Census: Arizona cities among nation’s fastest growing

Arizona’s municipalities continue to grow as the COVID-19 pandemic waned, some at faster rates than nearly any other.

U.S. Census population estimates released Thursday show Phoenix increased by 19,053 people in the 12 months ending last July, more than any other city with a population over 1 million people. The only other city of comparable size to add population was Houston, Texas, which gained 11,223 in the same time period. Fort Worth was the only city with more than 50,000 people to add more people than the Arizona capital, adding 19,170 people.

The annual population estimates for cities and counties reflect changes in municipal populations as of July 1, 2022.

Phoenix’s growth as one of the nation’s largest cities runs counter to population changes elsewhere. New York City has consistently lost residents in annual estimates. In this release, the Big Apple lost 123,000 people. Los Angeles lost 15,748, and Chicago shrank by 32,990 people. All three cities lost fewer people than in 2021. With 2.3 million people, Houston gained 11,223 more residents than the previous year.

The Phoenix metropolitan area added 72,841 new residents and is now estimated to be home to more than 5 million people.

In terms of rate of growth for larger municipalities, two Arizona cities found themselves in the top ranks. Queen Creek grew by 6.7%, increasing in total population to 70,734. The city of Maricopa grew by 6.2%, to 66,290 people.

IRS interstate migration data shows not only changes in population but also where new residents are coming from. It’s last release of data reflecting moves from 2021 shows the majority of new Arizona residents came from California.

With growth comes demand for housing, something that’s stressed the valley and resulted in inflated home values. Census estimates show Maricopa County has built an additional 28,051 new housing units in the 12 months ending in July 2022, roughly 1,000 fewer than the previous year. It could be part of the reasoning behind the city of Phoenix falling to 110th in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of best places to live in America.

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