Posted: Mar 10, 2011, 11:58 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Willo, Midtown, Phoenix, Az
Census data: Arizona's growth driven by Phoenix, West Valley
38 comments by Ronald J. Hansen - Mar. 10, 2011 03:43 PM
The Arizona Republic
Soaring numbers of Hispanics and overall growth in Phoenix and the West Valley helped make Arizona the second-fastest growing state in the nation, newly released census data show.
Arizona had nearly 1.9 million Hispanic residents as of April 1, 2010, and their share of the overall population rose to 29.6 percent. It was 25.3 percent in 2000. The total count of Hispanics rose by nearly 600,000 over the decade.
By 2010, Phoenix had added nearly 125,000 residents and had grown to 1.4 million, a 9.4-percent increase from 2000. The growth was smaller than previously estimated and Phoenix remained behind Philadelphia, which held its status as the nation's fifth-largest city.
Solid growth in west Maricopa County and Pinal County means they could be central to a new, ninth congressional district to be created before the 2012 elections. Maricopa County had 3.8 million residents, making it the fourth largest in the nation, slightly behind Harris County, Texas.
While the state's 10-year growth figures are impressive, they fell short of estimates made in the final years of the past decade. The new numbers suggest demographers overestimated the state's growth at the height of the housing boom, in part because of tumult in housing data and lags in recognizing a shift in birth and death patterns, experts say. It's unclear how much the Great Recession and the state's militant immigration-enforcement policies may have altered the final figures.
The new data will help guide the five-member Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission as it redraws the political boundaries to be used over the next decade. But it also serves as the most precise snapshot of how and where Arizona has changed since 2000.
The state's largest city, Phoenix, was 148,000 smaller than what the Census Bureau estimated for it in 2009.
The census count of Arizona's population, released in December, was 4 percentage points below previous census estimates. It was the widest such margin in the country.
Arizona State University economist Tom Rex, who analyzes census data, said that's largely due to the movements of illegal immigrants and faulty assumptions from the housing boom.
Illegal immigrants "come here to work," Rex said. "If they've lost their work, they've lost total motivation to be here.
"That, in conjunction with the (2008) employer-sanctions law, made it harder for them to find another job. It seems quite reasonable to expect that a lot of them up and left the state in pretty good numbers."
William Schooling, Arizona's demographer for the past two years, said the state's own estimates were skewed by overreliance on misleading housing information, a method he is now changing. The Census Bureau similarly leans heavily on births and deaths, which are often reported too slowly to reflect the type of sudden shift that apparently happened at the end of the decade, said Schooling, who once headed the bureau's population estimates division.
Rex suspects the state population actually shrank on an annual basis for the first time since the 1930s. If so, that would match a pattern in Florida and Nevada, two historically high-growth states where population gains skidded to a halt at the end of the past decade. Last month, Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau, could not explain why Arizona proved so challenging, but promised such surprises would be studied.
The census figures serve as more than a population scorecard. In addition to its impact on congressional apportionment, the data is used to help allocate more than $400 billion in annual federal funding for a range of programs, from aid to public schools to transportation projects.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/electi...#ixzz1GFAnWepH
So not as much growth as we once over projected, but still growing at a good clip overall. All the doom and gloomers will continue to say they use the Force or "feel" we're doomed or other silliness, but it seems we're OK.
Pinal County population grows 109% in 10 years, census shows
3 comments by Ronald Hansen - Mar. 10, 2011 02:46 PM
The Arizona Republic
Among Arizona's 15 counties, Pinal County, which makes up much of the southeast Valley, had the fastest rate of population growth between 2000 and 2010, rising by 109.1 percent, new census figures show.
But a close analysis of census data by The Arizona Republic shows that the biggest growth boom was in the West Valley, in both rate and numbers.
The growth in the West Valley and Southeast Valley will put both in contention for the addition of a new ninth congressional district, to be created before the 2012 elections.
Excluding Phoenix, westside cities and towns grew by nearly 70 percent, adding more than 300,000 people to the Valley. In comparison, East Valley cities, excluding the northeast, grew by about 26 percent, adding about 230,000. Northeast cities, including Carefree, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale, grew by 7 percent, adding nearly 18,000.
If Phoenix's population growth were included, it would tend to add more growth to the west side and the northeast because it stretches west beyond 107th Avenue but stops eastward mainly at Scottsdale Road.
To the south, the Pinal County town of Maricopa's population exploded over the decade, rising from 1,040 to 43,482, a gain of more than 4,000 percent.
The U.S. Census Bureau counted 6.39 million Arizonans last year, up from 5.13 million in 2000.
Here are the 2010 population totals for Arizona's 20 largest cities and towns, according to Census Bureau records released Thursday:
Lake Havasu City: 52,527
Casa Grande: 48,571
Sierra Vista: 43,888
Oro Valley: 41,011
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/p...#ixzz1GFCK91hU
No surprise there. Pinal county up until recently has been very sparsely populated, so any growth is going to show up huge in terms of a percentage. I imagine we'll continue to see a lot of growth in Pinal county and if we eventually got Tucson to Phoenix rail we'd see even more.