Southern California’s population continues to grow slowly, as the area swaps legal residents leaving for legal and illegal aliens arriving.
The combined population of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties at June 30 was 18.03 million. That amounted to a 12-month population growth of 128,552, or just 0.72 percent, according to the California Department of Finance. That was up from 94,828 in the prior 12-month period.
SoCal’s birth rate dropped from 13.69 per 1,000 residents to a new record low of 12.42 per 1,000 residents, or about 22,356 for the 12-month period. But the death rate increased from 6.26 per 1,000 to 6.71 per 1,000, or 12,078. SoCal’s net population gain was just 10,278.
The big population changes were due to migration. SoCal’s resident population experienced a “net domestic outmigration” of 64,953 for the 12-month period, down from 86,367 for the prior period. About 85 percent of California’s outmigration was concentrated in the middle 20 percent income bracket and the next lower quintile. The Independent Institute Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation found that middle-class outmigration may be explained by California falling to the second-least economically free U.S. state, with a score below that of Mexico.
California’s illegal immigration for the 12-month period was about 96,860, relatively unchanged over the last 5 years. Of the 11.3 million illegal aliens in the U.S., at least 2.35 million live in California. Illegal immigration slowed in the first 9 months of 2017, but accelerated recently with the Trump administration’s negotiations to grant 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients (or “Dreamers”) “lawful permanent residency” in exchange for a big border wall.
Giving “Dreamers” legal residency would make another 3.45 million of their relatives eligible for chain family migration. With California hosting 235,000, or 33 percent of “Dreamers,” such a deal would give another 1.15 million aliens family migration rights to immigrate to California, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). CIS estimates that 460,000, or about twice the number of “Dreamers,” would use chain migration to immigrate legally to California.
SoCal’s legal immigration for the 12-month period was 86,153, up from 81,450. Legal immigration almost doubled during the Obama administration due to expansion of chain family immigration and eliminating distinguished merit requirements to receive H-1B Visas.
California’s rich did not seem to be upset that the state has been swapping middle class working residents for legal and illegal aliens, many of them poor, for almost two decades. As a result, California leads the nation with about 7,946,000 people, or 20 percent, in poverty.
The rich have not seemed to be worried about the loss of the middle class and the expansion of the poor, even as Governor Jerry Brown and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have complained about President Donald Trump’s new tax reforms — with the latter calling the tax plan a “dagger in the heart of New York and California.”
New York and California were the biggest beneficiaries of the nearly $100 billion in state and local tax (SALT) deductions for 2015. But in California, with the highest “per filler” SALT deduction in the nation at just $12,682, the majority of California homeowners will still be big net financial beneficiaries from other positive aspects of the of the Trump tax cut.
But due to a much smaller number of very rich residents owning multi-million-dollar mansions and multiple properties, California has the nation’s largest “per claimant” SALT deduction, at $36,802. That means the very rich Californians that do not outmigrate will be pay an average of $9,916 more in federal taxes.