California’s hidden demographic has the details:

Some analysts who examine how Californians vote with their feet raised concerns the USC/Times poll appeared to reinforce. In a recent study, Carson Bruno, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, noted that California’s 0.9 percent population growth from July 2013 to July 2014 obscured the thinning-out of a specific and important demographic. Young middle-class professionals, he explained, were the most likely group to leave the state.  [Editor emphasis added]

That exacerbated just the kind of economic trends that respondents in the USC/Times poll identified among their biggest reasons to relocate.

Californians’ difficulty in getting or staying ahead has been shown to correlate with another potentially problematic demographic trend — population stagnation. Over a period of 15 years, Bruno determined:

“California’s natural increases have fallen by over 18 percent, a direct result of the birth to death ratio falling over 13 percent to just two births for every death.

“And the shift has accelerated more recently. Since 2008-2009, births have fallen by an annual average of 2.1 percent and deaths have risen by an annual average of 1.2 percent; both rates are over twice as fast as the 1999-2000 to 2007-2008 period. This suggests that despite natural increases accounting for a larger share of California’s population growth (thanks to falling net migration), it is itself trending in the wrong direction.”

In other words, despite a massive budget and a world-class quality of climatological life, California appeared set to rely increasingly on immigration in order to drive economic and population growth. For a state where productivity, opportunity and economic inequality have dominated residents’ concerns, that prospect could sour them even more on their vision of the future.

Nevada County’s best and brightest are most likely to leave for better economic opportunities elsewhere.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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3 Responses to California’s hidden demographic

  1. Sean says:

    The fact that Californian’s love the state for its weather may be its salvation, particularly given the last couple of winters we’ve endured in the east. The upper Midwest got hit particularly hard last year and it was New England’s turn this year. Both times, most of California was quite warm and dry. When I lived in So. California in the 70’s, I recall phone conversations with my future wife’s family about how brutal the weather was in Jan and February while we were basking in 70 degree sunshine. Apparently this was called out in a recent CalWatchDog article.
    It may not be the young and ambitious that will be heading your way (public schools and the Cal State and UC systems aren’t what they used to be) but a number of upper income middle aged empty nesters looking to leave the cold behind. They can probably hire the poorly educated masses streaming into the state to work as housekeepers and gardeners. They’ll fit perfectly in the banana republic upper and lower class stratification that the state is evolving into.


  2. Dena says:

    There is another aspect of this migration. Many of the people who leave the state bring liberal politics along to their new location. I am seeing that in Phoenix which has received people from California and the eastern snow belt. The Arizona Republic was once a fairly conservative news paper but has become pretty liberal. The left while still a minority is doing pretty good and our Republicans are middle of the road or a bit to the left. Think John McCain. The problem with this is the liberal politics will pollute the new state and they will move again to another conservative state for wealth and opportunity where they will again make it more liberal to match their personal taste.
    In the mean time, much of the growth California is the result of the illegal population that left Mexico because the liberal politics they loved because of the welfare state didn’t provide sufficient support for their family or jobs they could supplement their income with. Their politics will make California even more socialist.
    And that is how the cancer of socialism spreads and the only cure which is in short supply is an education on what the founding fathers were about.


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