We Are Only Shortchanging Ourselves

USC released a demographic analysis (PDF) of California.  Immigration into the state has dramatically slowed, but interestingly, Californians stay in the state at a far higher rate than the national average.  

Declining in-migration, high birth rates and a strong inclination of those born in the state to remain here are all part of the changing profile, the study says. Only four other states have higher rates of retaining those born in the state, and California’s rate, 66.9 percent, is markedly higher than the national rate of 50 percent.

“These homegrown citizens are also much more deeply rooted than other residents, and they represent a tremendous resource for California’s future. However, the middle-aged voters and leaders of the state may not have fully appreciated the transformation that has occurred; nor have they fully committed to the new future of the state.”

“There is no foreseeable wave of migration that is coming from outside California to save us,” the analysis continues. “If we fail to invest in the children of California, we will only be shortchanging ourselves.” (CapAlert 6/23/09)

Of course, the most important statement for our current purposes is the last one.  When we cut spending for education, higher education, and other investments in our future, the time to pay the piper will come.  When the Baby-Boomers finally finish their retirement wave, what are we going to do to replace those workers if we haven’t trained today’s children for tomorrow’s information based economy?