California Population: Then & Now
August 3rd, 2010
In 1900, California bore little resemblance to what it has become today, the most populous State in the Union and arguably the most dominant when it comes to defining the American experience. But the state’s population of a hundred years ago mirrors the modern California in that 25% of the population, then and now, was born outside the United States. The only difference—the countries the immigrants come from.
In 1900, 1 in 4 Californians were foreign born.
In 2000, 1 in 4 Californians were foreign born.
But what is clear from the Census data is that in 1900 the vast majority of immigrants came from Europe:
While today Central America and Asia make up the bulk. And with the exception of our neighbor Mexico, today’s immigrants overwhelming come from countries that have gone through civil wars.
However in the intervening years, the make up of the state’s population has morphed time and again. In fact, as the total the immigrant population climbed between 1970 and 1980, the foreign-born population decreased by almost 1.4 million:
Summary of statistics:
|Foreign born populations in California in 1900:|
|Foreign born populations in California in 2000:|
|Foreign Born Against Total Population in California: 1960-2010|
|Year||Foreign Born Population||Total Population|
Source for all statistics: U.S. Census Bureau