SACRAMENTO — Hispanics will become the largest ethnic group in the nation's most populous state early next year, the California Department of Finance said Thursday, marking a big milestone in a long-running demographic shift that has already deeply altered the political balance of power, the economy and culture.
The prediction that Hispanics will equal the number of whites in California by the middle of this year and surpass them in early 2014 was disclosed in Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal in early January, but the latest numbers offer a far more detailed portrait of how the shift will unfold across age groups and geographic regions over the next five decades. Whites and Hispanics each currently represent 39 percent of the state's population.
In 2020, Hispanics will account for 40.7 percent of the population and whites will make up 36.6 percent. In 2030, the population will be 43.9 percent Hispanic and 34.1 percent white.
In 2060, Hispanics will make up 48 percent of the population compared to 30 percent white.
Blacks are expected to slip from nearly 6 percent in 2010 to just more than 4 percent by 2060, while the Asian population, now just below 13 percent, may grow slightly.