Fewer children, more elderly in California
January 9, 2013
The number of children in California is on the decline, while the number of elderly is on the rise and fewer people are moving to the state, according to a new report that argues the state will have to rely on fewer people to prop up its economy in the future. [SFGate]
“After decades of burgeoning population and economic growth…the state now faces a very different prospect,” said the report released Tuesday by the University of Southern California and the Lucile Packard Foundation.
In the 1970s, according to the report, California averaged 21 seniors for every 100 working-age adults. By 2030, that ratio is expected to rise to 36 seniors per 100 working-age adults placing “massive pressure on institutions and programs for an aging population.”
“We’re shrinking our base while we’re growing our top, and that’s not sustainable,” said Dowell Myers, the author of the report. “It’s surprising to have any drop. We’ve always been a growth state.”
Fertility rates for California women went from 2.14 babies in 2000 to 1.94 in 2010, a figure below the 2.1 births demographers say is needed to keep population levels stable. By 2020, the rate is projected to be 1.89 births. The declines have been noted in all ethnic groups in the state.