Study: Hispanics Dominate California Birth Rate. (Los Angeles)

Black Issues in Higher Education, January 17, 2002 | Go to article overview

Study: Hispanics Dominate California Birth Rate. (Los Angeles)


LOS ANGELES

In another sign that Hispanics will dominate California's future, a university study has found the ethnic group accounted for nearly half of all births in the state by the end of the last decade. Hispanic mothers had 247,796 of the 521,265 children born in California in 1998, or 47.5 percent, according to the University of California, Los Angeles study released last month.

Non-Hispanic Whites had 33.9 percent, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders with 10.7 percent. Blacks represented 6.8 percent of births and American Indians a half-percent of all births.

California's future economic health depends upon those Hispanics, who soon will be the majority of young adults and hence the working force, says David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA.

"We can see the future population of California looking into the delivery rooms of today," he says. "We have a very few years to make some choices," such as improving education.

The study, based on state health department statistics, confirms the ethnic shift that made 2001 the year California officially lost its White majority. The U.S. Census showed that Hispanics made up nearly a third while non-Hispanic Whites slipped to less than half of the state's total population of 33.9 million.

California's experience is part of a "sea change" in the United States, where 23 states already have Hispanics as their largest ethnic minority, says Dr. …

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