The Pew Research Center examines data from several sources to determine if (and how) recent immigration patterns between Mexico and the United States have changed. Statistics from several sources point to a substantial decline in the number of immigrants entering the U.S. from Mexico since 2006. Yet there appears to be no significant change in the number of immigrants returning to Mexico, despite the downturn in employment opportunities due to the current recession.
Will there be enough college graduates to meet the needs of California’s future economy? The Public Policy Institute of California offers evidence of the future workforce skills gap and discusses the causes, magnitude, and likely consequences of the gap.
A new report from the California Budget Project highlights state demographic trends that are likely to shape and influence public policy over the next 12-15 years. The three major trends that the report discusses:
- Between 2000 and 2020, California will have added 10 million people, “roughly equivalent to the population of Michigan.”
- By 2020, the percentage of whites/Anglos in the state will have decreased to 37.5%, and African-Americans will have decreased to 5.4%. Latinos will have increased to 41.4%, and Asians will have increased to 12.5%.
- By 2020, the number of Californians over the age of 65 will have increased by 75%.
The report recommends more investment in infrastructure, education, and care and services for older Californians. The executive director of the California Budget Project, Jean Ross, is quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article today as saying, “We need to decide what is going to be the role of state policies. If not, we’re not going to have an economy that can compete globally.”
According to new data released by the Census Bureau, five California metropolitan statistical areas were in the top 25 MSAs with the largest numerical population gains between July 2006 and July 2007. The five were Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario (86,700, or 2.2% gain), San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont (35,900, or 0.9% gain), Sacramento/Arden-Arcade/Roseville (28,400, or 1.4% gain), San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara (28,200, or 1.6% gain), and San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos (26,500, or 0.9% gain).
Despite some news last year that California has been losing residents, four California counties placed in the top 25 counties with the largest numerical population increases between July 2006 and July 2007, according to data released by the Census Bureau today. The four counties are Riverside (66,400, a 3.3% population increase), Santa Clara County (28,100, a 1.6% increase), San Diego County (26,500, a 0.9% increase), and San Bernardino County (20,300, a 1% increase). Riverside placed second in the top 25, behind only Maricopa County in Arizona.
A new report from the Pew Hispanic Center covers the recent surge in Hispanic voter turnout in states critical to the 2008 presidential contest. Among the findings:
- Hillary Clinton would not have won the primary elections on February 5 and March 4 in California and Texas had it not been for the high turnout of Hispanic voters in those states. In California, Hispanic voters favored Clinton over Barack Obama by a margin of 67-32%. In Texas, the margin was almost identical — 66-32%. In New York, the margin was even wider — 73-26%.
- Turnout has been higher among Hispanics in this presidential election year than in 2004 (at least in 16 out of 19 states where exit polling permitted comparisons). In California alone, Hispanic voters accounted for 30% of the total voter turnout on February 5.
- More than half of Hispanic voters in the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries were younger than 45. More than one in five were between the ages of 17 and 29. Just one-third of white voters in the same set of primaries were under 45.
- AS of 2007, Hispanics made up 8.9% of the eligible electorate, up almost a full percentage point from 2004, according to the Census Bureau. That number is expected to rise as more Hispanics become naturalized and as more US-born Hispanics turn 18.
According to a recent report from the Pew Hispanic Center, the gap in party affiliation among Hispanics has widened drmamatically in the past 1 to 2 years. The gap in affiliation between Hispanics who identified themselves as Democrats and those who identified themselves as Republicans was only 21% in 2006. The gap is now 34%.
In 2004, 32% of Hispanic voters in California voted for George Bush. Bush lost the state by 10 percentage points. Hispanics constitute a strategic percentage of eligible voters in 4 out of 6 states where George Bush won in 2004 by 5 percentage points or fewer. (The 4 states are New Mexico, Florida, Nevada, and Colorado.) In California, Hispanics constitute a project 16.8% of the share of the projected atate vote in 2008. In states like California, where the vote for president could be closely contested, the participation of Hispanic voters could mean the difference between one party winning or losing the election. That reality is even more apparent in states like the four mentioned above, because the 2004 election was far more closely contested in those states.
A recent California Budget Project report has some sobering statistics about poverty and the cost of living in California. Interestingly, this report coincides with recent federal Census numbers that show a three-tenths percent drop in the nationwide poverty rate (12.3%) and a rise in median household income ($48,200) between 2005 and 2006, although there are questions about how the Census Bureau defines poverty. The same Census figures show a California median household income of $55,318 and a 12.2% poverty rate. This poverty figure represents a 1 percentage point drop from 2005 to 2006. The news release from the CBP noting these figures states that this change is “statistically insignificant.”
A new report analyzes data from the 2004 National Day Labor Survey to paint a portrait of the day laborer population in California, a group that receives a significant amount of attention in the mass media.
According to the report, issued by the Public Policy Institute of California, day laborers (defined in the report as people, primarily men, and primarily immigrants, who gather on street corners and in parking lots to wait for temporary employment) is not as large as the media attention would have you believe — at about 40,000, the population represents 3% of the state’s undocumented male workforce and 0.2% of its total workforce. The average day laborer has limited English skills, a low level of education, has lived in the state for less than 10 years, is employed about 23 hours a week, and makes about $259 per week. About 20% of the day laborer force are either US citizens, permanent residents, or temporary residents.
One of the bigger pieces of policy prognostication to come out of Sacramento this month was a set of data suggesting that California’s population will reach the 60 million mark by the year 2050. To put that in perspective, with a population of 60 million, if it were a separate country, California would be the 23rd most populous nation in the world (in 2007 terms, of course) — ahead of Italy and just behind the United Kingdom and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As it is, in the year 2007, with a population estimated at over 37 million, California would already be the 35th most populous nation in the world (well ahead of Canada and Algeria and just behind Kenya).
The other part of the figures that attracted considerable media attention: California’s population by 2050 will be majority Hispanic, comprising 52% of the total. Whites will comprise 26%, Asians 13%, and African-Americans 5%.