They show a changing of the reality than we have been used to over the past several decades, and that is a very good thing in a world where growth defines prosperity, as this article from Forbes Magazine reports.
“The newly released Census reports reveal that California faces a profound gap between the cities where people are moving to and the cities that hold all the political power. It is a tale that divides the state between its coastal metropolitan regions that dominate the state’s politics — particularly the San Francisco Bay Area, but also Los Angeles — and its still-growing, largely powerless interior regions.
“Indeed, the “progressives” of the coast are fundamentally anti-growth, less concerned with promoting broad-based economic growth — despite 12.5% statewide unemployment — than in preserving the privileges of their sponsors among public sector unions and generally affluent environmentalists. This could breed a big conflict between the coastal idealists and the working class and increasingly Latino residents in the more hardscrabble interior, whose economic realities are largely ignored by the state’s government.
“The Census shows that the Bay Area and Los Angeles are growing at their slowest rate in over 160 years under American rule. Between 2000 and 2010 Los Angeles gained less population than in any decade since the 1890s. Its growth rate was slower than metropolitan Chicago, St. Louis and virtually every region that has reported to date, with the exception of New Orleans.
“This reflects not only the poor economy of the past few years, but also a widely cited drop-off in foreign immigration and continued massive outmigration of residents to other states. One reason for this mass exodus may be soaring house prices — largely the product of strong regulatory restraints — which appear to have contributed to slowing population growth after 2003.
“Yet not all of California is stagnating demographically. The state’s interior region — what I call “The Third California” — is growing steadily. While Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and the Silicon Valley increased their population by only 6% or less over the last decade, inland areas such as Riverside-San Bernardino, Sacramento and the Central Valley saw growth of 20% or more. Overall, the interior counties together gained 2 million residents, roughly twice as many as the combined coastal metropolitan areas.”