Population increases a smidge in Douglas | RecordCourier.com

Population increases a smidge in Douglas

Douglas County welcomed 75 new residents during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014, according to estimates released by the Nevada State Demographer on Wednesday.

The county’s population rose a fifth of a percent to 48,533 people, joining Lyon as the only rural Western Nevada counties increasing in population.

“We’re starting to stabilize population some for the regions,” said State Demographer Jeff Hardcastle. “Douglas has been inching up over time. It’s trying to be more of a tech center, growing incrementally with some light manufacturing.”

However, that increase is translating in slower job growth because the tech firms tend to have smaller employee bases.

“So even though you’re gaining firms, you’re not necessarily going to have a lot more employees,” he said. “There is something to knowing that things are somewhat stable.”

According to figures from the Douglas County Assessor’s Office issued at the end of 2014, there were 63 new homes sold in the same year as they were built. Only a half dozen homes built in 2013 were sold during the year. There were 913 home sales in all in Douglas County, with 778 of those in the East Fork Township.

The state gained an estimated 42,334 persons from July 2013 to July 2014, an estimated increase of 1.5 percent, about equivalent to the increase of 1.8 percent the prior year. This is higher than the 2011 to 2012 period when the state grew by 1.0 percent.

“Just as other economic indicators are showing, we are coming out of the recession,” Hardcastle said. “Natural population increase is continuing to play a role in our growth at this time and we may be seeing some increase in immigration. Growth was much less uniform than last year and we are estimating some loss of population in the smaller counties.”

To calculate the estimates, Hardcastle looks at statistics pertaining to number of households, occupancy rates, number of people in group quarters, employment and labor force data and school enrollment figures.

Rural counties in northeast and central Nevada also are a mixed story with Elko being flat for the year and growth happening in Esmeralda, Lander and Pershing Counties.

“Gold prices have been falling, and that showed up in the employment numbers in the first part of last year which impacts the estimates,” Hardcastle said.

Clark County gained an estimated 37,728 people, an increase of 1.9 percent.

“There was solid job growth in Southern Nevada it looks like more people were able to go back to work,” Hardcastle said. “There and in other parts of the state we are seeing mixed signals with school enrollment data, labor force and population changing at different rates.”

The Nevada State Demographer’s Office is located at the University of Nevada, Reno, College of Business.