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

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Population of Children

In 2007, there were an estimated 75.2 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 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 composed over 12 percent.

Since the 2000 Census, the number of children under 5 years of age has risen 8 percent, while the numbers of children aged 5-9 and 10-14 years have fallen 3.4 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively. The number of adolescents aged 15-19 years of age has risen just over 6 percent, while the number of young adults aged 20-24 years has risen nearly 11 percent. The number of adults aged 25-64 years has risen over 9 percent since the 2000 Census, and the number of adults aged 65 years and older has risen more than 8 percent in the same period (data not shown).

The racial/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 2007; Asian/Pacific Islander children represented 2 percent of all children in 1980, but more than 4 percent in 2007. 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, and the percentage who are Black has remained relatively stable.

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