Kodiak Daily Mirror - Kodiak population growth seen flat through 2042
Kodiak population growth seen flat through 2042
May 06, 2014 | 206 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A state report projects the Kodiak Island Borough will have roughly the same population in 2042 as it does today.

The report, released last month by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, estimates Kodiak will see generally flat growth in the years ahead. Population numbers are expected to climb by about 2.5 percent between 2012 and 2022, before leveling off for the next 20 years.

The borough population, estimated at 14,041 in 2012, is expected to hit 14,460 in 2042, the report states.

The numbers in the report are used for planning purposes for several state agencies, said Department of Labor Demographer David Howell. They're tabulated using 5- to 10-year trends for births and migration in specific areas and regions, as well as projected death rates for the population.

The labor department makes its population projections every two years. Howell explains the projection has become more accurate in recent years, but that Alaska's frequent boom and bust cycles make long-range projections difficult.

"In the short term they're pretty good, but in Alaska singular events can make a big difference," he said.

Although the Kodiak population is projected to remain about the same, it's expected to grow much older in the next 30 years. That trend will mirror populations throughout Alaska, as the current population ages thus upping the number of seniors.

In 2012, there were 624 Kodiak Island Borough residents age 70 and older. By 2042, a projected 1,870 residents will be in that age range.

Statewide population projections are more robust, expected to climb from 732,298 residents in 2012 to an estimated 925,042 in 2042. Much of that growth will be in Southcentral — specifically Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough — and the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Howell said that tracking Alaska's population is fairly easy, thanks to the Permanent Fund Dividend program. Residents have an incentive that doesn't exist in most of the Lower 48 to report a current address, he said.

"We can get so much of a better picture of migration than in other states," Howell said.

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