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See how Phoenix and Arizona stack up in latest Census populations

by Dalton Herring on May 19, 2016
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Phoenix crept closer to hitting the top five in U.S. city population in 2015, with less than 4,500 people from passing Philadelphia, which is also a city-county.

That’s one tidbit in the hundreds of pages of data of city, county, and unincorporated area populations released by the U.S. Census from 2015 estimates.

Phoenix also ranked fifth in numeric population growth, adding nearly 25,000 new residents in 2015 over 2014. The city fell behind San Antonio, Texas (29,536), the city of Los Angeles (34,943), Houston (40,032) and New York City (55,211). Texas had five of the top 15 with Fort Worth, Dallas and Austin placing behind Phoenix.

Two Valley cities, Buckeye and Goodyear ranked 14 and 15 in the nation in population growth rate, both at 4.3 percent. Queen Creek also had a 4.3 percent growth rate, but the top 15 list is based on cities with populations over 50,000.

Five Texas cities, Georgetown, New Braunfels, Frisco, Fflugerville, and Pearland, ranked in the top 15, Georgetown topped the growth rates at 7.8 percent. No other state had more than one city on this list.

Arizona’s population increase 1.5 percent over 2014, and showed a 6.6 percent increase over the 2010 census. That compares with annual growth rates topping 5 percent before 2008.

Queen Creek is the fastest-growing Arizona city, town or unincorporated area, with a 21.1 percent population growth since 2010. Buckeye is a close second at 20.6 percent, followed by Goodyear’s 19.4 percent.

The three cities with 4.3 percent growth rates, Buckeye, Goodyear and Queen Creek, topped growth rates among all Arizona cities and unincorporated areas in year-over-year growth in 2015. Gilbert’s 3 percent growth rate and Scottsdale’s 2.6 percent rate made them the only other Valley cities with growth rates among Arizona’s ten fastest 2015 populations over 2014.

Not all areas of Arizona a posting growing populations. A total of 34 cities, towns and unincorporated areas lost population between 2015 and 2010. Bisbee faced a 7.1 percent drop in population, with sister Cochise County cities Douglas (-5.8 percent) and Willcox (-5.6 percent) showing the second and third greatest decline. Cochise County population declined 4.1 percent, making it the slowest-growing Arizona county, followed by Santa Cruz County, which declined 2 percent over the same period.

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