Racial and Ethnic Politics in California, Vol. Two


 When we published Volume One of Racial and Ethnic Politics in California in 1991, census experts estimated the state’s population would pass 30 million by the year 2000. By current estimates, the population now, two years before the millennium, is 31.6 million. As with so many things about California, the most striking aspect of the demographic shifts underway here is their sheer magnitude. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, California’s population will grow by nearly 18 million people by 2025–that is the equivalent of taking everyone currently living in the state of New York and moving them to California.

    California’s total population would then be 49.3 million, a 60 percent increase over the current figure. Demographers in the California Department of Finance expect growth to be even more exuberant. While projections may vary, everyone agrees that California’s racial and ethnic distribution has been shifting steadily and inexorably from white to Hispanic and Asian, and the trend will continue well into the next century. Sometime around the turn of the century, California will become the nation’s third majority minority state–joining New Mexico and Hawaii.

    Politics has changed more slowly, and the minority vote continues to lag behind the soaring population. Voters in California are still older, wealthier, whiter, better educated, and more conservative than the overall state population. But recent elections suggest that pattern may be changing. Volume Two of Racial and Ethnic Politics examines how California’s accelerating demographic changes are remaking the political map.  


    Edited by Michael B. Preston, Bruce E. Cain, and Sandra Bass, Volume Two traces the emerging racial and ethnic fault lines that hint at major political shifts to come. In these richly researched essays, California’s leading scholars chart a course for a future where diversity is not an appealing option but a fact of political life.

Michael B. Preston
Bruce E. Cain
Sandra Bass
Publication date: 
November 29, 1991
Publication type: 
California Politics & Government