Orange County Register News
By RONALD CAMPBELL / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
May 17, 2012
Hispanics likely will overtake whites as the largest ethnic group in California next year, a Register analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows.
The change is coming earlier than the state’s top demographer expected, the result of decades of rapid population growth among Hispanics and decline among non-Hispanic whites or “Anglos.”
Census data released Wednesday shows that California had 37.69 million residents last July 1, 353,000 more than a year earlier. Hispanics and Asians accounted for virtually all of the growth. The white population fell by 37,000.
At that rate Hispanics will eclipse whites, who have dominated California since statehood, sometime in 2013. Since 1990, the white population has declined by 2.1 million while the Hispanic population has grown by 6.3 million.
Bill Schooling, chief of demographic research at the state Department of Finance, had expected the tipping point to come later than 2013. But he agreed the Register’s calculations appeared correct.
“We’ll see some interesting changes to come,” Schooling said. In contrast with the 1950s, when most Californians came from other U.S. states, he said, today most Californians either are natives of the Golden State or are foreign-born.
According to the 2010 American Community Survey, 62 percent of California Hispanics are native-born Americans and another 12 percent are naturalized citizens. The remaining 26 percent, 3.7 million people in all, are not citizens.
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