Washoe County, Carson City and three neighboring counties combined will likely see an additional 42,395 residents for a total of more than 638,000 by 2019, a major study predicts. That’s a 7.1 percent increase since 2014.
The Northern Nevada Regional Growth Forecast also predicts more than 52,000 new jobs over the five-year study period from 2015-2019 for a total of 400,870 jobs.
The population and job growth figures represent a mid-growth scenario, seen as the most likely by a committee composed primarily of public officials, including planners, and economic development experts. That 33-member Economic Planning Indicator Committee commissioned the study through the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.
RCG Economics, described as an authority on regional economics and market trends in Nevada, conducted the study.
In addition to Washoe County, the study area encompasses Carson City and the counties of Storey, Douglas and Lyon.
The study area was further broken into 18 zones. Under the mid-growth scenario, about two-thirds of the projected population growth during the five-year period will come from five zones in Washoe County: Sparks Suburban, North Reno, Southeast Reno, North Washoe and South Washoe.
“While the economic and population growth the study area experienced starting in 2000 was one of the swiftest in the U.S., it is substantially slower than what the region saw between 1990 and 2000,” the study says. “Through 2019, the study area’s population and job growth are projected to be dynamic, but not as fast as the annual rates experienced before the advent of the Great Recession.”
The study also looked at the population’s demographics. Under the preferred growth scenario, the number of people age 60 or more will grow from 16.1 percent of the area’s population to 24.3 percent, the study projects. The number of people under 20 years of age also will increase, the study says, but that group’s share of the total population will decline slightly.
The study also forecasts that the population of Hispanics and Asians in the region will grow.
These demographic shifts “will also generate new beliefs and concerns regarding housing demand, health care needs and lifestyle options,” the study says. “The historical preference…to live in traditional single-family detached dwellings could surrender to a demand for more urbanized attached or small-lot housing choices.”
In addition, the study says demands for health and other senior-care services will increase.
The effect of growth on tax revenues for local and state government entities also was examined.
The mid-growth scenario predicts that nearly $525 million in new tax revenues will be generated in the region by 2019, or an average of $105 million per year, with most of that increase coming in the last two years.
The new revenue will level out in 2019 as the construction of the Tesla Gigafactory is completed, the study concludes.