Rose’s Johnson on California census data

With Tuesday’s release of the 2010 Census data for California, Rose Institute Fellow Douglas Johnson has been cited on the results in USA Today, Bloomberg and the San Bernardino Sun. In these articles, he discusses California’s slowing growth, the population shift from the coast towards the inland parts of the state and the role Hispanics play in California’s politics and demographics.

The article at USA Today is titled “California’s slowed growth tied to economic woes.” It quotes Johnson saying, “the biggest change is definitely the slowing down in our rate of growth and the almost total stop of people coming to California from other states.” He say that instead California’s recent population growth has been “internally driven — more people having babies than dying — rather than the massive immigration the state once saw…The Hispanic population is growing fast in part because much of it is of childbearing age while the white and black populations are older.”

Johnson does say that California is still a popular destination for immigrants, especially those from Latin America and Asia. He concludes, “we’re not the trailblazers for the rest of the country that we were… The Golden State…has definitely lost its shine for people from other states.”

The article at Bloomberg is titled “California Hispanics Moving Inland Means Safe Republican Seats in Jeopardy.” It begins with the line “For Douglas Johnson, the number six says it all. That was how many California Hispanics were in Congress in 2000, accounting for 11 percent of 53 U.S. House seats, and that’s how many there are today.” Johnson continues this train of thought, noting that “there was bipartisan effort to keep all the incumbents safe and the emerging populations quiet…and it worked.” This is expected to change this redistricting cycle as the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission takes over the task of drawing maps.

Johnson predicts that California “will see five to ten members of the congressional delegation retired.” He says that due the slower growth along the coastline, we may see the consolidation of some districts.

The article also quotes Rose Institute Board Member and editor of the California Target Book, Tony Quinn. Quinn says, “Latinos are moving into the suburbs…It’s going to affect Republican seats that have been safe for a decade.” Quinn also warns that Southern Californian Republicans in particularly gerrymandered districts could face trouble in 2012 and he cites David Dreier, the Republican chairman of the House Rules Committee, whose district “snakes for 83 miles around the San Gabriel Mountains to include wealthy foothill communities and exclude others down below.”

The article at San Bernardino Sun is titled “Latinos boost county growth.” It cited the Rose’s prediction late last year that San Bernardino County would pick up about half of an Assembly seat, about one quarter of a state Senate seat and about one third of a congressional seat. Johnson says of the new data, “these are about the numbers we were expecting…They showed the foreclosure crisis has not brought people back to the coast. People are staying in the inland sections.”

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