Children in Rural and Urban Areas (California & U.S. Only)

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Learn More About Demographics

Measures of Demographics on provides the following demographic indicators:


Family Income and Poverty
Family Structure
Food Security
English Learners
Infant Mortality
Teen Births
Why This Topic Is Important

Child population trends help project potential needs for education, child care, health care, and other services for children (1). Nationwide, the child population is projected to grow from its current 74 million (2) to about 80.3 million in 2030 (1). Trends also show that by 2050, the U.S. child population will have roughly equal percentages of Latino and white children/youth (1). In California, Latinos already are the largest racial/ethnic group in the child population, accounting for 52% of children under 18 (2). Understanding the demographic composition of the child population provides important insight into the needs of children today and can guide investments that will best support American youth in the future.

For more information about demographics, see’s Research & Links section.

Sources for this narrative:

1.  Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. (2013). America’s children: Key national indicators of well-being, 2013. Retrieved from:

2.   As cited on, Child population, by race/ethnicity. (2014). California Dept. of Finance, Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 1990-1999, 2000-2010, 2010-2060. Retrieved from:

How Children Are Faring
While the total number of children in California increased between 1995 and 2004, the numbers have been on the decline since then. The birth rate per 1,000 women ages 15-44 also has declined in recent years. However, the percentage of births to unmarried women in California has risen since 2000, from 33% to 40% in 2012, echoing national trends. Children under age 18 comprise about a quarter of the state's population (24%); this has decreased from 28% in 1995. One-fourth (25%) of California's almost 9.2 million children live in Los Angeles County. San Diego and Orange counties had the next largest child populations.

Latino children make up the largest racial/ethnic group among the state’s child population; 52% of California children are Latino (up from 41% in 1995), and 27% are white (down from 40% in 1995). About 11% of California children are Asian American, 5% are African American/Black, almost 5% are multiracial, and less than 1% are American Indian/Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.

Since 1994, the racial/ethnic makeup of the public school population in California has changed. Consistent with child population trends at the state level, African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and white student representation has been declining, while Latino student representation has been steadily increasing. Between 1994 and 2013, Filipino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Asian/Asian American student representation remained relatively steady.
Websites with Related Information
Key Reports
County/Regional Reports
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