U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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U.S. Female Population

The growing diversity of the U.S. population is reflected in the racial and ethnic distribution of women across age groups. The younger female population (under 15 years) is significantly more diverse than the older female population. In 2008, 55.2 percent of females under 15 years of age were non-Hispanic White, while 22.4 percent of that group were Hispanic. In contrast, among women aged 65 years and older, 79.9 percent were non-Hispanic White and only 6.8 percent were Hispanic. The distribution of the Black population was more consistent across age groups, ranging from 14.1 percent of females under 15 years of age to 9.0 percent of women aged 65 years and older.

The racial distribution of females has shifted dramatically since 2000, when Non-Hispanic Whites accounted for 60.2 percent of females under 15 years of age and 83.3 percent of those aged 65 years and older. Hispanic females accounted for 17.5 percent of those under 15 years and 4.9 percent of those aged 65 and older (data not shown).1

Evidence indicates that the prevalence of health conditions vary among women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. With the increasing diversity of the U.S. population, these health disparities make culturally-appropriate, community-driven programs critical to improving the health of the U.S. population.2

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Minority Health. Disease burden and risk factors. June 5, 2007. http://www.cdc.gov/omhd/AMH/dbrf.htm, accessed 11/24/2009.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Minority Health. Disease burden and risk factors. June 5, 2007. http://www.cdc.gov/omhd/AMH/dbrf.htm, accessed 11/24/2009.

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