County population continues upward climb

The population of Pahrump and Nye County continues to climb, with one year of slow but steady growth, according to third quarter figures released by the Nye County Planning Department this week.

The Pahrump population was estimated at 38,492 as of the end of the third quarter, Sept. 30. That’s up 25 residents from the end of the second quarter and the highest population figure for Pahrump since the third quarter of 2008, during the start of the economic recession, when planners estimated there were 38,621 residents.

Pahrump continued to show population growth every quarter since the fourth quarter of 2012 when the population dropped to 38,153, a gain of 339 residents in the past year. It could be signs of a possible recovery in the economy.

The Nye County population increased by 86 residents, to 46,618 as of Sept. 30, county planners estimate. That’s the highest county population estimate since the second quarter of 2008 when planners estimated there were 46,755 county residents.

Tonopah, where SolarReserve is building the Crescent Dunes solar project, topped the 3,000 population mark for the first time at the end of the second quarter, by the end of the third quarter on Sept. 30, planners estimated there were 3,057 residents. That’s 35 more people than the second quarter and 92 more than after the fourth quarter of 2012, a 4.2 percent annual increase in population.

Elsewhere, Beatty gained 17 residents, to finish the third quarter with 1,063 residents, planners estimate.

Amargosa Valley lost nine residents, according to the survey, with 1,339 residents after the third quarter, compared to 1,348 after the second quarter.

Smoky Valley had 19 more residents, with a population of 1,831 residents as of Sept. 30.

Nye County planners use active residential customer data from electric utilities multiplied times the average number of persons as determined by the U.S. Census for each area, which have been scaled to the estimated number of households per residential electrical meter. Planners use a trending factor to estimate the population of people in group quarters like nursing homes and detention facilities, that is monitored on an annual basis with telephone interviews.

The population estimates have been used to monitor and assess baseline conditions for the Yucca Mountain project, to prepare baseline projections for the county and its communities, to provide a basis for comparison with other estimates and for public and private agency planning and management purposes.