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Arizona cities continue post-COVID population growth

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(The Center Square) – Arizona cities continue to add to their headcount.

U.S. Census released data on Thursday estimating municipal population, showing all but six cities of its 32 with more than 20,000 people adding population.

The Census uses updated housing unit estimates to distribute county household population to municipalities based on the average population per housing unit. They then estimate the population in group quarters and add to that to find the total resident population of cities.

At 1,650,070, Phoenix remains the nation’s fifth-largest city. Its population increased by 6,171 in the 12 months ending in July and 41,855 since the decennial Census count in April 2020. The annual growth has slowed compared to the major population jump of 19,053 in the year prior.

Queen Creek, Arizona, continues to expand rapidly. Since April 2020, the city has added 17,039 people, a 28% increase. That’s a higher rate of growth than all but 16 other cities nationwide.

Population growth or loss has varied in America’s western states. Cities like Phoenix, Boise, Idaho, and all of Texas’ major cities have seen thousands added annually. Coastal cities like Los Angeles (-77,927), San Francisco (-64,962), and San Jose (-43,586) have shrunk since the pandemic began. San Diego and Seattle were the two large coastal cities with modest growth since April 2020.

With population growth comes a need for more housing. The Census found that Maricopa County has added 36,000 new units of housing in the 12 months ending July 1, 2023. That’s tied with Harris County, Texas, for the most nationwide.

Arizona witnessed a net gain of 218,247 in the same time period, the bureau estimates. The Center Square reported in October 2023 that most of the domestic migration into Arizona comes from California. IRS migration figures estimate that 74,157 people from California decided to make the Grand Canyon State their home in 2022, serving as an over 46,000 net gain to Arizona.

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