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Research December 2, 2022

The Race and Ethnicity of the California Health Workforce

The Health Workforce Diversity Initiative analyzes the diversity of the population in one state, California, compared to the diversity of its health professions workforce, thanks to funding from the California Endowment.

The California Health Workforce

About the Report

Having a health workforce that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the population matters. A diverse workforce impacts access to quality of and outcomes of care. Studies have documented that having a diverse student body in the health professions increases the cultural awareness and competence of all students. Historically, Black, Hispanic and Native American populations have been underrepresented in health professions requiring higher education. This underrepresentation contributes to health disparities. It also limits access to high paying, meaningful professions for underrepresented minorities.

California is one of the most diverse states in the nation. According to our analysis of U.S. Census Bureau reports, the California labor force was 38.0% Hispanic, 37.8% White, 15.8% Asian/Pacific Islander, 5.4% Black, 0.3% American Indian/Alaska Native, and 2.9% multiple and other race/ethnicities from 2015-19.

This report presents a detailed picture of the diversity of the health workforce in California including the current workforce and the pipeline—those graduating from health professions education programs – in comparison to the diversity of the state.

Citation: Bogucki C, Brantley E, Salsberg E. The Race and Ethnicity of the California Health Workforce. Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity. Washington, DC: George Washington University, 2022.

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