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Open Access Publications from the University of California

SPECIAL REPORT: The Growth and Aging of California's Population: Demographic and Fiscal Projections, Characteristics and Service Needs


This report is part of a state-commissioned project undertaken after California enacted Senate Bill 910 (Vasconcellos, Statutes of 1999, Chapter 948), mandating the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a plan to address the impending demographic, economic, and social changes triggered by the state s aging and increasingly diverse population. The University of California was asked to conduct the data analyses and provide background information needed to formulate this plan. CPRC has been coordinating this effort over the past three years, drawing on research experts from UC and other institutions. A faculty working group, chaired by Professor Andrew Scharlach (School of Social Welfare, Berkeley), helped guide the project. The authors wish to acknowledge Andrew Scharlach s substantial contributions to the substance and structure of this report, as well as his many valuable editorial suggestions at all stages of the writing. The authors of this report were charged with developing a composite demographic profile of Californians that would provide (1) a snapshot of aging demographics; (2) a summary of key variables, projections, and their degree of certainty; and (3) an estimation of service needs of elderly Californians in the context of the state budget and changing demographics. A forthcoming report by other authors (Planning for a Comprehensive Database on Aging Californians) assesses data the state already collects and where the gaps are, what questions the state needs to ask to project needs for policy planning purposes, and how the questions can be answered by enhancing and linking data that currently exist and selectively collecting new data.

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