By Ed Diokno
Is it any wonder that California voted overwhelmingly against Donald Trump? California has more immigrants than any other state according to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), a nonpartisan think tank specializing on the Golden State.
California is home to more than 10 million immigrants—about one in four of the foreign-born population nationwide. In 2015, the most current year of data, 27 percent of California’s population was foreign born, about twice the US percentage. Foreign-born residents represented more than 30 percent of the population in eight California counties; in descending order, they are Santa Clara, San Mateo, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Alameda, Imperial, Orange, and Monterey. Half of California children had at least one immigrant parent.
The majority of recent arrivals are from Asia.
The vast majority of California’s immigrants were born in Latin America (52 percent) or Asia (39 percent). California has sizeable populations of immigrants from dozens of countries; leading countries of origin are Mexico (4.3 million), China (914,000), the Philippines (859,000), India (581,000), and Vietnam (507,000). However, most (53 percent) of those arriving between 2011 and 2015 came from Asia; only 22 percent came from Latin America.
Most immigrants in California are documented residents.
Almost half (49 percent) of California’s immigrants are naturalized U.S. citizens, and another 26 percent have some other legal status (including green cards and visas). According to the Center for Migration Studies, about 25 percent of immigrants in California are undocumented.
Net immigration to California has slowed.
In the 1990s, California’s immigrant population grew by 37% (2.4 million). But in the first decade of the 2000s, that growth slowed to 15% (1.3 million), and in the past 10 years, the increase was 11 percent (just over 1 million). The decline in international immigration has been a contributing factor in the slowdown of California’s overall population growth.
Even though most California residents are not immigrants, there is a high awareness of their presence and contributions to the state’s bustling economy. If California was a country unto itself. it would be the sixth largest economy in the world.
Trump’s latest threats against sanctuary cities, clean air regulations, environmental protections, women’s rights and his attempts to curtail immigration have sparked some of the biggest demonstrations in the country against Trump during his first two weeks as POTUS.
To read the complete PPIC report, click here.
Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.