- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A report from the U.S. Census Bureau says Nebraska’s foreign-born population ranks among the youngest in the nation.

The Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1lyrU4U ) reports that the bureau released the American Community Survey Thursday, listing the median age of people living in Nebraska but born in another country as 36.5. That makes the state’s immigrant population the sixth-youngest in the country. The national average age is 42.6.

Seven percent of Nebraska residents born in another country are under age 15.

The survey includes statistics from 2010 to 2014.

David Drozd, research coordinator for the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, evaluated the data and says that Iowa has the third-lowest average age of foreign-born residents, trailing North Dakota and South Dakota.

Drozd says that the state’s low unemployment rate during the Great Recession attracted people for work.

“A lot of those might have been second moves of people from states like California, Arizona or Texas, places a little bit harder hit economically,” he said.

Drozd says having a higher concentration of younger residents keeps the state’s birth rates strong.

“These concentrations of younger ages would be at life stages where people are more likely to have birth, so that kind of keeps our birth numbers strong,” Drozd said.

Nebraska ranks 46th for its foreign-born retirees who are baby boomers, and second to last for those years 65 and older.

The research coordinator speculated that the reason for the lower numbers of older immigrants in the state may be due to them leaving the state for retirement in warmer climates or moving closer to family.

“Whenever we lose population they’re going to take their income and their spending and the taxes they pay with them,” he said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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