America’s most populous state is losing its young people.
California’s youth population fell by more than 400,000 over the past decade to 8.9 million, largely due to a decline in immigrant inflows and a falling birth rate, according to the latest Census data.
The population grew for all the state’s older age-groups, highlighting the demographic challenge of an aging workforce in the coming generations.
The decline in young people is a common trend in the US, where 30 states recorded a drop in the under-18 age bracket between 2010 and 2019, according to recently released data.
Chalk up the decline in California primarily to people having fewer babies, said Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, a research group. The state’s birth rate is at the lowest in history. Other experts suggest falling foreign immigration and more out-migration to other states also are hurting California.
The state may struggle to lure and retain young people if the cost of living keeps rising in urban centers.
At the other extreme, Texas led all states in growing the youth population, which rose to 7.4 million last year from 6.9 million in 2010.