A Drought of Children in California

California is the most populous state in the United States, but the number of children there is shrinking, leaving the state “ill-equipped for boomer retirement” according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. Birth rates are now below replacement level for whites, Asians and African-Americans. Rates among Hispanics had been high but are now dropping steeply and are also expected to drop below replacement in the next decade.

“The shrinking pool of youngsters coincides with a bulging population of older people,” the article explains. In other words, California is growing very European—it has promised generous benefits that depend on a growing population while cultivating a culture that doesn’t welcome enough new life to keep the scheme going. This is not sustainable.

California drought