California’s population getting grayer, new projections show

California population growth chart
Read more here: MillerJim Jim Miller
Jim Miller
March 10, 2017
Sacramento Bee

Rising life expectancies and falling birth rates mean California will get increasingly older over the coming decades, with almost a quarter of residents being 65 or older by 2036, according to new population projections from the Department of Finance.

At the same time, declining birth rates mean California eventually will join the ranks of Japan and some countries in Europe where deaths exceed births. Migration from other states and countries will be the only thing generating state population growth.

The combination of trends led state demographers to project a state population of about 51 million in 2060, up from 39.4 million in 2016.

Here are some other main numbers from this week’s report:

▪ California’s population will grow from an estimated 39,059,809 in 2016 to a projected 51,058,510 in 2060.

▪ Latinos will represent 46 percent of the population by 2060, up from 39 percent in 2016.

▪ The Millenial Generation (born 1981 to 1997) was the largest in California in 2016, making up 24 percent of the population. Members of Generation X (born 1965-1980) will surpass their Baby Boom predecessors in population size by 2019.

▪ The five largest counties in 2016 – Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside and Orange – will still be the largest counties in 2060.

▪ Californians’ median age was 36.2 in 2016, compared to 37.8 nationwide. By 2036, the median age will be 41, rising to 45 in 2060.