Legislative Analyst's Office, December 2000
California's Economy and
Budget in Perspective
2000 Cal Facts
California's Population Has
Increased Dramatically Over Time
- California is now home to roughly 35 million people, a 15 million increase over the past 30 years.
- It took about 100 years to reach the 10 million mark, but since then California has been adding 10 million people every 20 years.
California Is Adding a Half-Million
Annual Population Growth
- Population is growing by roughly 1.6 percent annually--well above the nation's annual growth of about 1 percent.
- California's population was growing over 2 percent annually prior to the recession of the early 1990s. However, during the recession
population growth slowed considerably.
- Currently, the state is adding about 560,000 persons annually--roughly equal to a city the size of Bakersfield or a state the size of Vermont.
- Of the annual growth, about half is from "natural increases" (births minus deaths) and half from net in-migration.
More People Again Moving
Total Foreign and Domestic Net In-Migration
- California net in-migration (defined as persons entering California minus those leaving) totals more than a quarter million persons annually.
- Foreign net in-migration accounts for the majority of total in-migration. It is consistently in the 200,000-to-300,000 range annually.
- In contrast, domestic net in-migration is volatile, being positive when our economy is strong and negative when it is weak. Outflows
exceeded 300,000 annually during the recession, but modest inflows now exist.
Most Californians Live in
Densely Populated Areas
Persons Per Square Mile
- California is more densely populated than the United States as a whole--220 versus 78 persons per square mile. Density varies widely by
- California also is more urbanized than any other state. Over 90 percent of its people live in urban areas.
- San Francisco is the most densely populated California county--17,000 people per square mile.
How Fast Are Different
Changes in Populations--1995 Through 2000
- Over the past five years, California's population grew by 2.4 million.
- Although less-dense inland counties tend to be growing the most in percentage terms, the larger, more urbanized counties are adding the
most people. For example, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties accounted for 43 percent of statewide growth since 1995.
Californians' Average Age Rising As
Baby Boomers Grow Older
Population Change--2000 Through 2006
- Californians' average age is increasing, as baby boomers enter their 50s and continue to cause rapid growth of the 45-64 age group.
- The K-12 school-age population will grow at a rate slower than the general population over the next several years. The number of
preschoolers is projected to grow even less--indicating that the K-12 population's growth will continue slowing.
- In contrast, projected college-age population growth is above average, portending an upsurge in college enrollments.
No Single Ethnicity to Dominate
California's Ethnic Mix in 2000
- No single ethnicity will dominate California in the 21st century.
- Currently, the white population accounts for half of Californians. However, its share has been declining and will continue to do so as its
growth trails that for other ethnicities.
- The Hispanic and Asian populations are growing most rapidly. Their average annual growth rate of nearly 3 percent is seven times faster
than that for whites.
A Quarter of Californians
Are Foreign Born
- One-in-four of California's current residents--8.1 million people--were born outside of the United States. This compares to one-in-ten
- Over three-fourths of foreign-born Californians live in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles (4.8 million) or San Francisco (1.4 million).
- About half of foreign-born Californians are Hispanic, while another third are Asian.
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