Southern Nevada’s population of approximately 2.33 million residents is expected to grow by a rate of 1.8% in 2022 – that’s an addition of 41,900 people – and is still on track to add more than 1 million for an estimated 3.39 million by 2060, according to a new report released by UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER).
By 2040 alone, the population in Clark County is expected to grow by 698,000 residents — pushing the local population past the 3 million mark. But first, CBER predicts robust growth will continue through 2023 and into 2024, as Southern Nevada continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The rise reflects strong economic activity boosted by expected infrastructure investment, including transportation-infrastructure investments such as the high-speed rail project and new hotel room additions.
For the first time, the report highlights data regarding age, race, employment, and gross domestic product (GDP) — painting an even clearer picture of what’s to come in Clark County.
Job Growth Expected to be Strong in Healthcare and Social Assistance
In 2021, as pandemic restrictions eased, 71,000 jobs were added in Clark County. Also, about 9,000 new jobs in the hospitality industry are expected by 2024 because of the addition of new projects and hotel rooms.
Between 2021 and 2060, CBER projects 498,000 jobs will be added and that by 2025 healthcare and social assistance will be the second largest sector after accommodation and food services , helping to diversify the Southern Nevada economy.
The shift to healthcare- and social assistance-focused activity partially reflects predictions of an aging populace. Clark County’s residents ages 65+ are expected to more than double over the next 38 years, to over 889,000 residents by 2060. By 2060, healthcare will account for 14.7% of GDP in Southern Nevada, up from 10.7% today.
After 2038, Hispanics are expected to be the county's largest population group, accounting for 60.2% of the population growth by race over the next 38 years.
Using the Data for Public Investment
“All of the data that makes up the population forecast paints a picture of what our community will look like in the next several decades and the opportunities and challenges that come with it,” said Andrew Woods, director of CBER. “The report has proven to be a helpful guide in making proactive planning decisions that have saved taxpayers money and resources in a variety of ways such as upfront investments in water policy and infrastructure that has allowed Southern Nevada to reduce total water consumption while continuing to add new residents.”
To further the discussion about its population forecast and to answer questions about the economy, CBER will host a Virtual Town Hall at noon on Aug. 18.The conversation will be moderated by UNLV's Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Keith Rogers, and include CBER's Andrew Woods and research director Stephen Miller. To register and submit questions ahead of time, visit this link.
About the CBER Report
First created in 1996, CBER’s annual Clark County population forecast was developed on behalf of local government agencies, including the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, Southern Nevada Water Authority, and members of the forecasting group. The report has helped these agencies make important proactive decisions on everything from how many more schools need to be built to how many police officers, firefighters, and doctors need to be hired to sustain the growth. For example, water consumption has dropped by 26% since 2002, even though 750,000 more residents have moved to Clark County. This was achieved in part on policy and technological changes made ahead of time, decisions that were informed by data from CBER’s forecast.
To create the annual population forecast, CBER’s research team uses the Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) model, an econometric forecasting model that accounts for dynamic feedback between economic and demographic variables. The team then incorporates the most recent available information regarding local employment and its growth, and local public and private investment projects such as expected hotel room inventory and SNRTC's transportation-infrastructure investment. For the first time, the team has included data on how accurate the reports have been over the past two plus decades.Back in 2001, former CBER Director Keith Schwer forecasted that 2.276 million people would be living in Clark County by 2020. According to the U.S. Census in 2020, there were roughly 2.265 million people residing in Clark County.