Census 2000 California Profile

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Census 2000 California Profile
he U.S. government has conducted a census of the population every ten years since 1790. The twenty-second census was conducted in April 2000. Californians were first counted in the decennial census in 1850 when the population was 92,597*. The 2000 census reported California's population as 33,871,648. In 2000, Californians represented 12 percent of the U.S. population; this was almost one person out of every eight. The number of people living in California grew more than 200 percent in the last 50 years.

*Incomplete data, returns for Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties were lost; those for San Francisco were destroyed by fire.
This is a profile of California's population with some comparisons to the United States population. It is based on recently released demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics collected in the 2000 census.

Demographic Characteristics
alifornia is the most populous and most ethnically diverse state in our nation. The median age of 33.3 years is two years lower than the U.S. median age of 35.3.

About 59 percent of the population is between the ages of 20 and 64. California has a larger proportion of people under 45 years old and a smaller proportion 45 and older than the nation. We have roughly equal numbers of males and females, while the U.S. has 104 females for every 100 males. Out of the total U.S. population, we are home to

  • 12.0 percent of the total population of the United States

  • 36.1 percent of the Asian population

  • 31.1 percent of the Hispanic or Latino population

  • 29.3 percent of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders

  • 23.6 percent of those choosing Two or More races

  • 13.5 percent of the American Indian/Alaska Native Population

  • 9.5 percent of the White population

  • 6.5 percent of the Black population


t is often confusing to look at the race and ethnic data available from the Census. The federal government considers White, Black, Asian, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders, and American Indian and Alaska Native as race groups. It is also possible to select “some other” race and to mark more than one of these races groups. Seventy-five percent of our nation’s population is White compared to 59 percent of the California population. Hispanic or Latino is not a race group in the census.

There is an “ethnicity” question, separate from the question about race that asks, “Is this person Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?”
Persons who answer “yes” to this question are also expected to select one of the race groups. The majority of persons (97 percent of the U.S. and 99 percent of Californians) who select “some other” race are Hispanic or Latino.
“Some other” was the primary race selection of Latinos in California while almost half of the U.S. Latino population selected the White race.

In the United States, one person in eight is Latino compared to one-in-three in California. Nationwide, 58 percent of Latinos are from Mexico, 15 percent from Puerto Rico, Cuba or the Dominican Republic, and 9 percent from Central and South America. In California 77 percent of Latinos are from Mexico and 5 percent from Central America. Fewer than 2 percent of California Latinos note Puerto Rico, Cuba, or the Dominican Republic as their country of origin.

Over one-third of the U.S. Asian population resides in California. Eleven percent of California's population is Asian compared to 3.6 percent in the United States. The origins of the Asian population in California also differ from the national patterns.
California Asians are more likely to come from the Philippines and China and less likely to come from India. State and national proportions of Asians choosing Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese origins are similar.

Social Characteristics
alifornia has a higher percentage of residents who are enrolled in college or have completed college or graduate school than the nation. In every category of higher education, a greater percentage of Californians have completed some college, have an Associate, Bachelors, graduate or professional degree. Conversely, at lower levels of educational attainment, Californians over age twenty-five are less likely to have completed ninth grade or to have graduated from high school. The current enrollment patterns from kindergarten through high school are similar to those of the nation.

Patterns of marital status in California are similar to those in the U.S. Over half of California's population 15 years and older is married. Roughly 10 percent are divorced, 6 percent widowed, and 2 percent separated. Thirty percent of Californians have never been married, somewhat higher than the nation at 27 percent.

Californians were more mobile than others in the country. Half had moved from their 1995 residences at census time. The most common move was from a residence in the same county followed by a move from another area of the state.
Those who arrived in California after 1995 were equally as likely to have moved from abroad as from another state. Eighteen percent of the U.S. population over age 5 who changed residences between 1995 and 2000 relocated to a different state.

Most people in the U.S., six out of every ten, live in the state where they were born.
Half of all Californians were born in the state, 26 percent were foreign-born, 23 percent were born in a different state and 1 percent was born abroad to a citizen of the United States.
Overall, 88 percent of the country’s population was born in the U.S. compared to 73 percent of Californians.

Most of the foreign born population in the country is from Mexico. Over half of California’s foreign born are from Mexico and another third are from Asia. The state receives substantially more persons from Mexico and Asia compared with the U.S. and fewer residents from the other major sending countries in Europe, Northern America, and Africa. Thirty-seven percent of California's foreign born population arrived in the United States between 1990 and March 2000.

he majority of the country’s foreign born residents are not naturalized. Forty percent of the foreign born in the United States and California are U.S. citizens. Naturalized citizens comprise 4 percent of the national population and 10 percent of the state population. The foreign born represent a greater proportion of the state's population—26 percent, compared with 11 percent nationally.

These are some additional social characteristics of Californians. The numbers in parentheses are the percentages of these characteristics in the United States population.

  • 31.8 percent of grandparents living in the household with grand children are responsible for their care (42.0)

  • 10.5 percent of civilians over 18 years old are veterans (12.7)

  • 7.5 percent of those 5 to 20 years old have a disability (8.1)

  • 20.0 percent of those 21 to 64 years old have a disability (19.2)

  • 42.2 percent of those 65 years and older have a disability (41.9)

  • 60.5 percent of those over age 5 speak only English at home (82.1)

  • 25.8 percent speak Spanish at home (10.7)

  • 8.6 percent speak an Asian or Pacific Island language at home (2.7)

Economic Characteristics
At the time of the 2000 census, 63.5 percent of the nation’s population age 16 and over were in the civilian labor force, 36 percent were not in the labor force, and one half of one percent were in the armed forces. A slightly higher proportion of Californians were not in the labor force. Californians in the labor force were slightly less likely to be employed in April 2000.

Over three-quarters of those employed in California are private wage and salary workers, 15 percent are government workers, and almost 9 percent are self-employed. California has a higher proportion of self-employed workers than the nation. Over half of the working-age females in the state are employed, but the rate is lower than for other women in the country.

Most people drive alone to work. Compared to the U.S. a higher percentage of Californians use carpools, public transportation, other transportation means, or work at home. On average it takes a little over two minutes longer to get to work in California than in the country as a whole.

his distribution of occupations in California is very similar to that of the nation. Over one-third of employed civilians over age 15 indicated they work in management, professional and related jobs. Over one-quarter works in sales and office jobs. A very small number, less than one percent of the U.S. population, are employed in farming, fishing, and forestry. Californians are almost twice as like to engage in these occupations.

The industries Californians choose to work in are also very similar to those selected by others across the country. Almost 20 percent of the employed population of California provides educational, health and social services. Manufacturing, retail trade, and professional services each account for over 10 percent of employment throughout the state. Californians are more likely than others in the country to work in professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services.

alifornia’s median household income of $47,493 is over $5,000 higher than the national median. California’s 8 million families have a median income of $53,025, nearly $3,000 higher than the national median. Compared to the nation, the state has higher percentages of households and families in the income categories above $75,000.

Here are some additional economic characteristics of Californians. The numbers in parentheses are the comparable values for the United States population.

  • Median income for males who work full-time, year round is $40,627 ($37,057)

  • Median income for females who work full-time, year round is $31,722 ($27,194)

  • Per capita income in the state is $22,711 ($21, 587)

  • 10.6 percent of the state’s families were in poverty status in 1999 (9.2)

  • 14.2 percent of individuals in the state were in poverty status in 1999 (12.4)

The wage differential between males and females in California is smaller than in the US. The median salary for California females is 78.1 percent of the median male income compared to 73.4 percent in the U.S.

In general a higher percent of Californians were below the poverty level in 1999; however individuals 65 years and older and families with a female householder with no husband present in the house were somewhat less likely to be in poverty than those groups nationally.

Housing Characteristics
California had 12.2 million housing units in 2000, 10.5 percent of the nation’s housing stock. Nearly sixty percent of California's housing is single unit, detached. California’s housing is more likely than that of the nation to have multiple units in the structure, especially those with 20 or more units. The state’s residents are much less like to use mobile homes for housing.

ousing units constructed between 1960 and 1990 make up almost half of the U.S. housing and 55 percent of the state’s units. Nine percent of the state’s housing was built prior to 1940, compared to 15 percent nationally. In the 1990’s, there has been more housing construction in the country than in California.

Compared to national housing, units in California are much more likely to have one to three rooms and they are much less likely to have 5 rooms or more. The median number of rooms in California’s housing units is 4.8; on average this is one-half a room less than the national median.

Californians have moved into their homes more recently than those in the U.S. as a whole. Over two-thirds of the housing units in California were most recently occupied since 1990 and over 20 percent were newly occupied in the 15 months between 1999 and March 2000.

he median value of owner-occupied homes in the state is $211,500, over $90,000 higher than the national median value. Twenty-five percent of all owner-occupied housing in the nation with a value greater than $200,000 are in California. Twelve percent of the owner-occupied units in California are valued below $100,000 compared to 40 percent in the U.S.

n California, 79 percent of owner-occupied homes have a mortgage compared to 70 percent in the U.S. Monthly homeowner costs are 36 percent more in the state than in the country. Here the median cost is $1,478. One-in-five of California's owner-occupied houses cost $2,000 or more per month. Monthly owner costs for homes without a mortgage are about $300 in both the state and nation.

osts of renter-occupied housing units are 24 percent lower in the nation than in California where the median gross rent is $747. Twenty-five percent of the occupied rental units in the state have gross rent costs of $1,000 or more compared to 12 percent in the country. Three percent of the renter-occupied units in the state and 5 percent in the nation are occupied with no payment of cash rent.

ompared to the nation, housing in California consumes a higher proportion of household income whether owned or rented. Twenty-three percent of homeowners and 34 percent of California renters devote 35 percent or more of household income for their home.
Here are some additional housing characteristics of Californians. The numbers in parentheses are the comparable values for housing units in the United States.

  • California’s housing units have more occupants per room than the nation.

  • The primary house heating fuels are utility gas and electricity.

  • 71 percent of California homes are heated with gas. (51%)

  • 22 percent of California homes are heated by electricity. (30%)

  • Nationally, 9 percent of homes use fuel oil or kerosene for heat. These fuels are rarely used in California to heat homes.

  • Virtually all homes, over 99 percent, have complete plumbing and kitchen facilities.

  • Fewer than 2 percent of the occupied housing units in California were without telephone service.

And finally, cars! California has at least 19 million vehicles. Ten percent of the nation’s occupied housing units have no vehicles available, this is also true in California. The number of vehicles available to households in the state is very similar to those available in the nation. Nineteen percent of our housing units have three or more vehicles available.

2000 Census Data Profiles
DP-1. Demographic Characteristics Page 16

  • Total Population

  • Sex and Age

  • Race

  • Hispanic or Latino and Race

  • Relationship

  • Households by Type

  • Housing Occupancy

  • Housing Tenure

DP-2. Social Characteristics Page 19

  • School Enrollment

  • Educational Attainment

  • Marital Status

  • Grandparents as Caregivers

  • Veteran Status

  • Disability Status

  • Residence in 1995

  • Nativity and Place of Birth

  • Region of Birth of Foreign Persons

  • Language Spoken at Home

  • Ancestry

DP-3. Economic Characteristics Page 21

  • Employment Status

  • Commuting to Work

  • Occupation

  • Industry

  • Class of Worker

  • Income in 1999 (Households and Families)

  • Poverty Status in 1999

DP-4. Housing Characteristics Page 23

  • Units in Structure

  • Year Structure Built

  • Rooms

  • Year Householder Moved into Unit

  • Vehicles Available

  • House Heating Fuel

  • Selected Characteristics

  • Occupants per Room

  • Value

  • Mortgage Status and Selected Costs

  • Selected Owner Costs as Percentage of Income

  • Gross Rent

  • Gross Rent as Percentage of Household Income

In combination with one or more other races listed. The six numbers may add to more than the total population and the six percentages may add to more than 100 percent because individuals may report more than one race.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1, Matrices P1, P3, P4, P8, P9, P12, P13, P17, P18, P19, P20, P23, P27, P28, P33, PCT5, PCT8, PCT11, PCT15, H1, H3, H4, H5, H11, and H12.

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