Population Forecasting and Planning Authority
While attitudes may be changing slowly, Americans tend to put more faith in land use regulation than in comprehensive planning for their future. Zoning regulations provide for concrete limits on land use, while plans are often deemed advisory or, when legally effective, are cast in broad platitudinous policies that can be manipulated to suit multiple political purposes. Plans, however, may serve as an important and binding means of predicting the future when they provide for a description of future, anticipated land uses, through a map or otherwise, of land use allocations. These allocations achieve credibility when they have an adequate factual basis. One of the principal building blocks of such a factual base is an informed prediction of future population for a given jurisdiction over a given timeframe.