County's numbers expected to bulge
Glenn County's population is expected to grow from about 29,000 today to 40,000 people by 2060.
That is a projection issued by the California Department of Finance as it calculates the state's future population trends.
The county's numbers, of course, will not have much impact on the overall state figures as Southern California counties and the Bay area are expected to remain major population centers.
But local officials believe the Glenn projection is a bit conservative given the state's population growth as a whole.
Willows City Manager Steve Holsinger said any growth is a good sign for the city or the county — even if it is not a huge gain.
However, Holsinger thinks that 50-year projection is "light" for this area.
"If we attract just one manufacturer or outlet for agricultural services, we could see a tremendous growth spurt," he said. "I would not be surprised to see that in the next decade."
Holsinger cites Interstate 5 and the railroad hubs as reasons for companies to come to Glenn County along with a skilled workforce available from California State University, Chico.
He suggests the state report is maintaining the status quo with the population remaining pretty much as it currently is as people live longer and some stay here.
Yet, he said he is optimistic things will improve — particularly with the county and its two cities working together to bring industry here.
That regional effort should bring results, Holsinger said, as any company benefits the county and its residents whether it is near Willows or Orland.
He said the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power plant in Williams benefitted Willows while it was under construction, and some employees live in Willows since the plant is just across the Glenn/Colusa County line.
Orland City Manager Peter Carr agreed the state estimate is conservative - especially since Orland's general plan is predicting a city population of 45,000 by 2030.
"A lot of what happens in Orland depends on what happens in Chico," Carr said.
Chico housing is expensive, he said, making Orland's homes more affordable to families and retirees.
Carr also predicts Orland will be affected by newcomers when word gets out what a fabulous place it is to live and raise and a family, he said.
"I don't expect a return to the growth of the 1990s," Carr said. "I think it will be more moderate and measured than that, but I do see growth."
Orland should see growth in everything from residential to commercial and industrial - particularly in agricultural supportive businesses that help the production chain from the field to the grocery store.
"We are fortunate not be overly dependent on any one agriculture commodity," he said.
Orland has nuts, oranges, olives and dairy among other crops and livestock, Carr added.
The state is expected to cross the 50 million mark in 2049 and grow to almost 52.7 million in 2060 for a net gain of 15.4 million between 2010 and 2060, according to the report.
Also by 2060, California will have 13 counties with 1 million or more people and eight with two million or more residents.
Hispanics are projected to comprise 48 percent of California's population in 2060 while White, non-Hispanics will be around 30 percent with Asians at 13 percent, Blacks 4 percent and Multi-race individuals at 4 percent. American Indians and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders will be at 0.4 percent.
The population in Glenn County is expected to stay largely Hispanic with 50 percent or 20,764 people maintaining that heritage.
Glenn's White, non-Hispanic population, is projected to be around 16,547 in 50 years, the report said. The Asian population will be around 972 with Blacks expected to be around 221. Native Americans will number 500 with Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders to have about 27 and multi-race individuals numbering around 1,000.
Its overall population count will be similar to Colusa County which also is anticipated to have 40,179 people.
But neighbors like Butte County and Tehama County will have far larger populations with 341,000 and 109,000 respectively in 2060.