White Americans in California

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White Californians
Californianos blancos
Total population
28,611,160 (72.37 - total)
14,696,754 (37.2% - non-Hispanic) (2017)
Regions with significant populations
Los Angeles metropolitan area 54.6% White, 32.2% alone
American English, American Spanish
Christianity, Judaism, Atheism
Related ethnic groups
White Americans, White Hispanic and Latino Americans

White Californians are White Americans living in California. They currently make up 72.3%[when?] of the state's population. 37.2% of the population is non-Hispanic white.

As of 2015, California has the largest minority population in the United States. Non-Hispanic whites decreased from about 76.3 - 78% of the state's population in 1970[1] to 37.2% in 2017.[2] It was estimated in 2015 that Hispanic and Latino Americans became more numerous than non-Latino White Americans for the first time.[3] Since 2000 (the US Census), California has been known as the second state in US history (after Hawaii since its statehood in 1959) to have a non-white majority.

The largest named ancestries of white Californians are Mexican (25%), German (9%), Irish (7.7%), English (7.4%), Italian ( 5.8% ); there are 65 other ethnicities with sizable populations in California including Albanians, Australians, Canadians, Dutch, Portuguese, French and even White South Africans.[4] Both Los Angeles and San Francisco have large numbers of residents with English, French, Italian, German, Palestinian, Iranian, Russian, Ukrainian, Armenian and Scandinavian ancestry.[citation needed]

Being the largest state in population, California also has the largest population of White Americans in the U.S., totaling 21,453,934 residents as of the 2010 census, as well as the largest population of non-Hispanic whites, 17,029,126. However California has the third smallest percentage number of non-Hispanic whites at 57.2%, behind New Mexico and Hawaii.

Please note that the percentages of different "races" quoted in this article are from racial categories listed on U.S. Census returns, self selected by the participants. These have only limited, cultural meaning, since racial categories are not based on actual genetic, biological differences. Please see Scientific racism for a discussion of the history and current professional understanding of the racial categories used in this article.


The first White people to come to the modern-day State of California were the Spanish people.

The California Gold Rush(1848–1855) began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California.[5] The news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad.[6] The Gold Rush initiated the California Genocide, with 100,000 Native Californians dying between 1848 and 1868. This began the process of white people becoming the majority in present-day California.

Later White Americans from the East Coast of the United States and Midwestern United States arrived.

The percentage of people of non-Hispanic white ancestry continues to decrease dramatically.

By region

San Francisco Bay Area

In 2000 the racial makeup of the nine-county Bay Area was 3,941,687 (58.1%) white and 3,392,204 (50.0%) non-Hispanic white.

In 2010 the Bay Area was 3,755,823 (52.5%) White. The Bay Area was 3,032,903 (42.4%) non-Hispanic white.

The percentage of non-Hispanic white people in the Bay Area is projected to decrease.[7]

Central Valley

White Americans are the majority of the population in the Central Valley.

Los Angeles metropolitan area

54.6% White, 32.2% white alone. Cities and suburbs with a significant white population in the county are Malibu, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Acton, Quartz Hill, Lancaster and Northwest Palmdale in the Antelope Valley.

By county


Historically and presently, politics of California have been dominated by white people.[8]

In the 2016 United States presidential election, California whites voted against Donald Trump by a 5 percentage point margin.

White people[which?] make up 60% of registered voters in California.[9]


The non-Hispanic white population as a percentage of the whole is projected to decrease in California.[10] This is due to the increase of the non-white population.

See also


  1. ^ "Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, California". Census.gov. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Census". Census.gov. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  3. ^ Panzar, Javier (8 July 2015). "It's official: Latinos now outnumber whites in California". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  4. ^ https://statisticalatlas.com/state/California/Ancestry
  5. ^ "[E]vents from January 1848 through December 1855 [are] generally acknowledged as the 'Gold Rush'. After 1855, California gold mining changed and is outside the 'rush' era.""The Gold Rush of California: A Bibliography of Periodical Articles". California State University, Stanislaus. 2002. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  6. ^ "California Gold Rush, 1848–1864". Learn California.org, a site designed for the California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
  7. ^ "S.F. Could Be Much Whiter in 25 Years, While the Rest of Region Gets More Diverse". 2.kqed.org. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Why do California's whites vote so differently than whites elsewhere?". Sacbee.com. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Race and Voting in California - PPIC". Ppic.org. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  10. ^ Badger, Emily (1 February 2017). "Immigrant Shock: Can California Predict the Nation's Future?" – via NYTimes.com.


  • Maharidge, Dale, The Coming White Minority: California's Eruptions and America's Future, 1996, Times Books, ISBN 9780812922899
  • Sherburne Friend Cook, The Conflict Between the California Indian and White Civilization, 1943, University of California Press, ISBN 9780520031425
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