Latinos and Asians lead California growth projections

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latino_marchersCalifornia will continue along the path of slow population growth in the coming decades – but the number of folks calling the state home is still expected to surpass 51 million by 2060.

That’s according to the state Department of Finance, which has updated its demographic projections.

There are currently about 39 million people living in California. Population growth has stayed around one percent in the past two decades.

State demographers say that trend will continue, but it will look quite different from past growth in California: Latinos and Asians are expected to make up almost all of the increase, with the percentage of white residents in the state declining rapidly.calflag

State officials say the Latino population will grow by more than 11 million people in the next 50 years, a jump of 81 percent. Latinos have already surpassed whites as the largest ethnic group in California. The number of Asians living in the state, meanwhile, is expected to grow by 67 percent, or more than three million people.

L.A. County – which is home to more than a quarter of the state’s population – is projected to grow at about just half the rate as California as a whole.

The state forecast is less dramatic than some. The Public Policy Institute of California said last year that California would likely reach the 50 million population level by 2050.