Slow Growth

Replacement for the Grizzly Bear on the state flag?

The California Dept. of Finance regularly estimates population of the state and its local jurisdictions.  It estimates that the state’s population grew at a 0.8% rate in 2012.  Not surprisingly, the faster growing areas within the state are generally those around the Silicon Valley.

It’s not an accident that the making of demographic estimates is assigned to the Dept. of Finance because population growth has a variety of effects on the state budget.  California actually has been growing at roughly the national rate since the end of the Cold War when the federal infusion of aerospace and related military spending petered out.  Before that time, the state almost always grew notably faster than the nation as a whole.  The rapid growth produced an expanding “pie” of revenue.  Since the end of the Cold War, we have had notable budget crises- worse than the average for other states – with obvious impacts on the UC budget.  There are also political implications; California’s representation in Congress and Electoral College votes are no longer growing.

You can find the Dept. of Finance estimates at:

Slowness is not so good for the budget but at least some would say it has its virtues: