“Southern California is growing, and it can only grow in one direction – inland.”
Between 2008 and 2025, the state population is projected to increase by more than
8 million residents. Leading the pack will be the Inland Empire, the joint San Bernardino-Riverside
County area that is home to more than 4 million people today.
Growth in the Inland Empire has mostly been newcomers; since 2000, more than 587,000
new residents have arrived to the two counties, approximately 82 percent of which
came from other parts of California and the United States. In the future, housing
costs will stimulate more regional growth; the growing gap between the high costs
of coastal housing and rapidly falling prices in the interior counties will hasten
the movement of businesses and households into the IE.
The Inland Empire has the potential to be a self-sustaining economy that becomes
the world leader for environmental research and technology development. Solar and
wind energy have the potential to make the region net exporters of electricity to
the rest of the country. Education and research of new technology will be another
export of the region, while the clean environment and high quality of life draw
in workers seeking to relocate in an affordable clean environment.
The image that will filter into the popular consciousness about the Inland Empire
will be of our historic buildings, snow capped mountains, forests, pristine desert
parks, thriving universities, and a diverse and vibrant community that blends the
contribution made to our heritage by various groups from the earliest American Indian
residents to the newest waves of immigrants from all over the world.