Population growth slows; Carson steady

Nevada's state population grew at a slower pace last year than in 2006, according to a report released Wednesday by the state demographer's office.

As of July 1, 2007, Nevada had 2,718,337 people - 95,000 more than the year before for an increase of 3.6 percent, said Jeff Hardcastle, Nevada state demographer.

From 2005-2006, statewide growth was calculated at 4.1 percent, when 104,000 new people moved to the state.

Carson City's population was relatively unchanged at 57,723.

The biggest change from the year before was in fast-growing Lyon County. In 2006, the county's population ballooned 10.6 percent to 54,031. By July 2007, the growth rate had slowed to 3.5 percent, for a total population of 55,903.

Hardcastle said a weakening economy and housing slump were the main reasons behind the slowing rate of growth.

"We've just been having a slowdown in the housing market, and jobs associated with the construction industry," he said.

From 2006-2007, Hardcastle said there was loss statewide of 9,900 jobs in the construction sector, compared with a gain of 5,445 the year before.

Clark County in southern Nevada continues to lead the state in new residents, adding more than 79,000 people for a 4.2 percent increase to 1.95 million, the report said.

In nearby Nye County, growth slowed to 3.4 percent from 8.5 percent in 2005-2006.

Combined, Clark and Nye counties account for more than 2 million of the state's total population.

The population estimates are prepared each July and are used to calculate tax distributions for local governments, among other things.

Four rural counties - Churchill, Esmeralda, Eureka and Mineral - saw population declines., Churchill County's population dropped 0.7 percent, to 27,190, a decline of 181. Populations declined 2.1 percent in Esmeralda, 0.1 percent in Eureka and 0.5 percent in Mineral counties.

Washoe County, which includes the Reno area, saw its growth rate slow from 3.1 percent in 2006 to 2.2 percent, to a population total of 418,061, the report said.

Elko County in eastern Nevada saw a population rate increase from 1.6 percent in 2006 to 4.3 percent last year, bringing its population to 50,434, up from 48,339 in 2006 and 47,586 in 2005.

Last July, the U.S. Census Bureau said Nevada returned to being the fastest growing state in the nation, having increased in population by 2.9 percent to 2.6 million. It was surpassed the year before by Arizona.

The Census Bureau estimate is reached by measuring births, deaths and migration into and out of each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Hardcastle said his office uses housing and economic-based data, such as the number of occupants in a residence and school enrollment, to calculate population estimates.


On the Net:

Nevada State Demographer: www.nsbdc.org/what/data-statistics/demographer/


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