Thursday, May 12, 2011
SAN DIEGO San Diego County is getting older. Between 2000 and last year, the region’s population grew by more than 281,000 people. But not even 14 percent –- or just over 38,000 of those new people -- were under the age of 18.
As the proportion of young people shrank to 23.4 percent, the number over 65 ticked up to 11.35 percent of the population.
Considering this change, the fact that the state and municipalities are cutting education funding and other programs that support children concerns Norma Ojeda, a demographer at San Diego State University.
“It’s like a kind of red light to me," she said. "In the sense that our younger population is smaller. So we better take care of them to make sure that they become – shall we say – good taxpayers. Because we’re going to need them.”
The region’s future workforce will have to be economically healthy to provide the services an older population will require, Ojeda said, adding that as the population ages labor policies that recognize the new make-up of the family will be important for several reasons.
“There are many labor policies that we can put in action to make sure that both women and men can fulfill the responsibilities to provide care for the children, bring resources to home –- economic resources to the home -– but also to be there when our elderly relatives need us," she said.
Del Mar, Solana Beach, Coronado and La Mesa had the highest proportion of older residents, while Chula Vista, Escondido and Vista had the highest percentage of children.