The median age of people living in Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming declined last year, defying a greying trend across all of the other lower 48 states.
And it’s because Bakken is attracting younger workers to the oil and gas industry.
The only other U.S. states to record declines in the average age of residents were Alaska and Hawaii.
The median age in the United States last year rose from 37.5 years to 37.6 years, according to data released Thursday by the Census Bureau.
But Census Bureau Director John Thompson said, “The population in the Great Plains energy-boom states is becoming younger and more male as workers move in seeking employment in the oil and gas industry, while the U.S. as a whole continues to age as the youngest of the baby boom generation enter their 50s.”
“Williams County, North Dakota, which the Census Bureau called the center of the country’s Bakken shale energy boom, had the largest decline in age in the United States — 1.6 years,” the AP said.
Montana’s median age dropped from 39.962 to 39.898, North Dakota from 35.881 to 35.270, Oklahoma from 36.233 to 36.226, South Dakota from 36.841 to 36.818, and Wyoming from 36.854 to 36.828.
Alaska dropped from 33.606 to 33.246, and Hawaii dropped from 38.138 to 37.963.
Sumter County, Florida had the highest median age at 65.5.
Madison County, Idaho had the lowest at 23.1.
Only 10 states had more men than women in 2013, and again the influence of the oil boom was evident.
The states were Alaska at 52.4 percent, North Dakota at 51.1 percent, Wyoming at 51 percent, Hawaii at 50.5 percent, Nevada at 50.4 percent, Utah at 50.3 percent, Colorado, South Dakota, and Montana at 50.2 percent and Idaho at 50.1 percent.
Delaware had the highest percentage of women at 51.6 percent, Rhode Island at 51.6 percent, Massachusetts at 51.5 percent and Maryland at 51.5 percent.
The District of Columbia had a higher percentage of women than all the states at 52.6 percent, the AP said.