Kids Represent a Shrinking Share of the U.S. Population in 2016

Posted July 7, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

In 2016, 73.6 mil­lion peo­ple23% of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion — were chil­dren. Approx­i­mate­ly 66% of the nation’s child pop­u­la­tion — 48.6 mil­lion kids total — are age 11 or younger. The remain­ing 25 mil­lion chil­dren are 12 to 17 years old.

Over the past two decades, the nation’s pop­u­la­tion grew by 20%, from 269.4 mil­lion in 1996 to 323.1 mil­lion in 2016. Dur­ing this same time frame, the nation’s child pop­u­la­tion increased by only 5% — from 70.2 mil­lion to 73.6 mil­lion. As a result, chil­dren now rep­re­sent a shrink­ing share of the U.S. population.

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