California is in the midst of an unprecedented decline in its child population. Falling birth rates, a decrease in migration and the retirement of the 'baby boom' generation are threatening the future prosperity of America's most populous state, a new report has revealed.
The report says that 90 per cent of children under the age of 10 living in California today were born in the state
The report, by the University of Southern California (USC), shows that in 1970 children made up one third of the state's population. By 2030 that number is expected to have declined to one fifth.
"After decades of burgeoning population and economic growth the state now faces a very different prospect," the report, titled California's Diminishing Resource: Children, said.
Its author Dowell Myers, a USC demographer, said: "We have a massive replacement problem statewide." He added: "These trends are not yet widely recognised, but they should be a wake-up call for policymakers.
"We will be increasingly dependent economically and socially on a smaller number of children. They are more important to the state's future success than ever before."
The report, which analyses census data, shows that the percentage of children making up the population in the state, which is home to 38 million people, has steadily decreased since the baby boomer years of the 1960s.