Aerial view of the Phoenix skyline at sunset.
Phoenix is fastest-growing city in U.S. for 5th year in a row
Say “hi” to 25,194 new neighbors. They pushed Phoenix way out in front making this the fifth year in a row that it is the fastest growing city in America.
The 25,194 new Phoenix residents this year is slightly below the 10-year average of 25,912, however Phoenix continues to take the largest share of Maricopa County’s population growth, with nearly four in 10 new county residents choosing to live in the city of Phoenix.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 estimates say that Phoenix now tops 1.7 million in population and added more new residents than any other city. Phoenix’s growth rate, 1.5 percent lags behind the County’s 1.9 percent growth rate.
The city is still the fifth-largest U.S. city behind New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, but population losses in Chicago and Los Angeles were about the same amount that Phoenix gained, according to the Census. New York City lost the equivalent of the population of Goodyear.
Queen Creek topped Arizona in percentage population growth, 10.0 percent, with its population jumping from 55,000 in 2019 to 60,097 in 2020. That positioned the town with the seventh-fastest growing percentage in the U.S. Buckeye was second in Arizona with a 7 percent growth rate.
Phoenix also leads the country in 10-year population growth, adding almost 260,000 people since 2010, an 18.1 percent population increase. San Antonio’s 234,000 10-year increase is second in the nation, also an 18.1 percent population jump.
Although Phoenix would take decades to gain the 600,000 residents needed to pass Houston as the fourth largest U.S. city, Houston’s growth rate has been flat since Hurricane Harvey in 2018. This year, the Texas city gained 400 residents. Chicago’s population losses, though, puts Houston within striking distance of passing the Illinois city to be the nation’s third-largest city, if it returns to the pre-hurricane growth rate.
Tucson is still Arizona’s second largest city with its population growing 0.8 percent to 553,571, a gain of 4,610 people. Mesa had a 1.9 percent growth, pushing the population to 528,129. At that rate, they will overtake Tucson as the second largest city within five years.
The next three most-populous Arizona cities are Chandler (265,398, up 1.6 percent), Scottsdale (262,647, also up 1.6 percent), and Gilbert (257,658, up 1.4 percent). In terms of percentage growth after Queen Creek and Buckeye, Marana and Casa Grande both grew 4.5 percent, and Maricopa and Goodyear both grew 4.4 percent.
Phoenix added more people than 24 states, according to the Census estimates. Maricopa County added more population than 36 states. Phoenix’s population growth also exceeded Austin, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, combined growth numbers.