Demographer Releases Population Estimates

This post by Bill Sims

Posted in Demographics, Economic Development

Change to be uneven around Nevada over the next 20 years due to a number of factors

Las Vegas ConstructionThe Nevada State Demographer’s Office, located on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, has released its population projections for 2008 through 2028. The projections are for the state and the counties. Overall, Nevada is projected to grow by more than 1.3 million or 49 percent over the next 20 years.

“Nevada will likely continue to outpace the national growth rate. The Census Bureau’s National Projections show the United States growing by 22 percent between 2007 and 2028 and Nevada’s growth rate is projected at 49 percent for the same period,” said Jeff Hardcastle, the State Demographer. “Even though Nevada is expected to grow over the next 20 years, there is uncertainty about near-term changes in our population.”

According to Hardcastle, of particular concern is the impact of new hotel projects opening on the Las Vegas Strip between now and 2012. There are approximately 32,000 hotel rooms in some stage of development to be added to the hotel inventory on the Las Vegas Strip. One possible scenario from modeling the Southern Nevada economy is that the net effect of these rooms may be more like adding approximately 7,000 rooms.

“This scenario may be reflecting a number of factors that include the decrease in real wages over the past seven years and accompanying decrease in discretionary spending, the increase of transportation costs, and increasing competition locally, nationally, and internationally in the gaming industry,” Hardcastle said.

Overall, Hardcastle noted change will be uneven around Nevada. Northwestern Nevada (Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Storey, and Washoe Counties) is projected to grow by more than 226,000 people.  Rural Nevada (Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Mineral, Pershing, and White Pine Counties) is currently experiencing mining growth and that may last through the next 20 years. There are some other projects in the beginning stages that might help some of these counties weather any mining downturn. Southern Nevada (Clark and Nye Counties) is projected to grow by more than 1.1 million people.

The projections are used in preparing the state’s budget and for other planning purposes. They were prepared using the Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) model which relates a county’s population and economy to other counties in the model and the nation as a whole. A draft of the projections has been provided to local governments and other interested parties.

The complete report is available by downloading the pdf.

The State Demographer’s Office is part of the Nevada Small Business Development Center at the University’s College of Business Administration, and is funded by the Nevada Department of Taxation.

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