Latinos outnumber the whites in California in the latest population figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The new figures show that there are 15 million Latinos residing in California, compared to 14.92 million whites in the state as of July 1, 2014.
The new census results also make California the largest state and third overall (Hawaii and New Mexico come as the first two) with Hispanic population. According to the report, high birth rates and immigration are the driving factors in their population growth.
“The growth was fed first by immigration, primarily in the ‘80s and ‘90s and the first part of the 2000s, up until the Great Recession. But then starting in the early 2000s, family growth — just the number of births over deaths — became the primary way that the Hispanic population was growing,” said Roberto Suro, University of Southern California’s professor who was quoted by CS Monitor.
Suro’s opinion was echoed by Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, dean and professor of Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Orozco remarked that Latino’s population growth was specifically fueled by “the second- and third-generation immigrants who are settling down.”
“Where L.A. goes is where the rest of the state goes and where the rest of the country goes. We announce demographically speaking, the future for the rest of the country,” Orozco was quoted by LA Times.
U.S. Census Bureau already disclosed that the Hispanic population dominated the population increase in Texas as of July 2013, recording 228,000. And with such growth rate, it will outnumber the whites in the coming years, although details into such prediction were not provided at that time yet.
Meanwhile, New Mexico reported having the highest percentage of Latinos at 47.7 percent. In a report from LA Times, demographers estimated that Hispanic population would comprise of 49 percent Californians come 2060. Hispanic’s median age—which is relatively young as compared with white—bolstered such prediction by demographers.
The census report says Latinos’ median age is recorded at 29, while the whites, mostly baby boomers, report a median age of 45. Suro was also quoted by LA Times saying the Hispanic population will accelerate.
“This is really the beginning of a new phase that will play out over another generation,” Suro expounded.