Who are they — and why are there fewer of them?

The number of children in California has been decreasing for more than a decade and is expected to continue to drop, reflecting a national trend. The cause: declining birth rates among women and less immigration. 

Today some 9 million children live in California, down significantly from the 9.6 million the state had just 15 years ago. And in the next 15 years, the number of Californians under 18 is estimated to further drop to 8.3 million, according to KidsData.

The decline is expected to have long-term impacts on California’s economy, since this smaller younger generation will be expected to work and pay taxes to support a ballooning population of seniors.

While dwindling in size, children under 18 are the most diverse age group in California and will continue to be so.