The number of Latinos will match the number of white non-Hispanic population for the first time in California this month, according to the California Department of Finance. The same study also found that Latinos will become a plurality in 2014, overtaking the white non-Hispanic population. The demographic milestone, marked by a press conference at the state Capitol at noon PDT on Monday, will likely be a driving force for the state’s economic and political future.
The demographic landscape was not always a game of catch up. Fifteen year ago, the white non-Hispanic population outnumbered Latinos by about five million. Over the years, the Latino population increased through birth and immigration while the white population decreased through lower birth rates and people moving out of the state. Now, Latinos will reach a population of 15 million individuals, equivalent to the existing 15 million white non-Hispanics.