“California’s political class, led by Governor Brown, has been patting itself on the back for solving California’s problems. This celebration is ludicrous,” co-blogger Bill Watkins writes at Joel Kotkin’s New Geography Website. “What they’ve done amounts to a mere slowing down in a long-term political, fiscal, and demographic decline:”
When California’s birth rate falls to 10 per thousand, we can expect 350,000 births. Deaths will be about 250,000. Apparently, as long as outmigration doesn’t exceed 100,000 California’s population won’t decline overall.
The good news is that outmigration in excess of 100,000 has only happened once. California’s net outmigration exceeded 100,000 for two consecutive years in the 1990s, when California was undergoing a dramatic economic realignment brought about by the end of the Cold War.
The bad news is that we’ve come very close to losing 100,000 twice in the past eight years, particularly during the housing boom. Many people believe that low home prices are restraining domestic outmigration, because people are waiting for equity to return before making the move. Higher home prices and increased tax rates could drive big increases in the numbers of people leaving California.
Unless there is some dramatic change, it is almost inevitable that California will suffer a declining population within a generation. The way to avoid this calamity is create an economic environment that encourages job growth and economic activity.
Good luck with that, under both Jerry Brown and the current regime in Sacramento. Like the man said, California is in for a world of hurt.
Worse than the state is now, he means.
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