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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Growth of California’s Linguistic, Racial, and Ethnic Populations, 1986 - 2013

  • Author(s): Rumberger, Russell W.;
  • et al.

California’s school-age population is becoming more linguistically, racially, and ethnically diverse. Between 1986-87 and 2003-04, the enrollment of linguistic minority students—students from households where a language other than English is regularly spoken— increased 120 percent in California’s public schools, or six times as fast as the 19 percent increase in enrollment of English-only students. The population of English learners—linguistic minorities who are not yet proficient in English—increased eight times as quickly. This growth was fueled by the 128 percent increase in Latino public school enrollment. During this same period, Asian enrollment increased 68 percent, Black enrollment increased 28 percent, and White enrollment declined by 6 percent.

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