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Professor: LA County ‘Ground Zero’ For Dwindling Child Population

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(credit: Fuse/Cetty Images)

(credit: Fuse/Cetty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A mass exodus of young children is underway in the Southland, a trend one researcher warns could lead to a critical shortage of workers in the future.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports that’s the grim assessment of recent census data from University of Southern California professor Dowell Myers.

Myers — who calls Los Angeles County the “Ground Zero” of the shrinking child population – said on Tuesday there were already signs that school districts were losing children, but nowhere near these numbers.

“Los Angeles lost a quarter-million kids under age ten in the last decade,” said Myers.

The professor at USC’s School of Policy Planning and development says census data indicate young parents likely took their kids out-of-state due to the high costs of housing and a sputtering economy.

And while some may cheer the drop as a way to speed up rush-hour traffic on the 405 freeway, Myers warns the county as a whole suffers from such a population shift.

“We know we’ve also got an aging population that’s going to retire,” said Myers.

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