Project at a Glance

Title: Population growth and atmospheric emissions in California.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Cramer, James C

Contractor: UC Davis

Contract Number: 95-333

Research Program Area: Economic Analysis

Topic Areas: Impacts


California's population is expected to grow considerably in the coming decades. Estimation of the effects of population growth on atmospheric emissions should help the planning process for attainment of air quality standards. This research estimates the effects of population growth on emissions in two air basins in California: San Joaquin Valley and South Coast. The research utilizes the Air Resources Board emissions projection system using carefully selected scenarios of population growth while holding economic growth and regulations constant. The research indicates that as population grows, emissions increase but not as rapidly; if population growth is 10 percent, the increase in emissions is between 3 percent and 7 percent. The estimated impact of population growth is imprecise because of the difficulty of isolating effects of population growth from other factors that affect emissions; further research on this problem is recommended.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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