This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Slow Growth Comes to California

The Census 2010 redistricting data for California were released yesterday and, as the NewYork Times notes, the results reveal a substantial slowing of California's population compared to previous decades.
Perhaps the legendary beaches here are losing their pull. California, once the very symbol of sun-drenched American growth, had a population increase of only 10 percent in the last decade, the slowest rise in the state’s history. And for the first time since California was became a state in 1850, it will not gain a Congressional seat.
Here in San Diego the demographic pattern very closely resembled the state pattern, as noted in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

In San Diego County, the decline of the white population between 2000 and 2010 eased compared to the previous decade’s. Similarly, the growth of the Hispanic population slowed during that period, said John Weeks, professor of geography and director of the International Population Center at San Diego State University.
Between 1990 and 2000, the non-Hispanic white population declined 5 percent, compared to 3 percent between 2000 and 2010. The rate of growth in the Hispanic population between 1990 and 2000 was 53 percent versus the 32 percent increase in the last decade, Weeks said.
“The trends were not as big as people thought,” he said. “It shows there was less demographic turmoil in the decade. People are not leaving at the same rate they had been previously.”
Although there are pockets of non-Hispanic white gentrification near downtown San Diego, the data show clearly that San Diego County's population is continuing to suburbanize:
This spread reflects a continued trend toward suburbanization, despite efforts to promote smart growth and urban density in the last half of the decade, Weeks said.
“By and large, people tend to prefer the suburbs. It used to be that suburbs were non-Hispanic white, but now everybody lives in the suburbs,” Weeks said. “The suburbs are where San Diego increasingly is.”

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