Planetizen Managing Editor James Brasuell tries to predict the big ideas and trends that will dominate the discussion about the future of land use, planning, and development in the first year of the new decade.
The 12-month period ending July 1, 2019, saw the lowest population growth rate, 0.5 percent, since 1918, reported the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday. Natural increase (births minus deaths) was the lowest in decades. Ten states saw population declines.
It was thought that California's population would reach 40 million two summers ago, but growth continues to slow, setting records. Net migration, which includes domestic and international movement, was negative for the first time since 2010.
Rather than projecting when the 50 million milestone will be reached, demographic and political indicators predict the state's population is more likely to decline, according to Joe Mathews of Zócalo Public Square.
As recently as a half-generation ago, California passed anti-immigrant laws, routinely elected Republican politicians, and wallowed in land use laws—like Prop. 13—enacted by conservatives. Manuel Pastor explains California's change of heart.
Births and birth rates dropped to a 30-year low, not an issue of concern yet, but if the trend continues, the U.S. could join other developed nations that must deal with the consequences of an aging population. Immigration plays an uncertain factor.
Kathleen Pender, business columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, points to two reasons why home prices rise amidst a Bay Area exodus to other states. On a state level, out-migration shows California's strong but dysfunctional economy.