Phoenix, AZ – The Census Bureau says there were 6,392,017 people living in
Arizona on April 1. Add to that for apportionment purposes
another 20,683 who are considered Arizonans but living overseas.
The figures are used to divide up the 435 seats in the U.S.
House. But while Arizona's growth rate was the second highest in
the nation, it was only the sixth best in pure numbers. Topping
the list was Texas which managed to add 4.3 million people in the
last decade, entitling it to four more seats in the House.
Arizona is getting just one because the meteoric growth at the
beginning of the decade sputtered. Year-over-year population
growth was running at 3 percent or more, hitting 3.6 percent in
2006. But by 2009 the Census Bureau said the rate had dropped to
just 1.5 percent. Economists say several factors figure into the
decision by some people to stay put: No new jobs, an inability to
sell their old homes, and having to delay retirement in the Sun
Belt because their 401(k) plans are not worth nearly what they
had hoped. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.