Projections say Carson population will shrink in next three years |

Projections say Carson population will shrink in next three years

Carson City’s population is expected to decrease over the next three years, primarily due to a loss of government jobs, but should grow slowly thereafter.

According to the projections issued by the state demographer’s office, Carson City will lose 189 residents this year, 95 in 2009 and another 15 in 2010, bringing the capital’s population down to 57,425.

State Demographer Jeff Hardcastle said the dip in projected population is “reflective of a loss of public sector jobs primarily at the state.”

According to the budget office, more than 3,800 vacant state jobs are frozen now.

“Over the next two years with current budget concerns there’s that potential loss of state employees,” Hardcastle said.

Building permits have fallen off dramatically in Carson City the past couple of years, according to Lee Plemel of the city’s planning department.

“Clearly, over the last two years we’ve had a low number of new home construction permits but there have been some,” he said.

There were only 44 new home permits in 2007 and 59 so far this year, he said.

“Over the last 10-year period it’s been more than 200 a year, and over the last 20 years it was more than 300 a year,” Plemel said.

City Manager Larry Werner said the closing of two mobile home parks in town might also be part of the problem.

“We lost the Oasis Mobile Home Park and lost the one behind Bodines,” he said.

After 2010, the projections say Carson City will begin to grow again ” but never faster than a half-percent a year through 2028. Over the 20-year period, the capital will grow by just 8 percent.

The state, on the other hand, will grow by 49 percent to 4,052,568 over the coming 20 years. That is far slower than Nevada has grown over the past two decades, but still an overall population increase of 50,000 to 90,000 each year. The vast majority of the growth, just a couple of thousand shy of one million new residents, will be in Clark County.

As a result, according to the projections, 3 million, or 75 percent of the state’s people, will be in Clark County by 2028.

Another 569,371 will be in Washoe County ” 25 percent more than now live there and 14 percent of the state’s total population.

If the projections are correct, Lyon County will pass Carson City in total population by the end of this year. And over the coming 20 years, Lyon is expected to be one of the state’s fastest growing counties, rising to a total of 105,533 by the year 2028. That is a growth of 89 percent.

Likewise, Nye County is expected to nearly double in size ” up 84 percent to 85,000, primarily in the Pahrump area.

And the demographer’s office predicts that Storey County will also nearly double from 4,293 last year to just over 8,000 in 2028 ” 86 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum, Humboldt, Lander, Mineral and Pershing counties are expected to actually have fewer residents 20 years from now.

Humboldt, the projections say, will lose just over 1,300 residents leaving it at 16,693, Lander will drop 100 to 5,646, Mineral about 260 to 4,110 and Pershing about 300 to 6,783.

Douglas County will grow by about 12,500 to 64,860 residents ” a 19 percent increase. And Churchill County can expect an additional 5,250 residents for a total of 32,441 ” also up 19 percent.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.