The Arizona Republic has an interesting article about the recent data released by the US Census showing Arizona was the second fastest growing state over the last 10 years, our population is now 6.4 million, and we will get another seat in Congress.
More detailed census data won’t be released until sometime in February which will show exactly who is where in the state.
Estimates are that 1.9 million Arizonans are Hispanic…an increase of over 586,000 people since 2000.
What is yet to be figured out is the degree to which the Great Recession, the housing collapse, and anti-immigrant fervor has impacted our population growth. One of the goals of SB 1070 was “attrition by enforcement” meaning there is an official state policy to drive undocumented aliens out of the state.
From first hand albeit anecdotal information having worked on the census, mostly verifying housing units and vacant housing units, at least down in our part of the state (Santa Cruz County) there were a lot of vacant homes…especially in the Rio Rico area.
The city of Nogales has been one of the slowest growing cities in the state for the last decade and may have actually lost population since 2000.
The Rio Rico area had been a hotbed of growth in the first half of the decade, but obviously slowed the last 3 years due to the Great Recession. Rio Rico will still likely have more population than Nogales and show an overall increase over the last decade.
It will be really interesting to see the detailed results in Pima County. Obviously Marana, Oro Valley and Sahuarita have grown enormously in the last decade. Estimates have shown over 1 million people in the Tucson metro region.
One particular set of data that will come from the census is what is the average individual and family income in the state and its various cities, towns and counties.
In 2000 there was a significant difference in the average family income in the Tucson area as opposed to Phoenix. Has that differential (Phoenix was higher) increased or decreased? My guess is that relative to Maricopa County, Tucson and Pima County have gotten poorer in the last decade.
It will also be interesting to see how voting patterns track with age, ethnicity, education and income in the state. The conventional wisdom puts areas with large Hisnpanic populations in the Democrat box, and areas filled with rich white folks in the GOP box.
With our Hispanic population being one of the faster growing segments in the state the anti Hispanic stance taken by some Republican leaders may have produced short term gains in 2010…but by 2030 the GOP could be toast in the state.
As the Tucson area becomes both more Hispanic and more lower income relative to Phoenix, one could envision our area becoming even more Democrat oriented.
Some political observers in the past have pegged the growth of the GOP in Arizona largely to the in-migration of Anglos, especially older folks coming to the state to retire. The crash in the housing industry, the inability of people to sell their homes elsewhere, and the Great Recession may have choked off the inflow of more retirees and thus GOP voters.
The absence of high paying jobs in the Tucson area has long been a depressant for our growth. Conversely, job availability in Maricopa County fueled a lot of their growth. We’re looking at over 4 million people in Maricopa now compared to our 1 million. Any wonder why Southern Arizona is increasingly powerless in the state legislature?
The Tucson area has always been of two minds…opposing growth but wanting higher paying jobs.
Arizona will gain a ninth seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 elections, a result of being the second-fastest-growing state in the nation over the past decade, according to the first release of 2010 census data Tuesday.
The final tally, however, may disappoint those who hoped Arizona’s growth surge for much of the decade would yield an even larger share of federal funding and two additional seats, as in 2000.
The housing bust, the Great Recession and efforts to drive out illegal immigrants combined to rein in the galloping pace of population growth in recent years, helping keep Arizona’s count well below projections, experts said.
Still, for those who like growth’s economic pluses, the 2010 census was another milestone in the state’s ascendancy.
The tally, pegged to April 1, showed Arizona’s population totaled 6.4 million, a 25 percent gain since 2000. Only Nevada grew faster. The U.S. Census Bureau had previously estimated Arizona’s population at more than 6.6 million.
As it turned out, Arizona fell 328,000 residents shy of gaining a second congressional seat.
Arizona’s voice in Washington will get stronger with the 2012 elections; its electoral votes in that year’s presidential election will increase to 11 from 10.
The nation’s population was officially 308,745,538, according to the census. The 9.7 percent growth nationally since 2000, as well as Arizona’s growth, was the slowest pace since the 1940 census. Growth slowed during the Great Depression.
In 2012, Arizona’s congressional delegation up for election will grow to nine from eight members, giving the state added clout in Washington and more weight in presidential politics. The relative population gains also mean Arizona will collect a greater share of federal grants, which now top more than $400 billion annually.
Arizona’s leaders welcomed the news Tuesday.
With the 25 percent growth, “Arizona has positioned itself to be the place for corporations looking for a better operating environment to collaborate and grow,” Gov. Jan Brewer’s office said in a written statement.
“Poised and ready to be the economic center of the West, the Arizona Commerce Authority’s mission is to attract new companies and corporations that will allow Arizona to compete on the global stage.”
The census data released Tuesday don’t detail city or county populations. That information will be released starting in February, as states turn to the contentious matter of redrawing state legislative and congressional districts based on the new data.
Some experts think the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, which hasn’t been selected, will create the new congressional district in a high-growth area of Maricopa or Pinal county.
Because the census counts all residents, not just citizens or legal immigrants, measures that cracked down on illegal immigration may have hurt Arizona’s population figures.
Many illegal immigrants left before the April census. Others who stayed may have been more unlikely than ever to participate out of fear of being deported or jailed.
The Pew Hispanic Center and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security separately noted that Arizona’s illegal-immigrant population declined by 100,000 from 2008 to 2009, although their estimated counts ranged from 375,000 to 460,000.
The economic downturn, however, also likely had a similar impact on population growth.
From 2001 to 2007, Arizona added an average 170,000 new residents annually, according to census estimates released each year during the decade. As it turned out, the state’s growth for the whole decade was about 128,000 annually, according to the census.
It’s unclear whether the earlier estimates were flawed or the effects of the recession on growth were more profound than previously known.
Other states hit hard by the housing collapse, such as California, Florida and Nevada, still managed to grow compared with their 2009 estimated populations.
Clark Bensen, president of Polidata, a Virginia-based political-data-analysis firm, said Arizona was among the states with the highest discrepancies between projected growth and actual population.
“Arizona was clearly much lower down than what we thought it was going to be,” Bensen said. “Georgia was also much lower than we thought it was going to be, as was New York.”
Demographers will dig deeper for answers, but housing is a leading culprit.
“If the housing market hadn’t collapsed the way it did, you would have seen the migration into Arizona continue,” said Andrew Smith, a political-science professor at the University of New Hampshire.
Some suspect Arizona’s growth may have been overstated all along, not properly recognizing many homes as a secondary residence or accounting for projects that got under way but were never completed.
Sources of growth
The formal count confirms what the state’s residents have known for the past 60 years: Arizona, like most of the West, is growing much faster than the nation as a whole. Since 1950, only Nevada has grown faster. Over the past decade, both states led the nation again.
Annual Census Bureau estimates have spotlighted the main reasons for Arizona’s growth since 2000.
Hispanics are the fastest-growing demographic group in the state, as well as in the country.
In 2000, 25 percent of the state’s residents were Hispanic, compared with 13 percent nationally. The most recent estimates released by the Census Bureau last week indicate 30 percent of Arizonans are Hispanic, while the U.S. average grew at a slower pace: 15 percent.
The state had an estimated 1.9 million Hispanic residents by the end of the decade, about 586,000 more than in 2000.
It’s unclear whether the growth in Hispanics might benefit Democrats when the extra congressional district is created.
Arizona also remained a magnet for residents of other states.
Over the past 10 years, only Florida and Texas added more residents from other states than Arizona, according to estimates.