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Adirondacks get a bit grayer

Essex County, LP, TL age faster than others

May 13, 2011
By JESSICA COLLIER - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Both Essex and Franklin counties are following the state trend of getting older on average, especially in more rural areas, according to data the U.S. Census Bureau released this week.

Franklin County, which has a median age of 39.3, is younger than Essex, which has a median age of 44.5 - approaching the state high in Hamilton County of 51.3.

All three of those are higher than the state median age, which was 38 years old.

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The median ages of both Essex and Franklin counties have increased from 2000. Essex jumped 5.1 years from a median age of 39.4 in 2000, while Franklin inched three years older from an average age of 36.3.

Franklin County Legislator Paul Maroun, R-Tupper Lake, said it's likely his county is younger than Essex because the state facilities within it - like the prisons in Malone and Chateaugay, and Sunmount DDSO - draw young men to work there, since they provide jobs with good pay and benefits, in addition to the mainly young men who are incarcerated at the prisons.

That would be supported at least by the difference in numbers between the village of Malone and the town, where two state prisons and the county jail are located. Within the village, the median age is 41, and men make up 45.9 percent of the population. But in the entire town, the median age drops to 37.7 and male population jumps to 63.7 percent of the total people. The median age for men in the town is 35.1, while the median age for women is 43.7.

Franklin County's numbers are also likely affected by the number of young people coming to the area to attend Paul Smith's College.

In the town of Brighton, where the college is located, the census counted 751 people between the ages of 15 and 24, which added up to more than 50 percent of the town's total population.

The three Tri-Lakes villages all fell somewhere between Franklin and Essex counties in terms of median age. Both the villages of Tupper Lake and Lake Placid had median ages lower than Saranac Lake's in 2000, but both jumped to older than Saranac Lake's in 2010.

Lake Placid's median age was the oldest, 41.5, up almost five years from 2000, when the median age was 36.8. Tupper Lake saw an increase of almost four years, from 36.5 in 2000 to 40.3 in 2010.

Saranac Lake's median age was only two years old than it was in 2000 - from 37.6 to 39.6.

Although most municipalities in each county saw shifts in the balance of men and women, both Essex and Franklin counties maintained the exact same proportion of men to women. Franklin County is 54.9 percent men and 45.1 percent women, while Essex is 51.8 percent men and 48.2 percent women.

Those proportions flip the state's, where there are more women than men overall - 48.4 percent men to 51.6 percent women.



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