Arizona's Population is Growing (and Older)

December 23, 2016

states ranked by percent of population under 18 years of ageThe Census Bureau released 2016 population estimates and voting age estimates for the nation and states on December 20th. According to the Census, Arizona’s population grew 1.6% between 2015 and 2016. States in the West and the South lead population changes with Utah having the highest percent change in population over the year. Utah also had the highest percentage of population under the age of 18 at 30.2%. The percent of the population under 18 in Arizona was 23.5% in 2016, placing it 16th among all states. Arizona has steadily moved down in the ranking of states with the largest percentage of children (see Not as Young as We Used to Be). The percentage for U.S. was 22.8% (or conversely, there were 77.2% of the population18 and over).

The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity released July 1, 2016 population estimates on December 15. The population estimate for 2016 was 6,835,518. Maricopa County has the largest population in the state with 4,137,076 while at 10,433 Greenlee County has the smallest.  Pima County population was 1,013,103.

The Milken Institute released their 2016 Best-Performing Cities report in mid-December. This annual report ranks cities based on a method that looks at growth in jobs, wages, salaries, and technology output for both the near term (current year) and long term (five years). They divide the report into large and small city rankings, which really represent metropolitan areas. This year the best performing large metro was San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California and the highest ranking small metro was Bend-Redmond, Oregon. Most Arizona metros moved up in rankings compared to the 2015 report. Out of 200 large metros, Phoenix moved up 16 places to 46 in 2016 and Tucson rose 20 places to rank 155 this year. In small metros, Flagstaff tumbled down nearly 40 places to rank 81 in 2016 compared to 42 in 2015, while Prescott moved up 40 places to now rank 33rd. Other Arizona metro areas in the 201 “small city” rankings moved up or stayed relatively stable – Lake Havasu City-Kingman ranked 131, Yuma 146, and Sierra Vista 198.

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.2% in November, primarily due to increases in shelter and gasoline costs. The annual inflation rate rose 1.7% for the month.

Arizona job growth was 1.1% year-over-year in November. This was the first time this year that the state’s job growth did not exceed that of the U.S., which posted 1.6%. Education & health services and leisure & hospitality sectors had the most growth over the year while government, manufacturing, and other services lost jobs. Unemployment moved down to 5.0% in November from 5.2% in October. over the year.

Personal income in Arizona increased by 1.0% from the second quarter to the third quarter 2016 according to the December 20 Bureau of Economic Analysis release. Personal income grew in every state with rates ranging from 0.4% in Oklahoma to 1.4% in South Dakota.

Real Gross Domestic Product increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter 2016 according to the December 22 Bureau of Economic Analysis release. Real GDP had increased 1.4% in the second quarter 2016.