More Than Half of California Children Latino, Census Shows

Carol Morello and Dan Balz, Washington Post, March 9, 2011

More than half the children in California are Latinos, according to new census statistics that show the nation’s most populous state rapidly approaching the day when Hispanics overtake whites as the largest minority.

Barely one in four Californians under age 18 are non-Hispanic whites, who declined in number along with black children as the number of Asian American and Hispanic children soared. Because of differing birth rates and migration patterns, the total number of children remained relatively stagnant.

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Among Californians of all ages, the 38 percent who are Hispanic almost equal the 40 percent who are white, a drop of 5 percent. Even in Orange County, where the airport is named after John Wayne, whites are now a minority and Hispanics make up the largest block of school-age children.

“Hispanics are the future of California,” said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution. {snip}

The census statistics released Tuesday suggest the Golden State is losing its luster as growth has slowed and many of its residents have decamped for states where housing is cheaper. But it remains a harbinger of trends that have broad implications across the nation.

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