Number of Californians Keep Growing — Just Not As Quickly

Often overshadowed by the doom-and-gloom of spending cuts proposed in the governor’s January budget plan are demographic estimates of how California will grow over the next five years.

The numbers are important – particularly those of the US Census – because they determine the amount of funds the state receives from the federal government.

There’s bad news for California in the initial results of the 2010 census, according to Page 71 of the 178-page summary of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget.

The census finds 37,253,956 residents of the Golden State as of April 2010.

“While this count is considerably lower than expected, insufficient information is currently available to determine to what extent it reflects an undercount and the degree to which (the state) Department of Finance’s estimates should be adjusted, the spending plan says.

Brown’s Department of Finance estimates there are nearly 38.8 million residents as of mid-2010. That is expected to climb to 39.1 million by July and 39.5 million by the middle of 2012.

During the next five years, the state’s population will grow by an average of 423,000 annually, hitting nearly 41 million in July 2015, the department predicts.

There will be more than 50 million Californians by 2032 although the department cautions that long-range estimate was made prior to the recession and that slower growth in recent years could delay that milestone.

This year, People moving to California from other states or countries – minus those that leave – will account for 29 percent of the growth.

The remainder will be births outpacing deaths.

Overall the state’s population growth over five years will be 5.5 percent.

But that growth is anything but evenly distributed among age groups.

Propelled by Baby Boomers reaching retirement age. Californians 65 years of age and older will climb more than 17 percent over five years.

In contrast preschool age kids will grow by less than 1 percent.

Those Californians considered to be of “working age” – ages 25 to 64 – will climb by 5.5 percent, boosting tax revenue to the state.

College age Californians – ages 18 to 24 – and those between the ages of 5 and 17 while both grow roughly by 2.5 percent.

In 2009, the US Census estimated that 41.7 percent of Californians were white versus 65.1 percent nationwide.

Hispanics or Latinos comprise 37 percent of the state’s population versus 15.8 percent of the nation’s.

Asians represented 12.7 percent of Californian’s population, 4.1 percent nationwide.

Blacks were 6.6 percent of California’s population but 12.9 percent of the nation’s.


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