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Points of View: How Arizona Demographics Have Changed Over Time

Arizona has for a long time been known as a transplant state. Everyone’s from somewhere else. There are often more Cubs fans here than Diamondbacks fans, and snowbirds flood restaurants and golf courses in the winter. 

And recent census data backs this up —  it shows that less than 40% of residents were born here. 

But things are shifting. Arizona is also one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. We recently ranked the state with the third-highest rate of growth in the nation — adding more than 120,000 residents from 2018 to 2019. 

But this narrative — this idea that we all come here from elsewhere — has been around for a very long time, since the days of settling the Wild West. And it’s limited. Let’s not forget, there were indigenous people here long before Westerners and other immigrants came West. 

And that’s what we tackle in our next Points of View roundtable. How have our demographics changed over time — and what does it mean for our state’s identity? 

For that, The Show sat down with Angela Gonzales, associate professor and faculty head of Justice and Social Inquiry at ASU’s School of Social Transformation, and Pamela Stewart, senior lecturer in History for the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts there.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.