The North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) launched the Chico Children’s Endowment Fund in 2016 to collaboratively address challenges facing youth in Chico and the surrounding area. The fund is an initiative of local donors with a desire to care for our region’s children for generations to come. NVCF will publish articles over the next several months to highlight Chico’s children and their families. Eligible organizations can apply here.
The mark of success for a community is the welfare of its children. Generation after generation, often our aim is to create a community where our children have a better life than the generation before. We want better education, better jobs, better relationships, more opportunities for our children.
The Chico Children’s Endowment Fund seeks to steward our future through caring for our community’s children through collaboratively addressing areas of greatest need where the Chico Children’s Endowment Fund could more strategically focus resources. Some of the questions this report seeks answers to are: Where are the most vulnerable children in our community? What are the greatest challenges they face? And where can our community as a whole help give hope to the most vulnerable and at-risk?
Looking at the number of children in Chico—particularly those underserved—shows that, with a coordinated strategy among engaged citizens, our goal to significantly raise the quality of life for our children is achievable. Unlike larger urban areas where the numbers can be overwhelming, our community can measurably and substantially make an impact on the issues facing our children. As stewards in our community, we are committed to ensuring that the wellbeing of our most vulnerable is secure and the best we can offer to all of them. This profile helps us describe who they are and what issues they face. This is a profile of those individuals who make up the youth in Chico.
According to 2014 U.S. Census estimates, Chico has a population of 89,180 not yet including urban areas like Chapmantown and the Mulberry District which are scheduled for annexation. Looking at Chico’s geographic context, Butte County has a population of 224,000 people.[i]
Chico has over 17,000 children (age 0-17) living within city limits—or 19.5% of the total population.[ii] Chico youth make up 41% of the total 45,652 children in Butte County. Of the 17,000 children in Chico, 60% are under 10 years of age. The following shows a breakdown of Chico’s youth by age:
A breakdown of children by gender shows that there are slightly more male children than females. In fact, this trend in the population continues for each age range up until 40 years of age, where the population above 40 has more females than males.
Racial and ethnic diversity in Chico is different from statewide demographics. Overwhelmingly, Chico has an 80% white population with about 70% self-described as “white only”—non Hispanic. Those described as Hispanic or Latino make up the largest minority group in Chico.
Chico children, however, are a bit more diverse with “white only” under 50% of children and Latinos comprise about 25% of the youth population.
PLACE OF BIRTH AND U.S. CITIZENSHIP
Of the total population in Chico, 6,687 persons are self-identified as foreign-born, making up 7.8% of the total city population.[iii] Butte County has 7.5% self identified as foreign-born.[iv] These percentages are relatively low when compared to the state of California, which is made up of 27% foreign-born persons.[v] Reflecting the cultural diversity these numbers reflect, 13.9% of the population does not speak English primarily in the home in Chico.[vi]
[i] “Butte County, California. Population.” United States Census Bureau 2010. Retrieved at: http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
[ii] “Persons under 18 years, percent, 2010.” US Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved at: http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
[iii] “Foreign born persons, percent, 2009-2013. Chico.” United States Census. Retrieved at: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0613014.html
[iv] “Foreign born persons, percent, 2009-2013. Butte County.” United States Census. Retrieved at: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06007.html
[vi] “Language other than English spoken at home, pct age 5+, 2009-2013.” United States Census. 2013. Retrieved from: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0613014.html