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Suburban communities saw fastest population growth in Arizona

The fastest population growth in Arizona is occurring on the far fringes of metro Phoenix.

Queen Creek and the city of Maricopa are leading the way.

The two communities had the fastest growth among Arizona’s large cities, and were both in the nation's top 15, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Maricopa’s population grew by 6.2% and Queen Creek’s grew by 6.7% during the fiscal year that ended last July.

However, the Census Bureau only ranks cities with populations over 50,000. 

When accounting for smaller communities, Coolidge saw an even bigger jump, growing by nearly 12%. That’s been driven by new factories and economic development.

For example, Procter and Gamble announced a $500 million facility last year in Coolidge, expected to be operational in 2025.

The new report also finds that about one out of four Arizona communities actually lost population. And the biggest loser was Douglas which, according to Census Bureau statistics, shed 4.6% of its residents, dropping the city below 16,000 — essentially back to where it was at the turn of the century.

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.