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The Forecast Process

A forecast of the number of people and jobs that will be located in Greater Kansas City by 2040 is needed to predict residents' future travel needs.

According to MARC's economic model, the region can expect to be home to 2.5 million people and 1.5 million jobs in 2040, up from 2 million people and 1.2 million jobs in 2010.

Population in Greater KC Jobs in Greater KC

Where will the additional 500,000 people live and work? Projecting this is the principal role of the Technical Forecast Committee. Local comprehensive plans show how land use is expected to change in the future. The land-use change model estimates which areas will actually develop or change by 2040. The forecast is further refined according to the expected effects of development plans, external forces affecting the region, community development goals, and potential changes in local policies.

Forecast Steps

  1. Regional Forecast: The regional growth model, REMI, is used to forecast the population and employment growth of the entire Kansas City Metropolitan area during the forecast period. The remainder of the forecast process distributes that growth within the region.

  2. Land-use data development:
    1. The base-year land-use map is created from county Appraisers' parcel data, to determine land use and to determine which areas are available for development. For the 2040 forecast, the base year is 2000.

    2. The planned land-use map is created by combining all available city and county future land use/comprehensive plan maps.

    3. Land-use 'paint chips' are developed to describe the full range of existing and planned land uses. Each chip assumes a different number of residents, housing units, and/or employees per acre.

  3. The land-use change model analyzes the conditions under which land-use change occurred in the past. Those conditions are projected into the future to create the development probability index, which assigns a probability of land-use change for each parcel in the region. The development probability index is used to distribute future change in land use, population, households and employment in the region.

  4. Community engagement meetings are held with regional residents, organizations, and elected officials to assess the support and expectations for local adoption of sustainable development policies.

  5. The final 2040 forecast is created according to model results, anticipated policy changes, and known future land use changes.