Best Place to View the Future 

Bay Area Census

For a peek into the East Bay of the future, log on to the Association of Bay Area Governments' Census Web site. Besides current social stats for local cities, you can view maps and historical trends. Over the past two decades, for example, Oakland grew a relatively meager 18 percent in population, while Hayward and Fremont ballooned with 50 and 54 percent growth. In terms of racial makeup, Alameda County was 62 percent white and 18 percent black back in 1980, but now, whites are no longer the majority, and blacks are substantially outnumbered by Asians and Hispanics. It's much the same deal in Contra Costa County. Such stats indicate a fast-changing East Bay cultural scene that impacts all aspects of our lives, from fashion to politics, from music on the radio to school curricula. ABAG's site provides a snapshot of the California to come -- one with a truly multiracial legislature, where soccer is more popular than football, where white kids crank banda music while doing donuts in their hydrogen-fueled cars, and Internet cafes procreate like Starbucks.

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