CALIFORNIA – A Country Masquerading as a State
The title of this entry came from a quote from Jack Kyser, the chief economists for LA County. According to this article in the LA Times today, the State Department of Finance projects that over the next half-century, California’s population "will explode by nearly 75%." In other words, the predictions are that there will be 60 million Californians by 2050. This is a significant increase from the 34.1 million California residents in 2000, according to the census.
That is pretty crazy to think about. If these projections hold out, what will this mean for California, and how will California support such a population? Where will the population increase the most?
There is debate whether California will continue to sprawl or go for more skyscrapers. With technology it is safer to build higher in the level four earthquake zones. But regardless of whether California goes high or wider, there will need to be many public improvements in the areas of transportation and other services for California to hold this kind of population well.
Southern California’s population will grow close to what the entire state population is now, to over 30 million people and Riverside County will become the 2nd largest county in the state, with a population of 4.7, growing from 1.6 million. It will only be surpassed by Los Angeles County, which will go from 10 million to 13.5 million. The demographics will also be changing. In 2000 the white population was 47% of California residents, but by 2050 the Latino population will be the clear majority amounting to 52% of the population. Both Asian and Latino populations will grow, while the percentage of the white and black population will decrease.
Part of what this means is that as the people of God who reside in California, we should be a part of helping California prepare for this population growth, by taking seriously our cultural mandate to steward the earth well. It is also an additional motivation to learn Spanish, if we want to plant missional churches in this state.
If you want to find out other statistical predictions, then check out the entire article from the LA Times.