California’s child population is shrinking, but until now, it has been challenging to understand the complexity of how that demographic shift is playing out in the state’s 58 counties.
A new analysis by University of Southern California demographer Dowell Myers shows that the state’s population of children younger age 10 years old declined by 3.4% between 2000 and 2010. While the child population in some counties grew 20% or more, a few counties lost more than 15% of their children under age 10.
Here are the counties with the biggest declines in child population between 2000 and 2010:
Los Angeles (-16.9%)
San Benito (-13.4%)
Here are the top gainers in child population in the same decade:
Madera County (18.9%)
Kern County (20.6%)
Alpine County (22.8%)
Riverside County (26.2%)
Placer County (27.7%)
Why is the number of kids in a county important? As Myers suggests in a study commissioned by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, kids born in 2015 will bear double the economic burden of supporting the state’s economy compared to their peers born in 1985. By 2030, children are expected to comprise just 21% of California’s population, down from 33% in 1970, even as the population of aging Baby Boomers expands.
Want to learn more about child population and other demographic trends in your California county? Click here.
Related Indicators on Kidsdata.org:
by Age and Gender
by City, School District and County (65,000 Residents or More)
by City, School District and County (20,000 Residents or More)
by City, School District and County (10,000 Residents or More)