Latino, White Population Trading Places, But Politics Still Behind New Demographic Reality

In the years just after World War II, California’s health department was convinced that one region of the state would absorb most of the area’s surging population, and this projection spurred state officials to create a central repository for population data, in the state’s financial department. That move might have been relegated to the rarely-read annals of bureaucratic history, if it weren’t for a section of the state budget report released by California Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) office last week.At the time, the engineers responsible for building dams, and state staff that oversaw everything from immunizations to schools and roads and bridges, each had their own ideas about population — and thus about where and how public funds should be spent. Half a century later, the health department was right: Brown’s report showed that by July, California’s Latino population will reach parity with the state’s non-Hispanic white population, with each group representing about 39 percent of the people who live in the state. By the end of December, Latinos will outnumber non-Hispanic whites. That’s a population projection that holds meaning not just for California but also for the nation, said Steve Murdoch, a demographer and the former head of the U.S. Census Bureau. Read More…

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Latino, White Population Trading Places, But Politics Still Behind New Demographic Reality

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