Oil boom fuels drop in age in Great Plains states

An oil drilling rig is seen in an aerial view in the early morning hours of July 30, 2013 near Watford City, North Dakota. (File) (Andrew Burton, Getty Images)
An oil drilling rig is seen in an aerial view in the early morning hours of July 30, 2013 near Watford City, North Dakota. (File) (Andrew Burton, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/26 1:38 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is still growing older, but the trend is reversing itself in the Great Plains, thanks to a liberal application of oil.

Census Bureau data released Thursday shows the median age in the U.S. went up a little bit last year, from 37.5 years to 37.6 years.

When the data is broken down by state, seven states actually got younger — Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The Census Bureau says that the five mainland states are in the middle of the country's oil and gas boom and are attracting young men looking for work.

The largest decline in age — 1.6 years — is in the town of Williams, North Dakota. It's the center of the country's Bakken shale energy boom.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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