As a nation, we're getting older in the United States.

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age in America is the highest it's ever been - 38.2 years of age. That's up nearly ten years from the numbers in the 1970s.

But at least two Iowa cities are bucking that trend.

KXRB logo
Get our free mobile app

On the 24/7 Wall St list of the American Cities With the Youngest Populations, Iowa's two biggest college towns were in the top 50.

Ames, Iowa
Kyle Kempt via Unsplash

The median age in Ames is 23.5 years - which is the 21st lowest in America.

The city of 66,361 has the 29th lowest percentage of citizens under the age of 18 (15.8%) and the tenth highest percentage of its population enrolled in college (43.4%).

Ames is home to Iowa State University.

Iowa City, IA
Getty Images

Iowa City is the 49th youngest city in America.

The home of the University of Iowa has a median age of 26.3 years.

Ames (population 75,849) has the 29th highest percentage of its population enrolled in college (34.4%).

Three U.S. cities actually have median ages below 20.


  1. Kiryas Joel, New York (14.1)
  2. Lakewood, New Jersey (16.8)
  3. Eagle Mountain, Utah (19)
  4. University (Orange County), Florida (20.8)
  5. East Lansing, Michigan (21.4)
  6. Amherst Town, Massachusetts (21.4)
  7. State College, Pennsylvania (21.5)
  8. West Lafayette, Indiana (21.6)
  9. College Park, Maryland (21.7)
  10. Blacksburg, Virginia (21.8)

The average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. is now about 77 years, five years longer than it was in the mid-1970s.

Experts say falling birth rates and tightened restrictions on immigration during COVID have accelerated the aging of the population.

The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest

The 100 Best Places to Live on the East Coast

The 100 Best Places to Live on the West Coast

More From KXRB