Loading
Report shows children crucial to California's future
Something's Missing. Credit: Cayusa via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).
Something's Missing. Credit: Cayusa via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

.- A new report has found “fresh impetus” for nurturing California children due to the combination of falling birthrates, retiring Baby Boomers, and reduced immigration in the state.

“Children have always been important and deserving of our most diligent care, but the stakes have never been higher,” read “California's Diminishing Resource: Children,” released Jan. 8 by the Lucile Packard Foundation and the University of Southern California.

The challenge is that the urgency of these issues is not yet recognized among all policymakers or the public at large,” the analysis noted.

“If California is to prosper in the decades to come, every child must have the necessary support and opportunities to become a maximally contributing member of society.”

The report urged that, “as the vital foundation for that success, California's policies, programs and investments must promote the health and well-being of the state's most valuable resource – its children.”

Demographers at the University of Southern California studied the changes in the child population of the state, and found startling figures. Children represent a shrinking portion of the state's population, at the same time as there is an “upcoming major shift in the ratio of seniors to working age adults.”

“The social and economic well being of California's future residents therefore will depend on how well we nurture the current generation of children,” wrote the president of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health.

The report emphasizes the role of children as being future economic entities, filling “adult roles as employees, citizens and consumers.”

The report advocates for childrens' health care and education, and the reduction of poverty: “we need all our children to be healthy and ready to learn so that they may become flourishing and productive adults.”

While acknowledging that “all children, of course, have intrinsic personal value,” the report focuses on the “growing social and economic importance of today's children.”

The birth rate in California has dropped below the replacement level, and is experiencing a “homegrown revolution,” because fewer and fewer people are choosing to move to California.

Because there are significantly fewer children in California than there were in the past and the Baby Boomers are reaching retirement, the states workers face an increased social burden in coming years.

From 1970 to the present, the ratio of seniors to working adults has consistently been around 21 seniors per 100 working age adults. That ratio will increase to 28 in 2020, and to 36 in 2030. “These future, supporting adults are today's children,” the report noted.

Children born in 2015 will have “fully twice the weight of social and economic responsibility” of children born in 1985, the report said.

The report finds that California women are not having enough children to maintain the state's population. The “replacement rate” is 2.1 births per woman, a rate not seen in the state since 2000. At that time, the average lifetime births per woman were 2.14; in 2010 that rate fell to 1.94, and is projected to be 1.89 in 2020.

While 0.2 births per woman seems like a small change from 2000 to 2010, this figure “equates to roughly 1 million fewer children between ages of 0 and 9,” noted the report.  

The report urges that public policymakers have these issues in mind as they look at policies affecting families and children. Without immigration or increased births, California's economic prospects are bleak and getting more so every day.

Tags: Population decline


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: