California, perhaps more than any other American state, used to epitomize the leading edge of global youth culture, from surfing to skateboarding, mixed-martial-arts fighting to lowriding. If kids were doing it, they were doing it here first.
No longer. Maybe.
USC researchers looked at the latest U.S. Census figures recently and came up with some alarming projections:
By the year 2030 children will make up just 21 percent of the state's population while the 75- to 84-year-old cohort will become one of the fastest-growing age groups.
It could be a bad combination because old folks need young folks to take care of them. (On the flip-side -- job opportunity!).
A USC statement on its "California's Diminishing Resource: Children," study says:
... The economic role of a child born in 2015 will be nearly twice as important as that of a child born in 1985 ...
So the children aren't our future, huh Whitney?
Dowell Myers, professor of policy and demography and director of the Population Dynamics Research Group at USC actually thinks maybe they'll be more important than ever:
We will be increasingly dependent economically and socially on a smaller number of children. They are more important to the state's future success than ever before.
Perhaps the most dire news for all you Latino haters out there is that Latinos already represent the largest group (51.2 percent) of children in California.
The good news for all you Mexican haters out there?
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One of the reasons oldsters are taking over and the number of children is shrinking is that our birthrate is going down, immigration is going down and the number of native born people among our kids is booming. USC:
While California historically relied on newcomers from other states and countries for its workforce, that trend is in decline, and the state will increasingly need to rely on the skills and abilities of its native-born children.
What to do? Learn how to change bedpans. It has a stellar future.