimated to have risen 6.4 percent, while the number of children aged 5–19 years has risen nearly 2 percent. The number of adults aged 65 years and older, however, has risen more than 8 percent in the same period.

The ethnic makeup of the child population reflects the increasing diversity of the population over the past several decades. Hispanic children represented 9 percent of all children in 1980, compared to more than 20 percent in 2006; Asian/Pacific Islander children represented 2 percent of all children in 1980 and more than 4 percent in 2006. While the percentage of children who are Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander has more than doubled since 1980, the percentage who are non-Hispanic White has declined. The percentage of children who are Black has remained relatively stable.

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