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Phoenix is 5th-biggest U.S. city

Tucson has slight gain but drops to 32nd on Census list

Phoenix has elbowed out Philadelphia to become the fifth biggest city in America and one of six Arizona cities, including Tucson, to make the top 100 list, according to Census Bureau population estimates being released Thursday.

With more than 1.5 million residents, and more than 43,000 new residents between 2005 and 2006, Phoenix’s population increased more than any other city in the country, according to the Census Bureau.

Only New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston were larger, according to the study.

Tucson ranked 32 on the list, with a population of 518,956.

The Old Pueblo opened the millennium as the No. 30 biggest U.S. city with 486,699 inhabitants, according to the 2000 Census.

By 2002, Tucson’s population had topped a half million to 501,336, but its ranking dropped to No. 31.

“Some cities in our size are growing very rapidly,” said David Taylor, the population statistics guru at the Pima Association of Governments. “Some of them are in the research park belt. We don’t have that going on here.”

These include Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Portland, Ore. Las Vegas passed Tucson after 2000.

“It doesn’t really mean anything one way or another,” Taylor said.

It should come as no surprise that Tucson was only the No. 95 fastest growing city in the country from 2000 to 2006, adding a mere 31,602 people or 6.5 percent, according to Census data.

Growth slowed even more from 2005 to 2006, when the Census added only 3,346 people to Tucson’s count or .6 percent, ranking Tucson No. 123 for that year.

Phoenix’s growth pushed Arizona ahead of Nevada last year to become the fastest growing state.

Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Buffalo, N.Y., have all lost more than half their population in the past half-century.

Philadelphia lost nearly a third of its residents, slipping to about 1.4 million people in 2006.

Phoenix was barely in the top 100 cities in 1950 – it ranked 99th, with about 107,000 people.

Other Arizona cities that made the latest top 100 in addition to Phoenix and Tucson were Mesa, Glendale, Chandler and Scottsdale.

Gilbert and Peoria ranked No. 5 and No. 7, respectively, as fastest growing cities in terms of percentage gains.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Top 10 most populous cities in the nation as of July 1, 2006:

1. New York City 8,214,426

2. Los Angeles 3,849,378

3. Chicago 2,833,321

4. Houston 2,144,491

5. Phoenix 1,512,986

6. Philadelphia 1,448,394

7. San Antonio 1,296,682

8. San Diego 1,256,951

9. Dallas 1,232,940

10. San Jose 929,936



Nine Arizona municipalities made the list of the most populous cities in the country as of July 1, 2006. Their rank, population figures and percentage increases are as follows:

5) Phoenix, population 1,512,986, up from 1,469,794 in 2005, a 2.9 percent increase

32) Tucson, population 518,956, up from 515,610 in 2005, a .6 percent increase

38) Mesa, population 447,541, up from 442,381 in 2005, a 1.2 percent increase

72) Glendale, population 246,531, up from 243,144 in 2005, a 1.4 percent increase

76) Chandler, population 240,595, up from 231,728 in 2005, a 3.8 percent increase

78) Scottsdale, population 231,127, up from 227,584 in 2005, a 1.6 percent increase

115) Gilbert, population 191,517, up from 177,653 in 2005, a 7.8 percent increase

134) Tempe, population 169,712, up from 166,625 in 2005, a 1.9 percent increase

168) Peoria, population 142,024, up from 134,259 in 2005, a 5.8 percent increase



Two Arizona municipalities made the top 10 list of fastest-growing cities from 2000 to 2006.

2) Gilbert: population grew by 81,359 to 191,517 people, 73.9 percent change

9) Chandler: population grew by 63,591 to 240,595 people, 35.9 percent change

Two Arizona municipalities made the top 10 list of fastest-growing cities from 2005 to 2006.

5) Gilbert: population grew by 13,864 to 191,517 people, 7.8 percent change

7) Peoria: population grew by 7,765 to 142,024 people, 5.8 percent change

Growing municipalities under 100,000 people from 2005 to 2006 in Arizona:

Pima County:

— Marana: Population grew from 26,168 to 29,989 people, a 14.6 percent increase.

— Sahuarita: Population grew from 9,034 to 13,027 people, a 44.2 percent increase.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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