News

Numbers of whites, blacks in decline in California

California’s population increased by over 4 million over during 2000-08, but the change differed dramatically among the state’s seven broad race/ethnic categories, according to new figures from the state Department of Finance. The Finance Department, which writes the governor’s budgets, has a Demographics Unit that tracks the state’s population.

“Of the seven groups, four grew at a much faster clip, one at a more modest rate, but with another barely holding its own while the seventh continues to experience marked decline,” the report said.

Among the findings:
-Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Multirace populations increased their shares of the state’s population by 4.7 percent, 1.36 percent, 0.05 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively.

-The shares of Whites and Blacks declined, down 6.4 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

-The share of the state’s American Indian group increased very slightly, up 0.01 percent over the eight-year period. Although still the largest race/ethnic group, Whites were, by 2008, 40.8 percent of the population, down from 47.2 percent in 2000 and the only race/ethnic group to decline numerically over the period, dropping by about 518,000 persons.

-In the same period, Hispanics added over 3.1 million people, growing to 37.2 percent of the state total.

-Asians grew from 11 percent to 12.4 percent of this total, increasing by about 966,000.

-Blacks added about 7,700 over the period, dropping to a 5.8-percent share of the state total from 6.5 percent in 2000.

-Multirace persons held the next largest share, 2.8 percent, growing to about 1.1 million people from under 650,000 in 2000.

-The two smallest groups, American Indians and Pacific Islanders, held 0.55 percent and 0.37 percent shares of the state population in 2008, adding about 27,000 and 31,000 people, respectively, over the period. These rates of growth and decline across the race/ethnic groups resulted from very different patterns in the components of change (births, deaths and migration).

The changes for the White population in California in the 2000–08 period have been unprecedented in the state’s population history.

Whites experienced natural decrease of population (that is, an excess of deaths over births) in all eight years and experienced net outmigration in seven of the eight years. Net migration was positive only in 2000, with a modest gain of about 91,000 that year. Net outmigration not only began the following year but increased every succeeding year through 2006, when it was about 121,000. It dropped to successively lower levels over 2007 and 2008 but was still substantial, with a net loss of 200,000 from 2006 to 2008.

 Somewhat similarly, the Black population is still growing but only modestly (it increased about 0.35 percent over the eight-year period). Its natural increase of population has declined or slowed year to year, and it has experienced net outmigration every year starting in 2002. American Indians are the only group besides Whites to have experienced natural decrease of population every year in the period albeit the decreases averaged only about 250 per year. And these losses were offset by substantial net inmigration ranging from about 3,100 to 4,500 people a year. As a consequence, the population grew by over 27,000 over the period, a solid 14.8 percent increase for this small group now numbering almost 212,000 statewide.


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