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Census Bureau: Maricopa County Is Highest Growing County In U.S.

aerial view of Phoenix.
An aerial view of Phoenix.

Maricopa County grew by nearly 74,000 people from July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday. It is the largest growth out of any county in the United States. The total population of the county is over 4.3 million.

While Maricopa County continues to be the highest growing county in the U.S., the number of people moving here is actually less compared to prior to the economic recession in the late 2000s, according to Tom Rex, a professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU.

“The growth here is much less during this decade than what it was during the 1990s in through the mid-2000s," Rex said. "We’re actually more like what we were doing back in the 1980s in terms of growth.”

Rex said year-to-year growth during the 1990s and mid-2000s was over 100,000 a year. He said job growth could be to blame for a drop in the numbers, but also suggested that some of those moving to Arizona in recent years have been retiring Baby Boomers.

Maricopa County is the fourth largest county by population in the United States, behind Los Angeles County, California, Cook County, Illinois, and Harris County, Texas.