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Clark County To Receive Lion's Share Of Population Growth

Recent economic development in the state may bring nearly 35,000 more residents to Nevada over the next two decades than originally projected.

State demographer Jeff Hardcastle said projects such as Tesla Motor Inc.'s $5 billion gigafactory to land in Reno will have a resounding impact.

Hardcastle recently released his updated figures predicting that by 2032, Nevada will have 3.3 million residents. In September, Hardcastle released a draft of his projections, but several developments sent him back to recalculate those figures.

Those developments include Tesla’s battery factory, which is expected to employ 6,500 people, along with drone maker Ashima Devices moving its headquarters and 400 jobs to Reno.

“Nevada was hit by three major economic factors on the last decade: the housing bubble, the spike in fuel prices and the financial crisis; yet we grew by 35 percent from 200 to 2010,” Hardcastle said. “We are recovering and could end up growing by more than 290,000 from 2000 to 2020, which is roughly equal to the last year’s estimated population of Boulder City and Henderson.”

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Given Nevada’s current levels of employment and the potential for growth, Hardcastle says the 2014 projections are for statewide increases of 528,107 people over the next 20 years.

Broken down by county, Clark County will experience the largest population increase at 328,379, followed by Washoe County with an increase of 147,422; and other northwest counties (Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties) could see population increase of 44,034.

The counties along Interstate 80 (Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander and Pershing counties) could see an increase of 5,854 people and the balance of the state (Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye and White Pine counties) could see an increase of 2,409 people.

GUESTS:

Jeff Hardcastle, Nevada state demographer based at University of Nevada, Reno.

David Ervin, senior fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions and professor emeritus of Environmental Management and Economics at Portland State University.

Pat Mulroy, senior fellow for climate adaptation and environment policy at Brookings Mountain West and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

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