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Moderate growth projected for the total population

The California Department of Finance projects moderate population growth of less than 10% per decade statewide over the next four decades. This continues the moderate 10% growth of the last decade, but is down sharply from much faster growth during prior decades. The last decade marked the first time in recent history that California’s population growth did not exceed the national rate and thus the first time California did not gain Congressional seats. Population growth over the next few decades is projected to slowly decrease from 9% in each of the next two decades to just 6% by 2050.

According to these projections, total population gains over the next forty years will average 3.4 million per decade, close to the 3.3 million gain over the past decade. Over the next two decades, the population is projected to grow by 7.3 million with most of the gain occurring in the older population as the Baby Boomers age into the over-65 brackets. As shown in Figure 3, growth in the population age 65+ is projected to total 4.1 million, accounting for more than half of the total projected increase. Gains in the working-age brackets will account for 2.6 million or 36% of total population growth.

Figure 3
Growth of the older population will account for more than half of the total projected gain
20-Year Change in Population by Age, 2010-30, in millions

Data Source: California Department of Finance 2012*
Analysis: Stanford Center on Longevity