LOS ANGELES (June 8) -- Five years ago Sam Greengard, born and raised here amid the sprawl of the nation's second-largest metropolitan area, decided to join a counterwave to the flow of new arrivals in a city increasingly defined by immigration. He moved out. "I have never regretted it a single day," said Greengard, a freelance writer who moved his family to West Linn, a suburb of Portland, Ore. "The quality of life, for me, it just wasn't there, You couldn't go anywhere without hitting traffic. Everything was crowded. People were edgy and cranky. I just didn't want to be in that kind of environment." Greengard has plenty of company. A new report by the California Department of Finance says that even as the state's total population increased slightly, the number of white Californians -- like Greengard -- dropped in 2008, continuing a trend that could soon make Hispanics the largest ethnic population group in the state. The report found that California had a net loss of 105,000 white residents in 2008 through a combination of more deaths than births, and more people leaving the state than moving in. Since 2000, the white population has declined by 518,000, a trend that peaked in the prerecession years of 2006-2007, when real estate prices also peaked and drove working and middle-class families elsewhere in search of homes, said Mary Heim, chief of the finance department's Demographic Research Unit. But with the recession, migration in general has slowed considerably in the past two years. "Right now, since the bad economy everywhere, people just can't afford to move," Heim said. According to the report, which includes estimates regardless of legal status, whites accounted for just under 41 percent of California's overall population in 2008, down from 47 percent in 2000. Hispanics accounted for just over 37 percent, up from 33 percent in 2000. Asians grew from 11 percent to 12.4 percent, while African-Americans slipped slightly from 6.5 percent to 5.9 percent, though in total numbers that population increased slightly. California Population by Ethnic Group Source: California Department of Finance Report: White Population Dwindles as California Grows - AOL News I can vouch for this - sometimes I wonder, 'where did all the white people go???'