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Working-age population still growing

California’s working-age population, age 25-64, is projected to increase by 2.6 million over the next twenty years, from 19.8 million in 2010 to 22.4 million in 2030. This 13% increase is smaller than the projected overall statewide population increase of 19%, and as a result, the working-age share of total population will decrease slightly from 53% in 2010 to 50% 2030.

Notably, the working-age population is itself aging. The older age brackets are projected to make up an increasingly larger share of the total workforce. In 2000, the older working-age brackets, age 45‑64, represented just 39% of the total working-age population, but by 2050 will represent nearly half. Conversely, in 2000, when the working-age population was younger, the younger brackets represented 60% of the total working-age population, a share projected to decline to 50% by 2050.

Young population: little growth expected over next two decades

California’s young population, those under age 19, increased by less than 2% over the past decade, a surprising development in a state portrayed as “forever young.” More startling is the 2% decline projected over the next ten years. Slow growth is expected to return in 2025. The share of young people, which had been 30% in 2000, will stabilize around 25%, further reflecting the population shift toward older brackets.

The population age 20‑24 is projected to increase only slightly from 2.8 million in 2010 to 2.9 million in 2030 with its share projected to decline slightly from 7% to 6%. This small category is separated out to highlight the number of potential new workers who are about to join the larger working-age population and who might be seeking education and training opportunities.