How Many Adults Live in the US?


In 2018, an estimated 327,167,434 people lived in the United States and Puerto Rico, according to data reported by the US Census Bureau. Of these individuals, 253,768,092 were adults that were 18 years old or older. This is equal to 77.6 percent of the country’s population. Utah reported the lowest adult population, with 70.5 percent of its residents being of legal adult age. The District of Columbia had the highest adult population, with a reported 81.9 percent of its residents being 18 years old or older.

The US Census Bureau conducts in-depth surveys every 10 years known as the decennial census. The information collected includes the age, sex, race, occupation and living arrangements of all citizens. This data is used to make decisions concerning government, housing, job creation, healthcare services and education.

Life Expectancy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy of adults living in the United States is 78.6 years. This is based on reports collected from Medicare data from 2017 and the US Census from 2010. When compared to information for 2016, the average life expectancy shows a decline of 0.1. Statistics support that the factors causing the life expectancy decrease are directly related to social risks and financial status. 

Health Concerns

American adults are faced with a wide range of health concerns affecting their life expectancy. This is even taking into account the changes in healthcare. The four leading health concerns include:h

  • Drug overdoses
  • Suicide
  • Liver disease
  • Stress-related conditions

Middle-class adults are reportedly experiencing the fastest decline in life expectancy. This has been a trend seen since the early 1980s when manufacturing jobs took a hit and began to fade away. These situations led to an increase in stress for meeting financial obligations, lost medical coverage and depression. The result was a higher level of dependency on drugs and alcohol, lack of nutrition and neglected medical care among adults.

Financial Status

Based on data from the US Census Bureau from 2018, the median household income for American adults was $63,179. Adult men made an average earning of $55,291, while adult women reportedly earned $45,097. This information is based on full-time employment.

The poverty level of 2018 dropped to 11.8 percent, which was down 0.5 percent from the 12.3 percent reported in 2017. This equates to 38.1 million American adults living in poverty in the United States. The biggest group of adults living in poverty were those 25 years old and older who didn’t possess a high school diploma or GED.

Education estimates that 65 percent of all jobs require training beyond a high school diploma. However, 59 million out of the 166 million working adults have a high school education or less. This is taking a toll on the health and lifestyles of American adults, resulting in changes to their life expectancy.

Statistics show that full-time workers with a high school diploma earn approximately $10,000 more than workers without a diploma. Workers with some college education earn $13,000 more than those without this level of training. Meanwhile, college graduates with at least an associate’s degree have earnings of at least $40,000.