Child Population, by Age and Gender

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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 73.7 million to about 76.3 million in 2030 (1). Trends also show that by 2050, the U.S. child population will be roughly 32% Hispanic/Latino compared to 39% white (1). In California, Hispanics/Latinos already are the largest racial/ethnic group in the child population, accounting for 51% 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. (2016). Demographic background. In America’s children in brief: Key national indicators of well-being, 2016. Retrieved from:

2.  As cited on, Child population, by race/ethnicity. (2016). California Department of Finance. Retrieved from:
How Children Are Faring
The total number of children in California, 9.1 million in 2016, has shifted in the last 20 years from a low of 9 million in 1995 to a high of about 9.5 million in the mid-2000s. The birth rate per 1,000 women ages 15-44 also has fluctuated from a high of 76 births per 1,000 women in 1995 to a low of 63 per 1,000 in 2013, the most recent year with data. Between 2000 and 2007, the percentage of births to unmarried women in California and the U.S. generally rose, but in recent years the rate has leveled off at about 40%. Children under age 18 comprise 23% of the state's population compared with 28% in 1995. About one-fourth of California's 9.1 million children live in Los Angeles County. San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Santa Clara counties have the next largest child populations. Though these six counties are home to nearly 60% of the state’s child population, counties such as Tulare, Kern, Merced, Yuba, and Colusa have the highest proportions of children within the population, at around 30%.

Hispanic/Latino children make up the largest racial/ethnic group among the state’s child population; 51% of California children are Hispanic/Latino (up from 41% in 1995), and 27% are white (down from 40% in 1995). An estimated 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 2000, 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 Hispanic/Latino student representation has been steadily increasing. Between 2000 and 2016, Filipino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Asian/Asian American student representation remained relatively steady.
Websites with Related Information
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