An Arizona Population Milestone: 7 Million Residents

Maribeth Brady | Phoenix

Arizona remains one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, with its population topping 7 million this year, the U.S. Census Bureau announced last week.

According to Census estimates, Arizona added about 107,000 residents in the past year, giving the Grand Canyon State an estimated population of 7,016,270. That's a 1.6 percent increase over the 2016 population, the sixth-highest in the country in terms of percentage. (The states ahead of Arizona on that list: Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Washington and Florida.)

Arizona's population growth has been among the highest in the nation for several years, but it's fallen short of the prediction Senator Barry Goldwater gave to Arizona Highways in 1978.

"I have stated publicly ... that I feel that Phoenix will grow to be the fifth or sixth largest city in the country," he predicted, correctly. But the second part of his prediction hasn't panned out: "I was asked to project Arizona's population through the year 2012, and from all the data that I used, the number 20 million people came up. But I tempered it and said 18 million."

We've still got a ways to go on that. In fact, 7 million, while an impressive figure, is just 1 million fewer people than visited Grand Canyon National Park in 2016.

Nationwide, the U.S. population increased by 2.3 million, or 0.72 percent, this year. Eight states saw their number of residents decrease; the sharpest decline was in Wyoming, which lost 1 percent of its residents.

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