Nevada’s population to grow 49 percent over 2 decades |

Nevada’s population to grow 49 percent over 2 decades

The Associated Press

RENO – Nevada’s population is projected to increase by nearly 50 percent over the next 20 years, a gain of 1.3 million people that would bring the statewide total to about 4 million by 2028.

The new projections are included in a new report by Nevada State Demographer Jeff Hardcastle.

“Nevada will likely continue to outpace the national growth rate,” Hardcastle said.

“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,” he said.

Southern Nevada’s Clark and Nye counties combined are expected to grow by about 1.1 million people, or 52 percent.

Hardcastle projects about a 37 percent rate of growth for six northwest Nevada counties combined – including Carson City, Washoe, Storey, Lyon, Douglas and Churchill counties. Under that scenario, Washoe County itself would grow about 36 percent to a total of 569,000 people by 2028.

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The other nine rural Nevada counties combined are expected to see growth of about 8 percent. Elko County would grow about 13 percent to nearly 57,000 people.

The biggest individual county increases are forecast for Lyon County, up 89 percent to 105,533; Storey County, a gain of 86 percent to 8,004; and Nye County, up 84 percent to 84,995.

Clark County is expected to add more than 1 million people itself for a total of just over 3 million by 2028.

Hardcastle said there is uncertainty about near-term changes in the state, in part because of new hotel projects scheduled to open 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. He said one modeling scenario suggests 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.