SACRAMENTO (AP) — Hispanics will soon become the dominant ethnic group in the nation’s most populous state, marking a milestone in the country’s shifting racial and ethnic composition, according to projections released by the California Department of Finance earlier this week.
Demographers predict the number of Hispanics in the state will equal that of whites by mid-year and exceed it in early 2014 for the first time. Each group currently represents about 39 percent of the population.
The shift is expected to affect politics and public policy in California and perhaps beyond, given the state’s history of trend-setting legislation and cultural contributions.
Whites currently lack a majority in only two other states — Hawaii and New Mexico. Demographers say Hispanics’ share of the overall California population will continue to increase to about 41 percent by 2020, when whites will make up less than 37 percent.