By Gary Nelson | Ahwatukee Foothills News
Even before the U.S. Census Bureau takes its official count of East Valley residents on April 1, new statistics speak to the region’s growing clout.
Recent population estimates suggest, for example, that Mesa is on track to become Arizona’s second-largest city.
That title has been held for decades by Tucson. But Tucson posted only a 3.7 percent increase in population between the 2010 census and July 1, 2018, when the latest population estimates came out. That estimate put Tucson’s population at 545,975.
Mesa began the decade with almost 100,000 fewer residents than Tucson. The city counted just over 439,000 people in 2010 after several years of economic agony — indeed, there were signs that the Great Recession actually reduced the city’s population in the latter half of the century’s first decade.