15.3 million people
Fairly rural and scattered around the country, these 364 counties are full of retirees and those nearing retirement age. Graying America is middle-income, about $44,000 annually for the median household, and it’s less diverse than the nation as a whole. But, of course, a big defining factor is age. Almost a quarter of everyone in these counties, 24%, is 62 years of age or older and only 21% of the population is under 18. The combined age factor and rural locales make Graying America solidly conservative politically, Mitt Romney captured 56% of its vote in 2012.