Phoenix was fastest-growing big city in US over past decade, census finds

Aug 12, 2021, 4:00 PM

Facebook photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)...

Facebook photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix was the fastest-growing big city in the United States between 2010 and 2020 as it added 163,000 more residents, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Two of its suburbs — Buckeye and Goodyear in the West Valley — were among the 10 fastest-growing of all U.S. cities during the decade. Growth across the Phoenix metro area drove up Maricopa County’s population by 15.8%.

Greenlee County, on the New Mexico border, remains Arizona’s smallest county but grew by 13.3% — the second-fastest growing county — increasing to nearly 9,600 residents.

Pinal County, which has exploded with affordable housing on the outskirts of metro Phoenix, grew 13.2%, while Yavapai added just under 12% to its population. Tucson’s Pima County grew 6.4% during the decade.

While urban areas in the state grew, five rural counties shrank: Apache, Cochise, Gila, La Paz and Navajo — in line with national trends showing growth in cities, especially the suburbs, and contraction in rural areas.

The newly released Census data will allow the Independent Redistricting Commission to divide the state into nine new congressional districts and 30 legislative districts.

The release of the redistricting data culled from the 2020 census is coming more than four months later than expected due to delays caused by the pandemic.

The numbers states use for redrawing congressional and legislative districts show where white, Asian, Black and Hispanic communities grew over the past decade. It also shows which areas have gotten older or younger and the number of people living in dorms, prisons and nursing homes. The data covers geographies as small as neighborhoods and as large as states.

The share of Arizona’s population that identifies as white was 53.4%, down from nearly 58% a decade earlier. The Hispanic population grew to 30.7%, while the Black population made up 4.4%, Native Americans or Alaska Natives 3.7% and Asians 3.5% — all up slightly. The share of those identifying as more than one race more than doubled to 3.7%.

Phoenix grew 11.2%, the only one of the 10 largest U.S. cities to post double-digit population growth.

Phoenix overtook Philadelphia as the nation’s fifth-largest city in the once-a-decade count of every person living in the country. That’s hardly surprising in a city that has held the No. 5 spot since 2015 in the Census Bureau’s annual population estimates, which is based on surveys of a representative sample of residents.

Arizona’s capital city isn’t likely to climb higher on the population charts anytime soon. No. 4 Houston was the second-fastest growing big city and has 700,000 more people than Phoenix.

An earlier set of data, released in April, provided state population counts and showed the U.S. had 331 million residents last year, a 7.4% increase from 2010. Arizona’s total population in 2020 was 7,151,502, up 12% and 759,485 people from a decade earlier.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Gila River Bridge issue causes shutdown of EB Interstate 10 lanes...

EB I-10 closed south of Phoenix due to ‘bridge deck issue’ with Gila River Bridge

A Gila River bridge issue caused a shutdown of the eastbound lanes of the Interstate 10 near Riggs Road on Tuesday morning, officials said.

1 hour ago

Kamala Harris...

Heidi Hommel

VP Kamala Harris hosts reproductive freedom campaign event in Phoenix

The Biden-Harris campaign wants to make one thing clear to voters: Former President Donald Trump is responsible for overturning Roe v. Wade.

3 hours ago

(Pexels File Photo)...

Woman found injured in Phoenix alley dies at hospital

The Phoenix Police Department is investigating the murder of a woman who was found with serious injuries in an alley earlier this month.

3 hours ago

Surprise Police...

Surprise police investigate murder-suicide of elderly couple

The Surprise Police Department is investigating the death of an elderly couple, which appears to be a murder-suicide case.

3 hours ago

Dirtiest cities in the United States: Is Phoenix really No. 6?...

Serena O'Sullivan

New study ranks Phoenix as the 6th dirtiest city in the US

Phoenix ranked No. 6 on a new list of the dirtiest cities in the United States from LawnStarter, according to a Monday news release.

3 hours ago

Many U.S. $100 bills are spread out. One Arizona lottery player recently won a $10,000 prize, while...

Arizona Mega Millions player wins $10K while deadline nears for $50K Powerball ticket

One Arizona lottery player recently won a five-figure prize, while another is running out of time to claim an even larger payout.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Phoenix was fastest-growing big city in US over past decade, census finds