A major milestone revealed in California’s Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal is coming for the state’s Latino population.
Within six months, there will be as many Latinos living in California as whites and by the end of 2013 the Hispanic population will become the largest group in the state.
“When you take a look at births in California, among newborns, Latinos make up nearly half of all newborns in the state of California,” says Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director for the Pew Hispanic Center.
“What has also been interesting is that California has seen rapid growth in its Hispanic population because of immigration,” explains Lopez.
And as California goes, so goes the nation.
“Between 2000 and 2010, the nation’s Hispanic population grew by 43 percent. Alone, it counted for half of the nation’s population growth,” says Lopez. “In many respects, California looks like the future of the United States demographically.”
So what does this mean for California?
It means rethinking and redistributing state resources.
California’s governor believes the changes in population will require changes in policy – starting with education.
“Three million California school age children speak a language at home other than English,” explained Brown during his budget proposal.
He wants more funds directed to the school districts that will be impacted the most.
“What they decide to do once they become adults will of course have implications for the type of economy that the state of California will have in the coming decades,” warns Lopez.
According to the latest reports, more young Latinos are enrolled in college than African-Americans or Asian Americans. Also, Hispanic leaders are being elected to political office at nearly every level and are increasingly visible on the national stage.
With increased representation and rapid population growth, Latinos are becoming the face of this nation’s future.