In a demographic development that will have major political ramifications, people of Hispanic origin now outnumber whites in California.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that as of July 1 last year, there were 14.99 million Hispanics and 14.92 million whites in the Golden State. Asians made up the third largest population group at 5.35 million and African Americans were fourth with 2.22 million.
The Census Bureau numbers were released late last month, and just reported in the national press Wednesday.
Robert Suro of the University of Southern California, speaking on NPR, noted that the white population is shrinking nationally and in California. “Today, what you have is islands that are Anglo in a primarily multicultural world” in California, he noted.
The growing Hispanic population is expected to favor the Democratic Party in future elections and make it more difficult for the Republican Party, many of whose leaders have been critical of immigration.