California’s New Minority Group: White People
According to a new report by SFGate, California is set to become America’s first minority-majority state as the state’s Latino population is expected to surpass the population of white people by March. According to the latest population projections, Latinos are set to make up 39 percent of the state’s population while non-Hispanic whites will make up 38.8 percent. Asians make up 13 percent of the state’s population while African-Americans make up just over 7 percent.
California is the biggest state in the union with a population of more than 38.2 million people, expected to grow by another 300,000 by summer. Just 25 years ago, California’s population was 57 percent non-Hispanic white and 26 percent Latino. Latinos were expected to surpass the white population last year but birth rates were below their projections. Some projections also expect the Latino population to make up more than 50 percent of the state’s population by 2042.
Aside from more diverse, the state is also getting older. The number of Californians over 65 is expected to increase by 21 percent over the next five years. With changing demographics comes a reshaping of the entire electorate. Services for the elderly become a bigger issue as the electorate grows older which means more reallocation of funds toward retiree programs. With a more diverse electorate, income disparities between socio-economic groups become more pronounced and a larger amount of voters could push for more social and educational programs in struggling neighborhoods.
Mindy Romero, director of the California Civic Engagement Project at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change told media that “Demographic changes that are coming will reshape the electorate, and in turn that will likely have impacts on policies and issues that decision makers focus on in the coming decades.”
Romero also noted that “a big question mark is about what that means for policy for youth, older voters often aren’t as supportive of youth-specific policies.”
(Image courtesy of Marshall Astor)