BI population older than most

Sat, 06/23/2001 - 5:00am

Block Island, per capita, has more residents between the ages of 65 and 74 than any other community in the state, and the population here is older (median age is 43) than in most of the cities and towns in Rhode Island (the statewide median age is 36.7). These facts are among numerous tidbits of information in the latest Census 2000 figures detailing New Shoreham's year-round population of 1,010.

The latest numbers cover sex, age, race, family types and housing types for each Rhode Island community and for the state as a whole. The census results can be obtained at

In the categories addressing age, Block Island has 111 citizens between 65 and 74 years of age, comprising 11 percent of the island population. Statewide this age group accounts for 7 percent of the population. On Block Island, 82 percent of the population is older than 18; statewide the percentage is 76.

A recent baby boom, however, pushes Block Island a shade above the 6.2 percent in the under-five age group. The island had 63 children in that group, the census found.

Moving upward in age catagories, five of the younger age groups are smaller in proportion on the island than statewide. The age group 20 to 24 is, in percentages, half the statewide figure.

The figures are as follows: age 5 to age 9, 53 total, 5.2 percent (statewide, 6.9 percent);10 to 14, 41 total, 4.1 percent (statewide, 6.8 percent); 15 to 19, 43 total, 4.3 percent (statewide, 7.2 percent); 20-24, 32 total, 3.2 percent (statewide, 6.9 percent); 25 to 34, 131, 13 percent (statewide 13.4 percent).

The largest segment of the Block Island population is aged 35 to 44, with 183 individuals comprising 18.1 percent of the population. That figure is two percentage points above the state average of 16 percent.

Other age groups above state averages are:

• The 45 to 54 segment, with 170 individuals comprising 16.8 percent of the population; the statewide percentage is 16.2

• The 55 to 59 age group, with 68 individuals comprising 6.7 percent of the island populace, 2 percentages above state figures.

• Ages 60 to 64, 51 total, are 5 percent of the population; the state figure is 3.7 percent.

Those 75 to 84, a total of 51, comprising 5 percent of the Block Island population, are on a par with state figures. There are 13 people on the island above 85, 1 percent fewer compared to state figures.

The island has slightly more females (518) than males (492).

Family types. There are 250 families on the island. Of these, 80 percent included a married couple. Of the 101 families with children under the age of 18, 77 are based on married couples.

In the category of living relationships, 8 percent of the island's population is considered to be living with non-relatives or unmarried partners; the statewide figure is 5 percent.

On Block Island, 19 mothers are living without a husband present. As a percentage, this figure is half the statewide number.

Nearly half the island's households, 222, are considered non-family, which includes single adults. At 47 percent of the households on the island, Block Island is 12 percent above state figures in this category.

Housing. While there are 1,606 housing units on the island, just 472 homes, or 29 percent of all island homes, are occupied year-round and therefore considered "households." Some 70.6 percent of the island's homes are considered to be vacant or seasonal/recreational homes.

Race. 97.8 percent of the Block Island population is considered to be white. Statewide the figure is 85 percent. Six Block Island residents told census takers they were African-American, eight were Asian, three were of "other races"; five were of two or more races. Twelve said they were Hispanic.