Arizona

For the First Time, There Are More Than 7 Million of Us in Arizona

Arizona now has 7 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Does it feel a little crowded in here to you?
Arizona now has 7 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Does it feel a little crowded in here to you? The Green Arrow1 via Wikipedia
Arizona, the desert state that marked the last of the Lower 48, is now home for the first time to more than 7 million people, according to a new U.S. Census estimate.

Thanks to tens of thousands of newcomers, the state's official population estimate as of today is 7,016,270.

That's up nearly 108,000 people from the 2016 estimate. The state tied with Florida for fifth-fastest-growing state.

About 63,000 of that total are people "who decided 'We're going to move to Arizona,'" said city of Phoenix spokesman Eric Jay Toll, who released the new census data on Wednesday.

By comparison, Toll said, New Jersey's estimate shows 57,000 people fewer than last year.

About 28,000 of the 108,000 extra in population represents the difference between births and deaths in the state.

Arizona also increased its number of residents from other countries by 16,000, but Toll could not immediately provide a breakdown on country of origin. The state ranked 18th over all in terms international migration, he said.

Economics have recently been predicting Arizona would hit 7 million in 2018. People are just crazy about the place and couldn't wait to come, it seems.

Sure, it's getting a little hotter and drier than in the past. Water problems are inevitable — but mainly because the area is such a success.

How many is too many? Arizona will eventually find out.
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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.