SARANAC LAKE — A new study says Essex County is losing population as it transitions to a tourism-based economy.
The report by the Blue Line Group of Saranac Lake says Essex County lost 400 people between 2012 and 2012.
The 2010 U.S. Census put the county’s population at 39,400, but the report predicts the population will decrease over the next 30 years, based on the 2012 estimate of just 39,000 year-round residents.
The document is titled “Essex County Profile: The People, Home and Economy of Essex County,” and its 36 pages use four statistical models to make predictions about the county’s future.
Blue Line Group Planner Daniel Stevens said by email that the report was not commissioned by a specific client.
“It was intended to help local officials and planners in Essex County. This is the first report that I’ve prepared at Blue Line Group. I previously did economic research and analysis work for the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit.”
The Lake Placid-based Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) has also produced reports on Essex County, but Stevens said this goes into more detail.
“My understanding of ROOST is that their economic-impact reports are typically limited to tourism, while this report is intended to provide a broader overview.”
The report divides the county’s economy into basic and non-basic sectors — basic being goods or services for export, such as tourism, and non-basic consisting of items for local consumers.
Among the report’s conclusions using that economic analysis are that about 2,600 basic jobs exist in the county, compared to 7,524 non-basic jobs.
The economic base ratio is 2.9, meaning that for every new job in a basic industry, 2.9 new non-basic jobs are created.
The profile says the county had 9 percent unemployment last year, out of a workforce of about 19,000. That figure is 3 percent less than in 2007, however, the study says.