Southern Arizona Cities Snapshot - 2016

Author(s):
Jennifer Pullen, Research Economist
Published:
01-25-2018

The Southern Arizona cities snapshot provides an overview of how the 28 largest cities within Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties are performing. Select measures from MAP’s core indicators were chosen to illustrate the most recent year of data available for the Southern Arizona cities. Special features will provide greater detail, when possible, on each of these seven indicators. For example, the poverty rate will be explored by race, family type, and age.    

  Population (2016) Population Growth Rate (2000 - 2016) Median Age (2016) Four-year College Attainment (2016) EARLY EDUcation (2016) Poverty Rate (2016) Median Household Income (2016)
AJO 3,696 -0.2% 48.3 15.2% _ 28.1% $37,200
Benson 4,974 5.6% 56.7 16.7% 49.5% 24.8% $30,010
bisbee 5,330 -12.5% 49.8 30.1% 37.1% 28.4% $31,134
casa grande 51,571 104.5% 36.1 17.1% 32.8% 18.5% $46,017
CLIFTON 3,583 38.0% 29.1 12.2% 46.8% 5.7% $60,139
Coolidge 12,073 55.1% 34.2 11.0% _ 27.0% $36,932
Douglas 16,764 17.1% 33.3 8.4% 36.9% 33.9% $29,207
Duncan 691 -14.9% 50.0 6.2% _ 26.5% $31,146
eloy 17,128 65.1% 34.1 7.5% 31.5% 35.7% $30,662
florence 26,221 53.8% 40.8 10.3% _ 15.3% $48,919
Globe 7,369 -1.6% 44.5 13.8% _ 20.0% $42,557
green valley 22,249 28.7% 72.2 40.8% _ 5.3% $46,563
marana 40,221 196.7% 37.9 42.5% 43.2% 7.5% $76,484
maricopa 45,473 4,272.4% 34.8 24.4% 40.9% 8.0% $68,888
miami 2,153 11.2% 37.0 10.1% 22.7% 25.8% _
arizona 6,965,897 34.6% 37.1 28.0% 37.0% 17.7% $51,340
united states 318,558,162 13.2% 37.7 30.3% 47.5% 15.1% $55,322
  Population (2016) population growth Rate  (2000 - 2016) median age (2016) Four-Year college attainment (2016) EARLY EDUCATION (2016) poverty rate (2016) Median Household income (2016)
MORENCI 1,742 -7.3% 28.5 14.8% _ 4.6% $63,300
NOGALES 20,355 -2.5% 32.7 14.3% 29.9% 30.7% $27,929
ORO VALLEY 42,379 42.7% 51.9 50.7% 51.1% 7.4% $75,966
SAFFORD 9,616 4.2% 31.3 12.6% - 19.1% $49,161
SAHUARITA 27,780 756.9% 35.4 36.7% 39.5% 6.4% $69,333
SAN LUIS 31,118 103.1% 27.8 8.1% 28.7% 28.2% $31,743
SIERRA VISTA 44,381 17.5% 33.1 30.3% 41.2% 14.9% $56,280
SOMERTON 14,866 104.6% 27.8 9.0% 40.6% 29.2% $34,318
SOUTH TUCSON 5,627 2.5% 38.1 2.8% 31.0% 48.9% $20,241
THATCHER 4,972 23.6% 27.1 25.0% - 17.2% -
TUCSON 527,586 8.4% 33.2 25.8% 36.3% 25.1% $37,973
WILLCOX 3,617 -3.1% 34.2 10.5% - 20.6% $43,324
YUMA 93,704 20.9% 31.3 17.2% 44.5% 18.4% $44,216
arizona 6,965,897 34.6% 37.1 28.0% 37.0% 17.7% $51,340
united states  318,558,162 13.2% 37.7 30.3% 47.5% 15.1% $55,322

Between 2000 and 2016, 16 of the 28 Southern Arizona cities posted population growth rates that met or surpassed the U.S. rate of 13.2%. Maricopa’s growth rate of 4,272.4% was by far the fastest increase in population of any of the Southern Arizona cities. Maricopa also had high levels of median household income and a low poverty rate, ranking it fourth and seventh respectively out of the 28 cities. Maricopa is located in Pinal County, south of the Phoenix city center.

Marana had the highest median household income at $76,484 in 2016 and posted one of the lowest poverty rates among the 28 Southern Arizona cities at 7.5%. Only a handful of Southern Arizona cities had poverty rates below 10.0%, those include Morenci (4.6%), Green Valley (5.3%), Clifton (5.7%), Sahuarita (6.4%), Oro Valley (7.4%), Marana (7.5%), and Maricopa (8.0%). There is a direct correlation between median household income and the poverty rate. As median household income increases the poverty rate decreases. As one would expect, the Southern Arizona cities with low poverty rates also had high levels of median household income. This is true with the exception of Green Valley, which has a median household income of $46,563, well below the Arizona level of $51,340. Green Valley is unique in the sense that it is a retirement community with an average median age of 72.2, which is 35.1 years higher than the average median age for the state of Arizona. This may explain the low levels of poverty coupled with a median household income that is below the average. 

During 2016, Oro Valley had the highest percentage of those who were 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree or better at 50.7%. Marana was second, nearly 10 percentage points behind Oro Valley at 42.5%. An educated workforce is a key component for strong economic growth. Local areas with a high concentration of educated workers tend to generate faster long-run income, population, and job growth. South Tucson posted the lowest percentage of those with a bachelor’s degree or better that were 25 years and older at 2.8%. Additionally, South Tucson had the highest poverty rate (48.9%) and lowest median household income ($20,241) of the 28 Southern Arizona cities.  

Enrollment in a quality early education program is often thought of as a precursor to later success in school. Oro Valley had the highest percentage of three-to-four year olds enrolled in early education with 51.1%. Early education enrollment for the U.S. in 2016 was 47.5%, significantly higher than the state of Arizona at 37.0%.    

What are the key trends?

The percent change in population between 2000 and 2016 is provided for the 28 most populous Southern Arizona cities. Maricopa posted a remarkable increase in population at 4,272.4%. Sahuarita, Marana, Somerton, Casa Grande, and San Luis more than doubled their populations, with increases of 756.9%, 196.7%, 104.6%, 104.5%, and 103.1% respectively. Seven cities in Southern Arizona decreased in total population between 2000 and 2016. Duncan posted the largest loss in population at 14.9% and was followed closely by Bisbee at 12.5%, while Morenci, Willcox, Nogales, and Ajo posted respective losses of 7.3%, 3.1%, 2.5% and 0.2%. Decreases in population for several of the cities explored here were due to a reduction in natural resources & mining employment. Most Southern Arizona cities, as well as the state of Arizona, posted a substantially larger increase in population over this 16-year period than did the U.S.

Figure 1. Southern Arizona Cities Population Growth Rate (2000 - 2016)

How is it measured?

All data provided for the Southern Arizona cities, state of Arizona, and the U.S. come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is a nationwide rolling-sample survey that produces one and five year estimates on demographic, social, housing, and economic measures.  Data are only available as five-year estimates for populations smaller than 20,000.  In order to compare the Southern Arizona cities with the state of Arizona and the U.S. all data provided in this analysis utilized five-year estimates. Note that the ACS five-year estimates are produced over a five year time period and can only be compared to non-overlapping five-year estimates (for example: 2005-2009 and 2010-2014).