Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Growing California

Growth is good. It creates community where none existed and often stimulates the public planning tension that can drive truly innovative and rewarding public benefits.

The Parkway adjacent communities have been in that position for some time, as the area surrounding the Parkway grows in population yet Parkway funding resources shrink (at about $1.5 million annually), primarily due to recent incorporations which continue.

Finding the innovative and rewarding paths to providing for the Parkway (a priceless natural resource whose value deepens as the surrounding population increases) will be a challenge, but one needed to be undertaken soon lest demographics flood our best intentions and hopes for it.

California boomin'
Dramatic changes in demographics are seen coming by midcentury.
By Judy Lin - Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 12:00 am PDT Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Based on her own family experience, Christina Garcia, 27, envisions a growing role for Hispanics in California's future economy.

While Garcia's father toils at a tomato paste cannery, she is an assistant manager at a bank. And the lifelong Yuba City resident talks to her nieces about the importance of education, hoping they will do even better in life.

"We want to instill in them the opportunities are there," Garcia said Monday while taking her 9-year-old niece, Tatiana Ramirez, to the city pool.

Based on demographic projections announced by the state Department of Finance, California's economic future could well be shaped by the success -- or setbacks -- of Hispanics, the coming majority population.

By 2050, likely most of California's largely white baby boomers will have died, giving way to younger, second- or third-generation Hispanic families. Hispanics are forecast to make up 52 percent of the state's population by midcentury. The rest will be 26 percent white, 13 percent Asian, 5 percent African American, 2 percent multiracial and 1 percent American Indian or Pacific islander.

The projections also showed California will add more than 25 million people by 2050, bringing the state's population to just under 60 million. According to state statistics, the Golden State is projected to hit the 40 million mark in 2012 and 50 million by 2032. In contrast, the state had fewer than 34 million residents in the 2000 census.