Lane County Age and Race Distributions

by Brian Rooney

July 24, 2017

The statewide and Lane County age distributions have two distinct high points, the age groups that include 50 to 64 year olds and the age groups that include 25 to 34 year olds. The former represents the baby-boom generation and the latter, the millennial generation. While boomers are starting to reach retirement age, millennials are entering their prime working years. The result may be a temporary skill shortage as more people retire than there are skilled people to replace them. How serious this skill gap will become is uncertain, but the aging of the baby boomers should create opportunities for younger people who develop the right skills. For instance, the aging of the baby boomers has increased demand for additional health care workers, while retirements in this field will create additional job openings.
The age distribution of Lane’s population is a little different from the statewide distribution in that Lane County has lower percentages of very young people and slightly higher percentages of older people.  Lane has a higher proportion of its population in the young adult (15-24) cohorts. The higher concentration of young adults can be explained by the fact that the University of Oregon and Lane Community College attract tens of thousands of out-of-county young people.
Racial and ethnic proportions in Lane County are similar to the statewide proportions but different from the U.S. Lane County is 89.7 percent white compared with 83.1 percent statewide. The next highest racial category in the county is Asian, at 3.0 percent. The reported Hispanic ethnicity is 8.5 percent in Lane County, compared with 11.7 percent statewide. The U.S. has a higher proportion of blacks (13.3%) than Lane County or Oregon and the Hispanic ethnicity is also higher than Lane County or Oregon at 17.8 percent.


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