In 2030, only Florida will have more senior citizens per capita than Maine, according to projections released by the U.S. Census on Thursday.

By then, 26.5 percent of Maine’s population will be 65 or older. In Florida, 27.1 percent of the population will qualify for senior discounts.

The acting state economist, Galen Rose, said he wasn’t surprised.

Numbers released last month by the Census showed Maine had become the oldest state in the union.

Average age: 40.6.

In “the whole country, the average age is getting higher simply because the baby boomers are aging,” Rose said. “That fact that we’re at the top doesn’t mean we stick out like a sore thumb.”

As for the ramifications for the state, he said health services have been the fastest growing industry in Maine for the last 10 years. That’ll continue.

Also look for Medicaid costs – part of which are borne by the state budget – to keep going up.

“We probably will face a labor shortage sometime in the future” because there won’t be enough younger people to fill the jobs, Rose said.

Maine hasn’t been getting the immigrant population seen by other states, and it’s predominantly white. he said. “Whites have the lowest birth rates,” he added.

Currently the youngest state in the country is Utah. Its average age is 27.9. In 2030, that state is also expected to have the fewest seniors, 13.2 percent of the total population.

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