Why is this important?
Population change is the result of three factors: migration, fertility, and mortality (the latter two together are called “natural increase”). Migration patterns, which can be unpredictable, can impact cultural, demographic, environmental, and economic landscapes. As such, tracking population growth is important to ensure that our region has the capacity to meet our population’s needs. Large increases in our region’s population could result in an increased need for land, whether for industry, commercial development, quality housing, or sufficient transportation and education infrastructure. It is important to track population growth, so that individual cities and our region as a whole can develop plans and policies that will ensure enough land is available to meet the projected need while still protecting our region’s valuable farmland and natural amenities.