State projections show Douglas population to decrease over next 20 years |

State projections show Douglas population to decrease over next 20 years

Staff Reports

Population in Douglas County is predicted to decrease over the next two decades, according to figures released by the Nevada Demographer’s office on Tuesday.

Demographer Jeff Hardcastle forecast that Douglas’ population will be 50,455 by 2030.

Hardcastle estimated the county population was 51,390 in 2009.

Douglas is not the only western Nevada county predicted to shed population in the near future.

His estimates show Carson City will lose 3,329 residents over the next 20 years.

Hardcastle is presenting two different sets of projections. One projection is a low-employment scenario and is based on work done with the Regional Economic Models, Inc. model. The other projection is a high-employment scenario based on data from Moody’ Though the two differ in the long term, both paint a bleak scenario for the next few years.

“While the long-term projections differ between the two, both show the same short-term results,” said Hardcastle, who is housed in the Nevada Small Business Development Center in the University’s College of Business. “The two projections show a net loss of almost 54,000 people by 2014.”

The similarities using the two different sets of data stop there. From 2015 to 2030, using the more pessimistic REMI model data, the state’s population could grow as little as 14,000, an insignificant gain for a 15-year period. Using the more optimistic Moody’s data, the state’s population could grow as much as 1.2 million during that same period.

Overall, Hardcastle says change will be uneven across Nevada. Population estimates for northwestern Nevada (Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Storey and Washoe Counties) are uncertain for the next 20 years, ranging from losing 4,000 people to gaining more than 100,000.

There is a 4,991-person gap between state estimates and the most recent U.S. Census estimate for the county.

According to the Census, there were 45,464 people living in Douglas County July 1, 2009. The Census showed a decline in the county’s population for four years, starting in 2006.