It’s Official: Latino Population Now Equals That of Whites in California

PHOTO: The California state flag flies in Burbank, California.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Sometime around noon on Monday, the number of Hispanics in California grea to equal the number of whites, according to demographers. In a new report, they predict that by early 2014, the Golden State will become the second state in which Hispanics are the largest racial or ethnic group, following New Mexico's lead.

The report, issued by the California Department of Finance, predicts Hispanics in the workforce will likely become America's leading economic driver by 2060. Researchers say Hispanics will be the largest group among working-age Americans by a considerable margin: 12.1 million Hispanics to 7.4 million whites and 3.2 million Asians.

The workforce predictions are alarming, if you consider that a number of reports have found college-bound rates at mostly Hispanic high schools are dismal.

While the rate of college-bound Hispanics is at an all-time high nationally, California schools with a predominantly black or Hispanic student body aren't faring as well.

"Far too few schools with large populations of African American, Latino and low-income students are serving as pipelines to post-secondary education," stated a report by The Education Trust-West, a statewide education policy, research and advocacy organization.

Researchers found that nine out of 10 Hispanic-dominant high schools were not producing students who were college ready.

As Esther Yu-Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress points out, “although the Latino population has reached parity with the white non-Hispanic population, Latinos lag on income compared to their white cohorts.“ The median household income for Latinos was $44,300 in 2011, while it was $67,000 for whites.

If current trends continue, the state of California may look different ethnically in 2060, but the economic disparities of today will take much longer to equalize.

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