Posted on July 30, 2021

California’s White Population Dropped 3% In 4 Years

Susie Neilson, San Francisco Chronicle, June 28, 2021

California grew sluggishly over the last decade compared to other states, losing a congressional representative for the first time in its 170-plus year history. But without people of color, the population would have probably gone down.

That’s according to a new report from the Brookings Institution, which found that the state’s white population declined by about 631,000 people from 2016 to 2020, or close to 3%, likely because of declining birth rates and increased mortality.

In fact, California lost more white residents overall during that time period than any other state — not surprising since it has the largest population of any state. But it was also in the top 10 for greatest loss as a percentage of population, according to the Brookings data.

However, the state’s loss of white people “was more than countered by gains of 850,000 people of color” over the four-year period, the report noted.

California’s population growth was due almost entirely to Asian and Latino residents. The state’s Asian population increased by nearly 7%, or about 360,000 people and its Latino population increased by 418,000 people, an almost 3% jump.

In contrast, the state’s Black population declined by more than 2,700 people in the four-year period, a loss of about a tenth of 1%. It also lost about 4,000 American Indian/Alaska Native people, a 1.4% decrease.


Declining birth rates have also increased the average age of white Americans to nearly 44 years, older than any other racial group. {snip}

Immigration rates, while lower than previous decades, were also higher among populations of color, particularly Latino and Asian populations. {snip}