What Is The Working Age Population In The U.S.? [2023]: Statistics On Prime Working Age Population In America

Mar. 1, 2022
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• Demographic Questions

The working age population in the U.S. is 214,779,134. 64.8% of the U.S. population is of working age as defined by the OECD (15-64), and with a 2020 national population of 331,449,281, we’re left with a working age population of approximately 214.8 million.

Year Share of Population That’s Working Age (15-64) U.S. Population Total Working Age Population
1970 61.9% 203,211,926 125,788,182
1980 66.1% 226,545,805 149,746,777
1990 65.8% 248,709,873 163,651,096
2000 66.2% 281,421,906 186,301,301
2010 67.1% 308,745,538 207,168,256
2020 64.8% 331,449,281 214,779,134

America’s working age population reached its highest rate in 2006 and 2007, when 67.3% of the U.S. population was of working age. As of 2020, 64.8% of the American population is between 15-64, which is what the OECD defines as the range of years that qualify as “working age.”

What is the Prime Working Age Population in the U.S.?

The prime working age population in the U.S. is 128.58 million. Prime working age is defined as the ages between 25-54, and America has 128.58 million people who fall into this age bracket as of 2020.

There are 64.42 million men of prime working age and 64.16 million women of prime working age in the United States.

Working Age Population FAQ

1. Is the working age population the same as the labor force?

No, the working age population is not the same as the labor force. The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons, while the working age population is simply a count of the number of people who fall between a particular age bracket (15-64, by OECD definition).

However, for the purposes of calculating labor force particpation rate, it’s essential to know the working age population.

2. How do you calculate the labor force participation rate?

To calculate the labor force participation rate, divide the labor force by the working age population.

For example, if the labor force is comprised of 7,000 people and the working age population is 10,000, the labor force participation rate is 70%.

3. What age group is most employed?

The age group of 35-44 is the most employed. The labor force participation rate among this age group in the U.S. is 77% as of 2020.

4. What age group is least employed?

The age group of 55 and over is the least employed. The labor force participation rate among this age group in the U.S. is 36.4% as of 2020.

Working Age Population as % of Total U.S. Population 1970-2020

Year Share of Population That’s of Working Age (15-64)
1970 61.9%
1971 62.3%
1972 62.8%
1973 63.3%
1974 63.9%
1975 64.3%
1976 64.8%
1977 65.3%
1978 65.7%
1979 66%
1980 66.1%
1981 66.2%
1982 66.3%
1983 66.3%
1984 66.3%
1985 66.4%
1986 66.5%
1987 66.4%
1988 66.2%
1989 66%
1990 65.8%
1991 65.6%
1992 65.5%
1993 65.4%
1994 65.4%
1995 65.4%
1996 65.5%
1997 65.7%
1998 65.9%
1999 66%
2000 66.2%
2001 66.4%
2002 66.6%
2003 66.7%
2004 66.9%
2005 67.1%
2006 67.3%
2007 67.3%
2008 67.2%
2009 67.2%
2010 67.1%
2011 67.1%
2012 66.8%
2013 66.6%
2014 66.3%
2015 66.1%
2016 65.9%
2017 65.6%
2018 65.4%
2019 65.1%
2020 64.8%

References

1. U.S. Census Bureau. “Historical Population Change Data (1910-2020).” Accessed on February 28, 2022.

2. OECD. “Working age population.” Accessed on February 28, 2022.

3. Statista. “Resident population of the United States by sex and age.” Accessed on February 28, 2022.

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Author

Matthew Zane is the lead editor of Zippia's How To Get A Job Guides. He is a teacher, writer, and world-traveler that wants to help people at every stage of the career life cycle. He completed his masters in American Literature from Trinity College Dublin and BA in English from the University of Connecticut.

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