LATINO VOICES

Latinos In California Set To Be Majority By March

Members of the mariachi band "Gallos de Jalisco" play to remind California citizens to get out and cast their vote on Tuesday
Members of the mariachi band "Gallos de Jalisco" play to remind California citizens to get out and cast their vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in the Sun Valley district of Los Angeles. Latinos now number about 53 million in the U.S., about 17 percent of the population, with some 24 million eligible to vote. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

California is growing older and more diverse.

The Latino population is projected to surpass that of whites in California in March to become the single largest "race or ethnic group," according to a report on shifting demographics in Gov. Jerry Brown's 2014-15 budget proposal. Also, the number of residents 65 and older will jump by 20.7 percent over the next five years, the report said.

State demographers expected Latinos to surpass the non-Hispanic white population seven months earlier, but Latino birth rates were lower than anticipated. Now, officials say, by March Latinos will make up 39 percent of California's population, edging out non-Hispanic whites at 38.8 percent. Nearly 25 years ago, non-Hispanic whites made up 57 percent of the state, while Latinos made up 26 percent

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