Description of time series:
The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population in the California Current ecosystem was substantially above historic levels, although the recent trend is not different from historical trends.
Description of gauge:
The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population within the California Current ecosystem was greater than 94% of all population levels between 1970 to 2018, again highlighting the substantial growth in the coastal population of this region.
Description of Coastal Population:
While marine ecosystems are important for people all across the country, they are essential for people living in coastal communities. The population density of coastal counties is over six times greater than inland counties. In the U.S. coastal counties make up less than 10 percent of the total land area (not including Alaska), but account for 39 percent of the total population. From 1970 to 2010, the population of these counties increased by almost 40% and are projected to increase by over 10 million people or 8+% into the 2020s.
The population density of an area is an important factor for economic planning, emergency preparedness, understanding environmental impacts, resource demand, and many other reasons. Thus, this indicator is important to track. We present the number of residents within all regions.
Extreme Gauge values:
A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal population over the last 5 years of data was below any annual population level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual population level up until that point.
Coastal population data was retrieved from the Census Bureau’s county population totals, filtered to present coastal counties using the Census Bureau’s list of coastal counties within each state. Coastal county populations were then summed within each region for reporting purposes.