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Census: AZ is Fifth Fastest-Growing State in 2014-15

The Census Bureau estimates Arizona gained about 100,000 new residents in 2014-15, most of them moving in from other states. (XiXinXing/iStockphoto)
The Census Bureau estimates Arizona gained about 100,000 new residents in 2014-15, most of them moving in from other states. (XiXinXing/iStockphoto)
April 5, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona's population, which has been somewhat stagnant for the past several years, has begun growing again.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates between July 2014 and 2015, the state added about 100,000 people, bringing its total population to around 6.8 million.

George Hammond, director of economic business research at the University of Arizona, says despite the gains, Arizona is still growing slowly.

"The census data shows growth of 1.5 percent over the year," he says. "That's slow growth for the state of Arizona. If you think back to the 30 years before the Great Recession began, our average population growth was about 3.2 percent a year."

Arizona's population growth was fifth fastest among the 50 states – behind Texas, California, Florida and Georgia – and ranked seventh in terms of percentage of growth.

The Phoenix metro area absorbed the majority of the growth, with 88,000 new residents, to rank as the fourth-fastest-growing city in the country.

Despite all that, Arizona still ranks as only the 14th largest state in the nation.

Hammond says the slow but steady growth is bringing back some of the elements that, a few years ago, made it one of the country's fastest-growing economies.

"As we've seen over the past couple of years, that population growth gradually accelerates," Hammond says. "That's a good sign for the economy and for these growth-type industries, like construction, trade and real estate."

According to the Census Bureau, about 42,000 people moved to Arizona from other states, with 14,000 relocating from other countries.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ