The Phoenix area’s rapid population growth historically let the metro build its way out of a recession. Not anymore.
In terms of population numbers added in 2015, Arizona, Maricopa County and metro Phoenix were all top 10 in growth, but in terms of percentage increase over previous years, the county and metro are far behind other areas’ growth rates, according to the 2015 U.S. Census estimates.
To give perspective, the total U.S. added 2.5 million new residents for a 0.8 percent growth rate in 2015, and a 3.9 percent population increase since the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census.
Metro Phoenix, comprised of both Maricopa and Pinal counties, added 88,000 new residents in 2015, putting it fourth in the nation in terms of population growth, but ranking 41st of 381 metros with 2 percent growth rate over last year.
Only Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta metro areas added more residents than Phoenix.
Since the 2010 Census, the Phoenix area added nearly 370,000 new residents, an 8.8 percent increase, which places the market No. 8 in the U.S., falling behind New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, all of which trailed Phoenix in year-over-year numbers.
On its own, Maricopa County ranked second in population growth in 2015 over 2014, falling behind Harris County (Houston), Texas. The 78,000 new residents were only a 1.9 percent increase from 2014. The county added 342,000 residents since 2010 for an 8.9 percent population increase. The five-year growth puts the county in the third position among 3,142 U.S. counties, parishes and boroughs, falling behind Los Angeles County.
Arizona was the eighth fastest-growing state with 99,300 new residents in 2015 over 2014, a 1.5 percent growth rate. The state grew by nearly 420,000 new residents since 2010, but the growth rate was an anemic 6.6 percent.
Demographers with Arizona Department of Administration say the state’s highest growth rate was in 2005 at 3.5 percent. Phoenix grew at a 3.8 percent rate that year.
During the recession, the growth rates for Phoenix and the state dropped to practically nil, once hitting 0.2 percent in 2010.
The state projects populations differently from the Census Bureau, but the trends are similar even if the estimates have different numbers.
2015 Population Estimate – U.S. Census 2015 – AZ Dept. of Admin 2015
Arizona – 6.39 million – 6.76 million
Phoenix metro – 4.19 million – 4.48 million
Maricopa County – 3.81 million – 4.10 million