As California diversifies, San Francisco gets whiter
California is a paragon of ethnic diversity. We are a plurality Latino state, and will be for the forseeable future. Large numbers of immigrants from Asia are continuing to change the demographic composition and cultural mix of the Golden State.
Well, not everywhere.
The heart of the tech boom, San Francisco, is whiter than ever, and getting whiter. According to a new study, “San Francisco's share of people of color is declining, while diversity in every other Bay Area county is climbing, according to a new demographic profile of the region released by the social equity group PolicyLink.
“The report predicts that by 2040, San Francisco will be the whitest county in the region—a startling difference from the 1980s, when the city was an island of diversity in an otherwise homogenous region,” Citylab reports.
“One of the most talked-out reasons for this trend is the Bay Area's tech-boom-induced gentrification. According to Governing magazine, 28 percent of the city's Census tracts were gentrifying between 1990 and 2000, with 19 percent gentrifying since 2000. The city has become so ridiculously expensive that even white, middle-class residents—typically considered gentrifiers in other cities—can't afford to live there.”
The trend underscores a larger reality about the future of California, its people and its economy. A growing number of people are feeling threatened about the lack of opportunity in the state. Increasingly, those people are non-white. The overlap of income inequality, declining economic opportunity and ethnicity in California is a complex and dangerous political and social problem for the next generation of Californians and its leaders.