Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

If demography is destiny, the California Republican Party may be destined to become nothing more than an asterisk in the history books – unless it can alter its hostile relationship with the state’s fast-growing Latino population.

That’s not exactly a new conclusion, but its accuracy is confirmed by new demographic projections from the state Department of Finance.

By the middle of this year, demographers believe, Latinos will achieve numerical parity with whites in California’s population, at about 39 percent each. Thereafter, the gap between the state’s two largest ethnic blocs will widen steadily.

By midcentury, Latinos will be nearing 50 percent of California’s population while whites will have declined to near 30 percent.

Putting it another way, the state’s population is expected to grow by 15.4 million between 2010 and 2060, and Latinos will account for 11.3 million of that growth.

Or still another way: Overall growth over the 50-year period will be 41 percent, but the Latino population will grow by 80 percent, while that of whites by a minuscule 4 percent.

The generational differential, which benefited the GOP in the 1980s and 1990s as white baby boomers dominated the electorate, also will work against Republicans as whites retire, or die off, in large numbers while much-younger Latinos become the dominant worker bloc and their children fill the schools.

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