Report details student enrollment, other demographic figures in Mohave County

Mohave and Navajo counties have the lowest student-teacher ratio of the 15 counties in the state, and Mohave along with Pinal and Yavapai counties will experience the largest percentage increase in enrollment through 2025.

The student-teacher ratio is 16 to 1 in Mohave and Navajo counties, according to "Looking Forward: A Report on Arizona and Its Future" issued by the Arizona Senate.

That compares with a statewide average of 18.7 to 1 and the highest rate, 33 to 1, in Gila County.

Mohave, Pinal and Yavapai counties also anticipate a 75 percent increase in enrollment through 2025, the report stated.

That in turn means the counties will have to build more schools.

Betsy Parker, assistant superintendent of the Kingman Unified School District, said she had not seen the report but agrees with its findings.

The district, created when the Mohave Union and Kingman Elementary school districts merged in July, has about 7,000 students, she said.

Parker said she keeps informed about enrollment trends countywide through monthly meetings with other superintendents.

"I read a lot of things about Mohave County and how we are growing," Parker said.

"It is not a surprise, and we are anticipating and planning for growth.

Our (enrollment) growth has been real steady."

The school district is located in the fastest-growing county in the state.

Citing federal census figures, the report stated the county's population increased to 155,032 in 2000, a 65.8 percent increase from 1990.

"Mohave County indicated that the census figure was reasonably accurate given the county's mobile population centers and traditionally undercounted rural areas," the report stated.

The population is expected to increase to 254,952 by 2025, a 65 percent increase.

Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states in the country, said Victor Riches, a policy adviser to the Republican Caucus in the state Legislature.

Riches said one reason Senate President Randall Gnant issued the 61-page report was that he saw a need for a single source of information about projected growth for 25 years.

He added Gnant wants to use the report as a "starting point" for a discussion of statewide needs.

"We sent out a survey to all of the counties" in June, he said.

"We were looking at a way to present information that was most user-friendly."

Riches said the report also relied on data supplied by the U.S.

Census Bureau, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, the state Department of Health Services, the state Department of Corrections and other agencies.

The report also states:

• The U.S.

Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management own 55 percent of the land in the county.

Private ownership comes to 17 percent.

• The best-paying industries are transportation/public utilities, finance and public administration.

• The county has 401 licensed hospital beds, which comes to a bed for every 386.6 residents.

• The county anticipates an acute shortage of pediatric care and nursing through 2025.

• The county has approximately 189 freeway miles and does not anticipate a need for a substantial increase by 2025.

• Nearly 4 percent of the state's total prison population was convicted in Mohave County.

• The county will need to increase courtrooms by 50 percent by 2025 in order to maintain the county's current service levels.