Demographer: Douglas posts slight population increase
MINDEN, Nev. – Douglas County posted a slight increase in population over the 2010 census, according to figures released Monday by the Nevada State Demographer’s Office.
The county’s population was 47,661 as of July 1, 2011, an increase over the official census count of 46,997. However, it was also a 3.2 percent less than the Demographer’s population for the county of 49,242.
The Demographer’s office tends to run higher than the census during the decade. Last year the numbers had to be adjusted by 2,245 people to jibe with the federal count.
The new numbers show that while Gardnerville increased in population to 5,469 people during the year, both Genoa and Minden posted losses. Minden is home to 2,984 people and Genoa to 216.
According to the Demographer’s numbers, Douglas has fallen to Nevada’s sixth most populous county, following Clark, Washoe, Carson City, Lyon and Elko.
State Demographer Jeff Hardcastle said the numbers show Nevada’s economy is flattening out after the recession.
“Just as other economic indicators are showing, we’re sort of leveling off,” said State Demographer Jeff Hardcastle. “The data doesn’t support that large numbers of people are moving out of the state at this time. And, if some are moving out, we are having enough people move in to the state or having enough children to offset those moving out.”
Hardcastle said that the slight growth is about equal to what we see due to natural population increase, or births, in a given year.
To calculate the estimates, Hardcastle looks at statistics pertaining to number of households, persons per household, occupancy rates, number of people in group quarters, employment and labor force data and school enrollment figures.
Breaking down the estimates, the rural counties generally fared the best, with those in northwest Nevada, including Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon and Storey Counties, experiencing slight increases in population, ranging from an estimated increase of 0.8 percent in Lyon County to an estimated increase of 3 percent in Storey County. Douglas County and the state capital each experienced an estimated increase of 1.5 percent. Nye County in southern Nevada saw an estimated 1.7 percent increase.
Rural counties in northeast and central Nevada also saw slight growth, with an average estimated increase of 1.5 percent, much of that due to continued growth in the mining industry since 2003.
The loss of such jobs is probably one reason Washoe County did not quite keep pace, losing an estimated 935 people, or 0.2 percent, Hardcastle said. Washoe County lost about 4,200 jobs during this period, with 2,000 of them being government jobs, and most of the others being in the traditional sectors.
While gaming employment has begun to climb in Washoe County, with about 300 gaming jobs added this period, it isn’t rebounding as quickly as it is in Clark County, which gained 7,900 gaming jobs this period. Overall, however, Clark County experienced a net loss of 2,400 jobs this period. The gain in gaming jobs helped to offset the whopping 3,800 government jobs the county loss.
Despite some job loss, Clark County still managed to gain an estimated 13,462 people, an increase of 0.7 percent, which Hardcastle again said can probably mostly be attributed to births.