Over 3M people will live in Southern Nevada by 2060, UNLV study shows

More than three million people will live in Southern Nevada by 2060, a UNLV study shows.
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 7:18 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A million more people will live in Southern Nevada by 2060, according to a UNLV study, which sends a message to valley leaders to plan for decades to come.

The study comes from the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research, which has been doing population tracking for years. Currently, 2.3 million people will live in Southern Nevada. By 2040, that number will surge past 3 million. By 2060, 3.39 people will live here.

In Nevada’s housing shortage, where will people live? According to professor Stephen Miller, unless Clark County geographically grows in size, there’s nowhere to build but up.

“The issue there is land, And if we run out of the land, because the [Bureau of Land Management] doesn’t release enough land fast enough to keep up with the pace of our growth, what’s going to happen? We had a picture of that just before the Great Recession. More high rises, apartments and condos. That would be one one solution,” he said, as the price of land could surge and single-family homes could grow increasingly out of reach.

Nevada leaders have been lobbying the BLM to release more land to help builders construct more homes.

As states relying on Lake Mead face historic water restrictions, will Southern Nevada have enough water for more people?

Miller expresses optimism from the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which forecasts decades of usage based on UNLV’s studies.

“You would think that as population grows, water demands increase. But the reality is that we have demonstrated over the past 20 years that we can grow our economy, we can grow our population,” said Bronson Mack with the SNWA.

The agency boasts that water usage has decreased 26% since 2002, though the Valley has grown by 750,000 people.

Will there be enough water for everyone in 40 years?

“The reality is, the crystal ball when it comes to water supplies, and the hydrology of the Colorado River gets very cloudy out into the future. It’s really our goal to maintain that quality of life going forward. But it’s going to really depend on continued water conservation, and the likely even increased water conservation as we go forward into the future,” Mack said, noting that other states and Mexico will also have to plan conservation efforts for decades to come.