Nevada will hit 2.6 million by 2010

By 2010, Douglas County will be home to nearly as many people as Carson City, according to State Demographer Jeff Hardcastle.

The figures are in Hardcastle's statewide population projections for the next decade. He estimates Nevada will add 644,000 people over the next 10 years - primarily in Clark County - for a total of 2.6 million.

And while Carson City is expected to increase by 10,895 to 63,515 in that time, Douglas County will add 18,122 new residents - more than 3 percent growth a year.

By 2010, that will bring Douglas to 60,712 - less than 3,000 behind Carson City.

"Nevada's growth continues to be dominated by migration with people moving here because of employment, lifestyle or a desire to be closer to family," said Hardcastle.

He said Western Nevada can credit its diversifying economy and commuter lifestyle, for those working in the Reno area, for the growth.

He said Lyon should add about 14,840 for a total of 48,990 residents - also more than 3 percent a year.

Tiny Storey County is expected to grow at an average of 2.2 percent, adding 989 residents for a total 4,729 by 2010.

Carson City is the only county in the state with a growth control ordinance designed to limit new home construction by restricting the number of building permits issued each year. Its projected annual growth rate is just 1.7 percent.

Clark will get nearly 500,000 of the new residents for a projected total of more than 1.8 million by 2010.

But while Clark County is driving the population increase with an average 2.9 percent annual growth rate, there are two counties Hardcastle says will actually shrink in population.

White Pine is expected to lose 2,775 residents, finishing the decade with just 8,375 people. Mineral County will lose 604 residents, falling to 5,846 residents by 2010, according to the projections.

Clark has by far the most new residents, but the title of Nevada's fastest growing county should go to Nye, which Hardcastle expects to nearly double in population from 33,000 to 59,000 by decade's end.

Washoe will experience only about 1.7 percent average annual growth, Hardcastle said, but will have 66,792 new residents by 2010 - a total of 390,462.

The projections released this week are Hardcastle's first since taking over the position of state demographer in January. He said the projections are reevaluated and updated annually.


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