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Northwoods' Aging Population Grows More Rapidly

A local UW-Extension agent says the population shift toward more older residents in Wisconsin is even more pronounced in the Northwoods.The U-S Census Bureau says 14 percent of the state’s population was 65-or-older as of last July. That’s .7 percent more than in the 2010 Census. Wisconsin had an estimated 824,500 seniors as of last July. That includes 124,000 who were 85-or-older – an increase of 6,000 during the previous two years. Also, Wisconsin’s percentage of senior citizens is larger than the national figure of 13.7  percent.

Oneida County Family Living agent Erica Brewster says the trend is even more visible in this region.

"Looking at the median age in the county, in Wisconsin, it's about 38, which is just about what the national median age is at 37, but here in Oneida county and surrounding counties, the median age is older, at 48 years of age."

Brewster says this aging population will need services.

"...a much older population needing more services in healthcare and transportation, but not having the younger population there to provide some of those services. Our working population has decreased in the ages of 25 and 44. It used to be a quarter of the population, now you're down to 20 percent."

For the first time, the median age of Wisconsin women is above 40.

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