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The number of California's children is shrinking, and more of them are living in poverty, according to two new reports by private organizations.

The release of reports from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health and the Center for the Next Generation. was coincidental, but both explore the same phenomenon of change in the state's under-10-year-old population.

The Packard Foundation study, using Census Bureau data, reveals that the number of California children declined by nearly 200,000 between 2000 and 2010 and is likely to drop by another 100,000 in this decade. Proportionately, the study found, children are declining from 33 percent of California's population in 1970 to a projected 21 percent by 2030.

It said that declining migration and birth rates have contributed to the decline, along with a sharp expansion in the proportion of the elderly.

The Center for the Next Generation, meanwhile, calculated that Latinos now comprise more than 50 percent of California's children, and nearly a third of those Latino children live in poverty.

It voiced support for Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to shift more education funds to schools with large numbers of poverty-stricken children, contending, "Our ability to thrive as the world's ninth largest economy depends on having an educated, healthy and stable next generation of workers. We're headed in the opposite direction."


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