Skip to main content

Latinos Will Surpass Whites As California’s Largest Ethnic Group By 2013

It is projected that in July 2013, the non‑Hispanic White  and the Hispanic p...

Above: It is projected that in July 2013, the non‑Hispanic White and the Hispanic population will each represent 39 percent of California’s population. Later in the fiscal year, for the first time since California became a state, the Hispanic population will become the largest group in California.

— This summer, Latinos are expected to surpass non-Hispanic whites as California’s largest demographic group. At the same time, the state’s white population is rapidly aging.

It’s been expected for a while, but now the California state government has pinned a date — July 2013 — when both whites and Latinos are expected to make up 39 percent of the population. After that, Latinos will be on top.

Inside the section demographic information, part of Jerry Brown’s 2013-14 Budget Summary released this month, it says most of the state’s Latinos are young.

In contrast, four-in-ten non-Hispanic whites will be at least 50 years old by July.

“We are expecting a big generation of baby boomer to age and to demand a lot of services,” said Giovanni Peri, an economist at UC Davis. “From personal assistants to, you know, cooking, to home services.”

But these types of demographic changes are already happening on a global scale. "Italy, Spain have had huge immigration booms. They're filling all their elderly care with immigrants from Eastern Europe, from north Africa, and these immigrants go in to do these jobs and then their children go to school there and become well educated."

Peri also cautions against expecting the state’s current workforce to take all those jobs. “Even the new young generation of Latinos will not do these jobs in large part because they are more educated and they're moving toward opportunity, and I think correctly so.”

His solution? Create a guest worker program to take care of aging boomers.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.