In 1999, California continued to gain population from net domestic migration for a third year after major losses in this component for much of the 1990s. The components of the population change in 1999 were natural increase—births minus deaths—of over 297,000 and net migration of 245,000. The net migration includes over 15,000 domestic migrants from within the United States and 229,000 foreign immigrants.
California will be home to over 35 million people in July 2001. Current projections forecast a population increase of 1.6 percent in 2000-01—more than 553,000 persons. At that time, the state will have no majority race/ethnic group since the white population will represent less than half of the population (see Figure DEM-1).
Through the next ten years, the state will grow an average of over 580,000 people each year and become increasingly diverse. The primary factor in the state’s growth in the next decade will be natural increase.
Population growth rates vary significantly by age group. Since 1990, the overall population has grown by 17.4 percent. However, the working age population grew at a rate of 13.9 percent, the under-18 group grew over 24.5 percent and the older population grew 20.5 percent (see Figure DEM-2). In the next five years, the state will add 2.8 million new residents. The population in the working ages will increase more than 1.8 million.
Since 1990, graded public K-12 school enrollment has been growing at a faster pace than the total population because of the large number of births in the late 1980s. In 1998, this enrollment grew by 115,000 students, or 2 percent, to over 5.7 million. Starting in 2000 and continuing through the decade, school enrollment growth will be slower than the general population growth because the number of births in the state declined in the 1990s. In 2001, K-12 enrollment will be nearly 6 million students.
The decennial census of the United States of America takes place on April 1, 2000. Approximately 275 million people will be counted nationwide.
The previous census in 1990 missed four million people, or 1.6 percent of the nation’s population. Of all the states, California had the largest population undercount. Over 800,000, or 2.7 percent of the state’s population, were not counted.
As a result, California lost at least $2.2 billion over the decade in federal funds for education and health and human services programs, including vocational education, adoption assistance, foster care, and Medicaid. In addition, the state would have gained an additional congressional seat, had the census accurately counted California’s population.
To avoid a repetition of the past census’ problems, the Administration created the California Complete Count Committee in November 1999 with the mission to direct an extensive outreach strategy for the census. Chaired by the Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, the 19-member committee includes the Lieutenant Governor, a representative of the State Senate, community advocates, and a variety of religious, academic, and government leaders.
With an investment of $24.7 million, the committee will work with the federal census effort to improve response rates by conducting a campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the census, especially among historically undercounted populations. Key to this effort is building partnerships with business, community groups, civic organizations, labor unions, schools, and local and tribal governments.
Outreach strategies will be targeted to prevent undercount problems which might occur due to California’s mobile and diverse population, varied housing and living arrangements, and difficulties in hiring and retaining the large, temporary work force needed to follow up on census forms that are not returned. Planned activities include:
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