Thirty-three million people reside in the state of California, and according to the United States Census Bureau, the percentage of white residents in the state dropped to 49.9 percent at some point in 1999. While white residents left the state or died, resulting in a loss of majority status, the populations of Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander have each grown more than 35 percent in the last 10 years. The black population of California also rose, but less significantly. Growth of the minority populations can be attributed to immigrants settling in California, raising children and supporting the booming local economy.
The increase of minorities in the state has effected politics as well. Democrats lead the state and according to the Washington Post, are seen as more “immigrant-friendly.” Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D), California’s highest-ranking Latino official, said, “It is my hope that we can see our state’s diversity as a cause for celebration and not consternation.”