Could California’s Population Actually Shrink?

As the Golden State Hits 40 Million This Summer, Trends Point to a Less Populous—and Challenging—Future

This should be the summer when the population of California finally surpasses 40 million.

We should celebrate by reflecting on just how small we are.

Of course, we won’t. California, like an insecure male lover, is always bragging about how big it is. And so reaching the 40 million threshold—there is no red-letter date, though, by state figures, it’s likely to happen in late summer—will occasion another round of boasting about our size, not merely in population but in economic output and cultural impact. And this moment is likely to produce new …

More In: identity

How Attending Elite Universities Helped Mormons Enter the Mainstream 

Through Higher Education, Latter-day Saints Joined the U.S. Meritocracy and Transformed Their Own Identity

The history of Mormon “Americanization” has long puzzled those who try to understand it.

In the last quarter of the 19th century, Mormons, under immense pressure from local and federal …

How the Cold War Fused Exile and American Identity

In California's Orange County, Vietnamese Refugees Rewrote a Tragic Defeat by Finding a Home in the U.S.

Thirty years ago, the small city of Westminster, California, held a grand yet understated indoor ceremony at the Asian Garden Mall to unveil the Little Saigon freeway sign. Governor George …

Home Away from Home

Gaza-Born Taysir Batniji Documents His U.S. Relatives’ Lives

In his photo series Home Away from Home, the Gaza-born Franco-Palestinian artist Taysir Batniji explores and documents the daily lives of people dwelling in intermediate states—between the land of their …

How the Townshend Brothers Accidentally Sparked the American Revolution

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer and His Soldier Sibling Pushed the Interests of the Empire at the Expense of Loyal Colonialists

Americans normally see our Revolution as the culmination of a long period of gestation during which a free people finally threw off their colonial shackles and became what they were …

Like Maple Syrup, Vermont’s Identity Is Complex and Messy

My Research on "Sugaring" Connects Me With Stories of a Rustic, Self-Reliant State

When people all over the country think of Vermont, they think of maple. No matter the reasons that people come here—skiing and leaf-peeping are two—they often take some Vermont home, …