Population and Land Use

EPA’s Integrated Climate and Land-Use Scenarios (ICLUS) explores future changes in human population, housing density, and impervious surface (soon to be available for ICLUS version 2) for the United States. These projections are broadly consistent with peer-reviewed storylines of population growth and economic development that are now widely used by the climate change impacts community. You can access the ICLUS datasets and documentation from the main ICLUS web-site: https://www.epa.gov/iclus.

The different population and land use change scenarios stem from global population and urbanization assumptions underlying two different future trajectories from the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) effort: SSP2, which represents a 'business as usual' trajectory, similar to the U.S. Census population projection (out to 2060), and SSP5, which represents a trajectory with higher fertility and higher net migration into the United States. ICLUS data (version 2) outputs being made available to the regional groups of the National Climate Assessment consist of both population and land use projections. Two ICLUS projections are provided, based on the 2010 U.S. Census and using fertility, mortality and immigration rates from the Wittgenstein Centre (http://witt.null2.net/shiny/wic/) to project decadal population to 2100, consistent with the demographic assumptions of the SSP2 and SSP5 socioeconomic scenarios, respectively. These ICLUS population projections are used as inputs to a land use model, which spatially allocates five residential land uses (exurban-low, exurban-high, suburban, urban-low, urban-high) as well as commercial and industrial uses.

Projection datasets are available for each of the NCA4 regions, and are available at https://www.epa.gov/iclus/iclus-data-northwest-region.

All datasets are compatible with standard geographic information systems. Documentation, including updates to the ICLUS modeling system can be found at https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/iclus/recordisplay.cfm?deid=322479.

Population: CONUS

CONUS data

Population: Northwest

Northwest data

Population: Southwest

Southwest data

Population: Northern Plains

Northern Plains
Northern Plains data

Population: Southern Plains

Southern Plains
Southern Plains data

Population: Midwest

Midwest data

Population: Northeast

Northeast data

Population: Southeast

Southeast data

Population by County

County 1


County #2

2100: SSP2

County #3

2100: SSP5

Developed Land Area: CONUS

Developed Land Area CONUS
Developed Land Area CONUS Plot

Developed Land Use by County: CONUS

Developed Land Use by County 2010


Key to Land Use Types
CONUS Land Use by County SSP2

2100: SSP2

CONUS Land Use by County SSP5

2100: SSP5

Developed Land Use: Portland, OR

Portland 2010


portland scale
Portland SSP2

2100: SSP2

Portland SSP5

2100: SSP5

Developed Land Use: DC Baltimore

Baltimore 2010


Baltimore scale
Baltimore SSP2

2100: SSP2

Baltimore SSP5

2100: SSP5