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Zócalo Public Square at the Petersen

How Will L.A. Face Its Post-Immigrant Future?

March 12, 2013

Los Angeles is viewed—by people around the world and by Angelenos—as an ever-changing, international hotbed of immigrations and immigrants. But the demographic truth runs counter to this perception. In fact, Southern California’s population is becoming more native-born. This trend is here to stay and is likely to change L.A. in ways we have not begun to consider, much less appreciate. Will people who were born and raised here care more about local communities and politics, or will they simply be more myopic and less worldly? Will L.A. become a more cohesive place, since more of us will have grown up here attending the same schools and rooting for the same teams? Or will familiarity breed more contempt? Other cities that have seen declines in immigrant populations have also become less dynamic. Will a post-immigrant L.A. have worse food? Occidental College sociologist Richard Mora, Chapman University Distinguished Fellow in Urban Futures Joel Kotkin, and University of Southern California demographer Dowell Myers visit Zócalo to consider what Southern Californians should do to prepare for a future in which we will become a lot more like one another.

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