The Inland Empire, located in Southern California, is predicted to have a combined population of 5,692,922 residents by 2048. The area is also expected to attract the knowledge and biomedical technology industries and some retail and healthcare jobs. Experts predict that the Inland Empire will grow approximately twice as fast as the rest of Southern California, making it an attractive place for millennials and Generation Z to raise families.
Riverside and San Bernardino counties are expected to have 3 million and 2.6 million residents, respectively, by 2048, according to the California Department of Finance projections. Meanwhile, California is projected to grow by about three million residents within the same period.
California’s Historical Trends in Population Growth
Historically, California’s population growth had slowed since the 1980s, when the state grew by over six million residents. In the following decades, the growth rate slowed, reaching 2.5 million residents in the 2010s. Demographer Dowell Myers predicts that the state will not see a population increase of four million people within a decade ever again. Additionally, immigration to California has decreased in recent years as populations age in other parts of the U.S. and Mexico.
The Influence of Immigration on California’s Growth
The Inland Empire is predicted to be more diverse by 2048. While the White and Latino populations are leveling off, most of California’s new immigrant residents come from India or China. In addition to the diversity of its population, the region’s appeal lies in its community and ability to offer the Southern California lifestyle. Experts suggest that focusing on schools, mass transit, and high-density housing near mass transit is vital to making the Inland Empire an attractive destination for future residents.
The Need to Focus on Fundamental Infrastructure for Growth
According to Richard Kent Green, a professor of policy, planning, and development at USC, the Inland Empire must create housing that encourages less driving to attract a more economically diverse group of residents. Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, and Montclair are already implementing this approach by building high-density housing near mass transit.
In conclusion, attracting future residents and making the Inland Empire an attractive destination for millennials and Generation Z to raise families is a top priority. The region’s growth potential and ability to attract knowledge and biomedical technology industries, combined with its community and Southern California lifestyle, make it an appealing option for many. To ensure its continued success, the Inland Empire must focus on schools, mass transit, and high-density housing near mass transit.