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Latinos Will Become The Majority In California This Month

Latinos will become the majority in California this month in a demographic shift sure to forever alter the state politically, socially, economically, and culturally. The Latino community has been increasing exponentially in California for decades and sometime this week the scales will tilt Latino. We now make up 39% of California’s population as opposed to 38.8% non-Hispanic Whites. Immigration played a larger factor in past decades than it does today, though it still plays a significant part. Nowadays, the Latinos born or who grew up in the United States outnumber those born and raised in Latin America. The median age of Latinos in California is 28, which means that they are at prime childbearing age. In other words, expect the gap between Latinos and Whites to widen significantly over the next few years.

What does this mean politically for California? Certainly more conservative parts of the state might see themselves going Democrat. But the state is largely Democratic anyway. In this sense the growing Latino population is less significant in changing the electorate than it is in places like Texas and Arizona where the growing Latino community could shift the balance of power. Still, the Latinos in California will make their presence felt in other more intangible ways. Latino culture, particularly of Mexico, has always had a strong influence on California. The state used to be part of Mexico, after all. Some pundits on the right worry that California is being taken back by Mexico, but this is generalizing the demographics and making unfair assumptions. The most of California’s Latinos are of Mexican descent a lot of them are from Puerto Rico, Cuba, or Central America. Also someone born in the United States has less allegiance to Mexico than someone born there. It will be interesting to see how the state will look like in 50 years.

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