Arizonans continue to flock to suburbs
[Source: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, “U.S. census shows Arizonans migrating to suburbs,” July 9, 2008] — New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show Arizonans continued their march to the suburbs — and beyond — in the year ending July 1, 2007. But gasoline was selling then for less than $3 a gallon. And that leaves the question of whether fuel at $4.10 — or maybe even $5 by the end of the year — will slow the double-, triple- and even quadruple-digit growth of mushrooming bedroom communities.
The statistics released today show Gilbert grew faster between the beginning of the decade and July 1, 2007, than all but two other cities of more than 100,000 in the nation. The community’s 82.3 percent growth rate was topped only by McKinney, TX, and North Las Vegas, NV. San Luis, AZ, increased its population nearly 55 percent since the decennial census, compared with nearly 51 percent for Somerton, and less than 14 percent for Yuma. Wellton increased its population by nearly 2 percent, according to the census.
Overall state population growth during the same period was 23.5 percent. But Gilbert, which used to be on the edge of civilization, now finds that people are commuting through there from even farther distances. In fact, Gilbert had only the 10th fastest growth in Arizona when cities of all sizes are compared. Topping the state list is what had been tiny Maricopa, south of Phoenix, which wasn’t even incorporated when Census Bureau workers came knocking on doors for the formal decennial count. The agency figures there were only about 1,535 people living in the community on April 1, 2000.
That was before newspapers began advertising new homes for Valley residents there — assuming you’re willing to drive through the Gila River Indian Community to get there. Seven years later it was home to close to 39,000 residents, an increase of nearly 2,400 percent. The growth is occurring in all directions from where residents work. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]