Phoenix Rises: Fastest Growing City is 5th Largest Again

The population of Phoenix grew more than any other city as it regained the position of fifth largest in the nation, retaking a spot Philadelphia snagged in 2010.

phoenix growth
Phoenix population and boundary growth, 1881-2010.

The ranking was announced today by the U.S. Census Bureau and is based on the one-year period ending July 1, 2016.

In the year, Phoenix grew by 32,113 people, or 88 a day, to 1,615,017. The figures are for the City of Phoenix only and do not include surrounding metro areas like Scottsdale, Mesa, or Glendale. (The state’s total population is 6.8 million.) Separately, Maricopa County (which does include those other cities) was named the nation’s fastest growing county earlier this year.

Phoenix is the fasted growing city in the nation because of its strong economy and growth in quality jobs, according to Mayor Greg Stanton and other city officials.

“We have worked very hard to create a more innovation-based, export-driven economy that’s more sustainable and brings more quality jobs into the area,” Stanton said in a statement. “It’s working, and people are voting with their feet to be a part of what Phoenix is building.”

The Top 10 most populous cities:

1 New York City 8,537,673
2 Los Angeles 3,976,322
3 Chicago 2,704,958
4 Houston 2,303,482
5 Phoenix 1,615,017
6 Philadelphia 1,567,872
7 San Antonio, TX 1,492,510
8 San Diego 1,406,630
9 Dallas 1,317,929
10 San Jose 1,025,350

Rounding out the top 5 for cities with the largest increase in the year were Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York and Seattle.

On a percentage basis, the fastest growing cities with a population of at least 50,000 were three Texas towns: Conroe (7.8 percent); Frisco (6.2 percent) and McKinney (5.9 percent).

EDITOR’S NOTE: NoPho, the northernmost region of Phoenix, was the last area annexed by the city and has contributed significant growth the past 17 years, as Anthem, Sonoran Foothills and more than a dozen other communities rose in the desert.


This article was updated May 26 to include additional information.

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels.


Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels.

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