California Highlights

Population by AgePopulation Growth: California’s population increased by 10% over the past decade. The Hispanic and Asian populations each grew by about 30%, while the white, non- Hispanic population declined by 5% and the black population declined by 1%.

Diversity: The population mix in California continues to shift. Over the past ten years, the white, non-Hispanic population declined from 47% to 40% of total, while the Hispanic population increased from 32% to 38% of the total. The Asian share of total population increased from 11% to 13% while the black share remained at 6%.

Age Structure: Over the last decade, California’s overall age structure shifted toward older age brackets and the median age increased from 33 to 35. Eleven percent of the population is age 65+. The young population is majority Hispanic, while the older age brackets are majority white, non-Hispanic.

Income: The statewide median household income is $60,000. It ranges from $43,000 for black households to $74,000 for Asian households. Twelve percent of all households have income of $150,000 or higher, while 20% have income of less than $25,000. California’s unemployment rose steeply from 4.9% in 2006 to 12.4% in 2010. The June 2011 unemployment rate was 12.1%, well above the national rate of 9.3%.

Education: One-fifth of adults in California have not completed high school. Thirty percent have earned Bachelor’s degrees or higher.

Households: Statewide, the traditional family household—a married couple with children—has been on the decline, falling from 27% to 23% in the last decade. In contrast, the share of family households without children has increased. Among individuals age 65+, 21% live with a spouse, 46% live with other relatives, and 25% live alone.

Foreign Born: More than one quarter of California’s population is foreign born. Mexico is the country of origin for 44% of the immigrants; another 11% of immigrants came from other Latin American countries, and 34% came from Asia. Across California, 10% of all households are linguistically isolated, meaning that no one in the household age 14 or older can speak English at least “very well.”

This project was supported in whole by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library, and no official endorsement by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library should be inferred.