New forecast from UNLV shows huge growth in Southern Nevada by 2060
FILE: New homes are under construction in the Black Mountain area of Henderson, Nevada on Thursday, May 13, 2021. (Tom Hawley | KSNV)

A new forecast from UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) shows substantial growth in Clark County’s population through 2060.

“We’re forecasting roughly 700,000 more people living in Southern Nevada in the next 18 years,” said CBER Director Andrew Woods. 

That means Clark County’s population would reach 3 million in 2040, up from its current level of about 2.3 million. The forecast predicts ongoing population growth for another two decades, with trends showing 3.39 million residents by 2060.


The forecast also shows the population of residents 65 and older will more than double, creating a greater demand for health care and more hospitals.

"If we recognize that now and start planning, and start solving some of those needs that are going to come along with that,” said Woods, “it turns into an opportunity because it's not just home health aides as we have an aging population. It's ambulatory care and outpatient care.”

“We're forecasting that by 2025, healthcare is going to be the second largest industry [behind hospitality/entertainment] both by workforce and by GDP [gross domestic product] in Southern Nevada,” Woods added.

Woods says history tells researchers California is likely to continue its contribution to Clark County’s population growth. 

"California has been a huge driver for our population growth, particularly Southern California," he said. “The majority of where we're growing is not internally, births minus deaths. It's from what we call economic migrants -- people moving from other states to Southern Nevada, particularly from California.”

Woods says other large Sun Belt cities like Phoenix and Miami are also growing as the nation’s population shifts.

The CBER annual report has been used for many years to help entities like local governments, RTC and the Southern Nevada Water Authority plan ahead. 

“We’ve worked with the Water Authority since 1996, 1997, so that they can better make decisions in the in advance,” said Woods.

Woods says it has allowed SNWA to be “proactive about reducing water consumption, and because of our forecasts, they've been able to reduce water consumption on a whole by 23%, even though we in the last 20 years have a million more people living here.”

For more information on the annual UNLV/CBER population forecast, visit the UNLV website.

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