US & World

In long-predicted shift, California Latinos outnumber whites

South Pasadena High School counselor Sandra Jarrous helps tenth grader Erick Amaya and the school's other Latino students on the path to college.
South Pasadena High School counselor Sandra Jarrous helps tenth grader Erick Amaya and the school's other Latino students on the path to college.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

The long-expected moment when Latinos surpass whites as California's largest racial or ethnic group has come and gone.

According to U.S. Census Bureau figures released in late June, Hispanic Californians began to narrowly outnumber white Californians sometime in the first half of 2014.

As of July 1, 2014, the state had about 15 million Latinos to about 14.9 million non-Hispanic whites.

Demographers had expected the shift for decades as the state's Hispanic population boomed due to immigration and birth rates. Many thought it would happen sooner than it did, but a slight decline in population pushed it to last year.

California joins New Mexico as the second state with a Latino plurality. Hawaii, with its large Asian population, is the third state where whites aren't the largest ethnic group.