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Study: California's Birth Rate Experiences Unprecedented Drop

Coupled with a growing wave of Baby Boomer retirements, the drop in birth rates has major implications for the state, experts said.

An unprecedented drop in California's child population coupled with a growing wave of Baby Boomer retirements has major implications for the state and should drive lawmakers to adopt policies that will nurture young people with improved educational opportunities and healthcare, according to a report released Tuesday.

An analysis of census data shows that children will make up 21 percent of the state's population by 2030, down sharply from 33 percent in 1970, according to the report by USC's Price School of Public Policy and the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children's Health.

Several factors are behind California's shrinking child population, including declining birth rates, fewer newcomers coming to the state and a smaller number of women of childbearing age, said Dowell Myers, professor of policy and demography and director of USC's Population Dynamics Research Group.

"These trends are not yet widely recognized, but they should be a wake- up call for policymakers," Myers said. "We will be increasingly dependent economically and socially on a smaller number of children. They are more important to the state's future success than ever before."

Birth rates have declined in all major racial and ethnic groups in California since 2000 and are below the replacement level of 2.1 births per woman, according to the report.

Additionally, more than 20 percent of the state's children live in households that are below the federal poverty level, and poverty rates are twice as high for California's children as they are for adults, the study found.

Another key trend noted in the report involves the number of children born and raised in California compared to those from out of state.

More than 90 percent of the state's children under 10 are home grown, a reversal from previous decades, which will force the state to rely more heavily on the abilities of its native-born children, according to a statement accompanying the study.

"The majority of the next generation of workers will have been shaped by California's health and education systems," Myers said. "It's essential that we nurture our human capital."

The study found that California will have 36 seniors per 100 working adults by 2030, as compared to the 21 seniors per 100 working adults the state has averaged since 1970. Additionally, it found that nearly half of school-age children are being raised in households where English is not the primary language, and they may need tailored social, health and educational services in the short term so that potential benefits of their bilingual abilities can be realized.

"All of these findings make a compelling argument that our policies and programs increasingly must support the health, education and well being of the state's children, said Dr. David Alexander, president and CEO of the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children's Health, which funded the study.

"In particular, we must address the growing rates of child poverty and the persistent child health disparities found in ethnic and racial groups."

The full report is available at www.kidsdata.org/childpop.

Theotis January 09, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Not to worry, 3,658,965 Mexicans are going to become legal in the state this year and we know how they produce. A few budweisers and a new brahma bull sticker for the car door and 11 kids mooching off the system, Go Libs. Viva obammy ! !
Theotis January 09, 2013 at 01:38 AM
Which one did you get the little man syndrome from? Was it a combo?
Theotis January 09, 2013 at 01:38 AM
Remember when you tried shoe lifts? Lol
One Voice January 09, 2013 at 02:00 AM
"In particular, we must address the growing rates of child poverty and the persistent child health disparities found in ethnic and racial groups." Why would the Patch post such garbage for news. Everyone knows that our State Government has literally ran corporate companies out of CA, with them they took their tax base. To have a business in California is a joke, EPA standards, workerscomp rates, liability insurance costs, permits, compliance's and on and on and on. Other States do not have all this going on, they welcome business and the fees paid in CA are not the case anywhere else. Let CA worry about the racial and ethanic groups, they created this mess and us poor business owners and tax payers support it. Cut the freebie programs it would save CA millions, make this State business friendly instead of spending all you time drumming up bullshit fees, compliance etc., that run everyone out of here. Common sense and practical solutions, down with Brown he needs to go.
One Voice January 09, 2013 at 02:26 AM
When the County wants to charge you $400.00 for a storm drain permit and the Water District the same for a sewer permit and wants to control what you are flushing down your shop toilet, I would say that things are out of hand. When the EPA comes in and inspects your place of business and wants permits for recycling beads out of your bead blaster, things are out of hand. We have been in business for 20 years the last five years everything has changed and it is not for the better, CA does everything they can to prevent business from coming here not to welcome it and until they change their way of thinking CA will continue to be broke.
One Voice January 09, 2013 at 02:29 AM
I don't believe it is the taxes or the heat that move people out of CA, there are so many other factors....if you were a business owner you would feel my pain as all my other friends that own businesses agree.
American Girl January 09, 2013 at 02:53 AM
Shane you cannot vote the good people in, when the bad people are voted in by the people that are getting the handouts. We are outnumbered by the takers. It is , what it is!! unfortunately you are not out in the real world. From what I see, you sit at your computer 24/7. Look at all your past posts, all day long, 7 days a week! Do not vote until you get off that unicorn you ride around on. You liberals better straighten up! People are starting to get pretty mad!!
Theotis January 09, 2013 at 03:12 AM
June. It's Generation Freeloader
TVOR January 09, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Perhaps fewer people are having children because they believe this is not a suitable place to raise children any more. Or maybe it's just that it has become too difficult to survive here and people can't afford the expense of having children. Regardless of the reasons, this state is in a serious state of decline in many ways. Only after this state fails miserably will people finally get involved and try to fix what is broke. Frogs in a cookpot......
Carl Petersen III January 09, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Theotis 4:33 pm on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 "Not to worry, 3,658,965 Mexicans are going to become legal in the state this year and we know how they produce." . . You do realize that citizenship status is not a factor in determining population?
Carl Petersen III January 09, 2013 at 05:02 PM
One Voice 6:00 pm on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 "Everyone knows that our State Government has literally ran corporate companies out of CA, with them they took their tax base." . . We should get Apple to relocate from San Jose to California!
Carl Petersen III January 09, 2013 at 05:05 PM
One Voice 6:26 pm on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 "When the EPA comes in and inspects your place of business and wants permits for recycling beads out of your bead blaster, things are out of hand." . . Instead we should trust businesses to do what is right for the environment? Contrary to what you would like us to believe, we do have experience of living in a country where there were no environmental laws.
Carl Petersen III January 09, 2013 at 05:07 PM
June 6:53 pm on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 "We are outnumbered by the takers. " . . I'll ask again, but I am sure that I will not get an answer. Can you detail exactly who these "takers" are and their exact percentage of the population?
Carl Petersen III January 09, 2013 at 05:09 PM
TVOR 8:39 am on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 "Perhaps fewer people are having children because they believe this is not a suitable place to raise children any more." . . Or the Catholic church has lost influence as Hispanics assimilate into our culture.
Jay Berman January 09, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Sure .... people are leaving to states with lower costs of living .... I was just in Nevada, paid $3.01 a gallon of gas ... People are leaving to Texas, cities like Austin you can buy a very nice house for $150k ... the cost of living is dramatically less than here and the quality of life is excellent ... great schools too ...
Carl Petersen III January 09, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Jay Berman 9:44 am on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 "people are leaving to states with lower costs of living .... I was just in Nevada, paid $3.01 a gallon of gas" . . Do you really think that people are leaving for Nevada. Their housing market is in worse shape than ours.
Jay Berman January 09, 2013 at 05:54 PM
People are leaving to places with lower costs of living, they ARE going to Nevada, you can buy a house there quite cheap with payments much less than rent here ... They are moving mainly to Texas .. http://www.thenewamerican.com/economy/economics/item/13723-latest-u-haul-index-shows-californians-leaving-for-texas http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2012/04/u-haul-rates-confirm-california-exodus.html Facts are facts Carl ...
Carl Petersen III January 09, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Jay Berman 9:54 am on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 "they ARE going to Nevada, you can buy a house there quite cheap with payments much less than rent here" . . Aren't housing prices subject to supply and demand? If there were a huge influx of people going into the state, wouldn't the prices rise? No matter what the cost of housing, you still have to get a job and Nevada had the worst unemployment rate in the country. http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm
Carl Petersen III January 09, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Jay Berman 9:54 am on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 "They are moving mainly to Texas .." . . But then you have to live in Texas...
Jay Berman January 09, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Texas is a great state, Austin, a great city .. the gulf coast - wonderful .... I own a 2700 SqF 4 bd, 2.5 Ba house, built in 2005 in a great area near Austin ... payments are $993 and that includes taxes and insurance .. quality of life is great ... in about 2 years I plan to go to either Texas or Florida ... literally everything is more expensive in California and it will only get worse ...
Jay Berman January 09, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Sure they are ... for the entitlements .. the poor are moving in as the wealth and jobs are moving out .... sustainable, huh ?
One Voice January 09, 2013 at 07:19 PM
I think if you were to check statistics you would find that there are more people leaving California then coming in, just saying.
Jay Berman January 09, 2013 at 07:30 PM
I'm outta here Shane as soon as my son is off to college ... It's a shame ... I have been here about 30 years ... watched our beautiful state go from resourceful, bountiful, great economy, reasonable cost of living, great highways .. to what we have now ... Governor Brown started the slide in his first term with passage of the Dills Act and defunding highway projects for transit ... Our schools were the best, now second to the worst ... such a shame .... if you add up all the bonds funded by the state and cities / counties, this state is in unbelievable debt - mind boggling ... This is just state debt http://sbaction.org/sbAction/WallofDebt?1=1 now add every city, county, school and water district, all of their bonds ... the debt must be over a trillion bucks ... with industry moving out with their high paying jobs how will California get past this ? States can't go bankrupt ... they can't print money either
Becky Honkington January 09, 2013 at 07:40 PM
I just checked the census stats and more people are moving out than moving in to California. Good. More room for me.
One Voice January 09, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I wish it was just as simple as 'vote people out".
TVOR January 10, 2013 at 04:18 PM
I think the catholic church losing influence is a win for everyone.
TVOR January 10, 2013 at 04:21 PM
@ jay I wonder how many people are moving to Texas because they are campaigning to seceed from the US and they think they might just succeed.
Carl Petersen III January 10, 2013 at 04:22 PM
TVOR 8:18 am on Thursday, January 10, 2013 "I think the catholic church losing influence is a win for everyone." . . Look - we agree on something.
Carl Petersen III January 10, 2013 at 04:26 PM
TVOR 8:21 am on Thursday, January 10, 2013 " I wonder how many people are moving to Texas because they are campaigning to seceed from the US and they think they might just succeed." . . Would they go it alone or take Mississippi and the rest of the wealth sucking red states with them?
Carl Petersen III January 10, 2013 at 04:31 PM
My guess is that the Republicans would fight the hardest against an actual secession move by Texas. Eliminating those electoral votes would just about put a nail in the coffin for the Republican party.

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