Although many Americans think of California as a place for young, hip innovators, many areas of the state are actually quite the opposite. A new analysis by the Orange County Register shows that these locales are actually becoming increasingly geriatric.
Authors Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox compare the Golden State to Florida, an East Coast mecca for retirees. There are many reasons for the trend, they note, from slowing immigration to the high cost of housing along the coast.
Once considerably younger than the country, the state appears to be heading toward the national median age. Since 2000, the senior population in Southern California has grown by 24 percent compared with 18 percent nationally. Unless immigration or domestic migration pick up soon, this aging trend should accelerate.
At the same time, our analysis shows that some areas – notably along the Orange County coast – are rapidly becoming virtual retirement communities, with a diminishing number of children and young families. For those sitting in their houses in affluenza-afflicted enclaves of Southern California, this may seem good news: “aging in place” while their homes increase in value. But this trend is less a boon for younger people, particularly families, as well as for companies seeking to launch and expand here.