California's Diminishing Resource: Children
California's most valuable asset for a flourishing future is its children. After decades of burgeoning population and economic growth, however, the state now faces a very different prospect. This report provides a summary of California's demographics based on the most recent census data, and finds that dramatic changes are under way among California's children. Growth trends have shifted and children's life circumstances have been altered in significant ways. The most salient finding is that children have been declining in number, concentrating initially under age 10 but now spreading to all those under age 18.
Message from David Alexander, M.D.
Press Release (Spanish)
Video: California's Child Population
Download Charts (.doc)
Child Population Changes, by State: PDF | Excel
Charts: The Demographics of California
Declining Percentage of Children within the California Population
In 2010, a total of 9,295,040 children under the age of 18 resided in California. The percentage of the state's population that comprises children has been declining markedly since at least 1970 and is projected to continue falling in coming decades.
Ratio of Seniors to Working-Age Adults
Between 2010 and 2040 the senior ratio will rise dramatically, according to every forecast. After remaining constant since 1970 at 20 or 21 seniors per 100 working age adults, the ratio rises in California to 28 in 2020, and then to 36 a decade later.
California Poverty Rate, 2010: Percent of Age Groups Below Various Income Thresholds
The percentage of California children living below the federal poverty level has increased in recent years.
Poverty rates for children are much higher than for adults in California.
Birthplace of Children and Parents in California
Few children living in California are foreign born - 5.9% of all those under age 18, and only 1.9% of those under age 6 in 2010. At the same time, half of all California children (50.1%) have one or more immigrant parents.