1. Kalamazoo County Future Population

Kalamazoo County's population forecast generated by the State's Office of Management and Budget in January of 1996 is shown on Table II-12. From 1990 to 2015, population in the County is expected to grow at an annual rate of 0.4 percent. Based upon this forecast, national birth and death rates by five-year cohort, and college enrollment estimates at Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College, the natural (births over deaths) growth was estimated for the County and its net migration was changed for every five years from 1990 to 2015, as shown in Table II-12. In generating this forecast, it was assumed that 60 percent of the area's college students leave the County after graduation.

As can be seen on Table II-12, the County would have grown to 233,994 in 1995 if not for a net out-migration of 5,870 individuals. Furthermore, the County is forecasted to continue net out-migration through 2015.

In the year 2015, Kalamazoo County is forecasted to have a population of 244,470 persons representing an increase of 21,059 persons or 9.4 percent over the year 1990. As can be seen in Table II-1, population forecasts earlier in this decade have been more optimistic for Kalamazoo County. The Woods & Poole Economics, Inc. forecast in the year 1993 projected 262,770 persons. This population is derived from more optimistic employment projections of the past. The Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study (1995) used Kalamazoo County Planning Department projections for the year 2010 and 2020 to derive a year 2015 forecast of 255,000 persons.

2. City of Kalamazoo Future Population

In Table II-13, population forecast for the City of Kalamazoo is presented in five-year increments from 1990 to 2015. During this 25-year period, the City's population is projected to remain fairly constant, dropping just 0.1 percent during the entire twenty-five year period. As a result, the City's share of the County's population is projected to fall from 35.9 percent to 32.5 percent of the total County s population (see Table II-1).

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