The Arizona Republic ran an article today, Phoenix May be Losing People. They say that for the first time in modern history, the population of Phoenix may be declining.
It’s a very interesting article, particularly given the explosive growth that Phoenix has seen over the past several years (Almost 400 people per day have moved to the Phoenix area in the last 7 years).
Citing indicators such as foreclosure numbers sky rocketing, reduced trash collection, lower crime, a lower number of water hookups, and reduced tax revenues, the Republic says these may be indicators of a population decline in Phoenix.
Maybe, maybe not.
There could be factors other than a population decline at play. The national (world?) recession, tighter immigration status verification laws, and the housing market decline spring immediately to mind and are briefly mentioned in the article.
Interestingly, the article appears to be referring only to Phoenix proper, and the suburbs / greater Phoenix metro area garner no mention what-so-ever.
Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 2007 projections, Phoenix is home to 1.55 million people and the Phoenix Metropolitan Area has a population of 4.18 million.
That’s a lot of suburbia.
A glaring omission in the Republic article may be that people are simply moving out of Phoenix and into the suburbs. I can’t say this is fact, but it certainly warrants investigation. Particularly if one is going to lay claim that the Phoenix population is declining. A population shift out of the city and into the suburbs certainly isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.
While the Phoenix population may indeed be declining, without giving thought to what is happening in the rest of the metro area, it is difficult to say for sure what — if anything — this Republic article truly means.
Hat tip to David Lorti.