New California Department of Finance Population Report Shows Growth Will Continue Unabated

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

March 20, 2017

The California Department of Finance released its latest population projections for the state. According to its press release, from 2016 to 2036, California will add 6.5 million people to its current 39.4 million populace. Furthermore, the state will hit 45 million by 2035, and 50 million during 2055.

The report makes a heroic effort to put the alarming growth in the best possible light. State demographers note that during the next two decades California’s annualized growth will be 0.76 percent, which to the uninitiated sounds low, but isn’t. The report adds that the state will “join the ranks of Japan and many European countries that have more births than deaths…” while casually noting that “migration is expected to keep California’s population growth positive,” a low-key acknowledgement of immigration’s primary role in in the state’s unsustainable growth.

Runaway population growth gobbling up open spaces,
paving over farmland and endangering species.

Other key takeaways: over the next several decades, California’s Hispanic population will increase while whites will be fewer; the state is aging, and already overcrowded urban centers like Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, the Central Valley and San Bernardino County will experience the most dramatic population growth.

But there’s no minimizing the bottom line: California’s population will continue to swell, and immigration is a key component of that growth. The report admits that since 2000, 40 percent of children born in California have at least one foreign-born parent.

A 2014 CAPS ad campaign focused on the relationship between immigration and population growth. Based on U.S. Census Bureau and California Department of Public Health data, more than 98 percent of the population increase is driven by mass immigration and births to immigrants. Immigration’s direct and indirect contribution to California’s growth between 1 April 2000 and 1 April 2010 is analyzed in this CAPS’ analysis.

Immigration is a controllable variable. Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to urge your senators to support the RAISE Act which would eliminate family-based immigration and the diversity visa, two major contributing factors to higher population.

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