UCs released the Fall 2019 freshman and transfer application numbers and didn’t make a peep (there were lots of press releases in previous years). LA Times reliably dug up the information and did an analysis (plus an infographic!) of the decline in freshman applications (transfer application numbers held steady). I did a cursory check for press releases at the individual campuses but didn’t find anything.
I dug up some old California birth rate information a while back (it has since been removed; I guess this type of data is considered sensitive because I can’t find it online anywhere now) and saw that there was a slight dip in the number of births in 2001, which may have contributed toward the slight decrease in the number of freshman applications for Fall 2019 (Fall 2019 freshman applicants are mostly born in 2001). There was an unusual increase in births in 2000 and a parent I spoke to had attributed it to the “dragon baby effect” (2000 was the Year of the Dragon, an auspicious time to have children). After 2001, there was a somewhat steady increase in births until 2008 (Great Recession), when the birth rate took a nosedive. I don’t expect the slight dip in Fall 2019 freshman applications to be an ongoing trend, or at least not until Fall 2026 and after.
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