LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Is the boom beginning to come back? New census numbers show Clark County has gained tens of thousands of new residents from 2010 through 2012. As News 3's Sergio Avila shows us the experts think this is a sign we need to start preparing for growth.
According to the Census Bureau, in 2012 Clark County officially welcomed more than two million residents to the valley, making Clark County the tenth fastest growing county in the country.
Jeremy Aguero of the research firm Applied Analysis says the nearly 20,000 international and domestic immigrants are coming for old reasons.
“They're coming here for retirement or there coming here because they can afford a house where they weren't able to do somewhere else,” Aguero said.
Dr. Rob Lang of the Brookings Institute at UNLV said the population growth will help fill in some of the holes in our economy.
“We've overbuilt the city so it fills in some of the housing and retail space we have built for a boom and went in to a bust,” Dr. Lang said.
Another top growing county is Maricopa in Arizona. Lang thinks that should be a huge indicator to the feds the Interstate 11 needs to be built to connect the two counties.
“That's not a road to nowhere, that's a road to somewhere that's a road to the biggest interior market for our tourism in the southwest,” Lang said.
But if we're not preparing for the growth it can cause problems. Aguero says specifically we need to worry about roads and schools.
“So dealing with an increase in population is going to mean more congestion on our roads more overcrowding in some of our schools,” Aguero said. “That's something we're going to be dealing with for the next five years.”
Dr. Lang also said that although we've been in a recession for several years, the long term trends we've seen in Las Vegas, eventually have to start coming back and that's happening now and he doesn't see that momentum slowing down.