Latinos set to surpass whites in California


Latinos to become the single largest race/ethnic group in California.

January 23, 2014

The Latino population is projected to surpass that of whites in California in March to become the single largest “race or ethnic group,” according to a report in Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal. Also, the number of residents 65 and older will jump by 20.7 percent over the next five years, the report said.

By March Latinos will make up 39 percent of California’s population, edging out non-Hispanic whites at 38.8 percent.

Reshaping the electorate

“Demographic changes that are coming will reshape the electorate, and in turn that will likely have impacts on policies and issues that decision makers focus on in the coming decades,” said Mindy Romero, director of the California Civic Engagement Project at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change.

More old, fewer young

Retiring Baby Boomers are projected to reshape the labor force in the next 15 years as more than 1,000 Californians will turn 65 years old each day. At the same time, lower birth rates have resulted in fewer young people, with the 18-to-24-year-old group experiencing a 4.5 percent decline and 5- to 17-year-olds increasing just 0.2 percent.


Mindy Romero, UC Davis.

“A big question mark is about what that means for policy for youth,” Romero said. “Older voters often aren’t as supportive of youth-specific policies.”


The median age for Latinos — 28 — shows many are in their childbearing years, which will drive future growth among the group.

[Read the full article by Melody Gutierrez, at, Jan. 16, 2014.]

Media contact:

  • Mindy Romero UC Davis Center for Regional Change,

    College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, contact: