Fastest-growing counties in Arizona

Written by:
July 1, 2022
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

Fastest-growing counties in Arizona

Why do people move from one county or region to another? The usual suspects are jobs, family, significant others, and overall cost of living, but there are other elements at play. For those with children, moving within close proximity of a highly rated school district is a key contributing factor. For younger adults just starting out, living someplace with a vibrant social scene might be a top priority. And for those whose careers have wound down after a lifetime of work, finding retirement-friendly communities is the goal—communities deemed to be safe, offer accessibility to medical resources and leisure activities in equal measure, and be affordable for those on a limited income.

This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list. People's reasons for choosing to live where they do are as diverse as people themselves.

As far as why certain counties across the U.S. have experienced growth, relocation is not the sole, or even primary, reason why. While more than 1,800 counties saw population gains in 2021, approximately 73% of all U.S. counties saw what the U.S. Census Bureau characterizes as a natural decrease. This was a significant jump from 2020, when 55.5% of countries experienced such a decrease. According to the Bureau, natural decrease is the simple result of "when there are more deaths than births in a population over a given time period." In 2021, the conflation of fewer births with an aging population that was also absorbing a higher-than-usual mortality rate due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to this "increased decrease."

Nonetheless, as stated 1,800 counties nationwide have grown larger over the last year, and a sizable percentage of them are in Arizona. Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing counties in Arizona using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020, based on the U.S. Decennial Census.

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Clay Gilliland // Flickr

#15. Cochise County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -5,899
--- #3,099 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.5%
--- #13 among counties in Arizona, #2,239 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 125,447
--- #8 largest county in Arizona, #509 largest county nationwide

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Andreas F. Borchert // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Apache County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -5,497
--- #3,091 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -7.7%
--- #14 among counties in Arizona, #2,689 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 66,021
--- #10 largest county in Arizona, #810 largest county nationwide

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United States Bureau of Land Management // Wikimedia Commons

#13. La Paz County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,932
--- #3,042 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -19.2%
--- #15 among counties in Arizona, #3,113 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 16,557
--- #14 largest county in Arizona, #1,999 largest county nationwide

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Ixnayonthetimmay // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Navajo County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -732
--- #2,349 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.7%
--- #12 among counties in Arizona, #1,592 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 106,717
--- #9 largest county in Arizona, #575 largest county nationwide

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Alan Levine // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Gila County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -325
--- #1,948 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.6%
--- #11 among counties in Arizona, #1,584 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 53,272
--- #11 largest county in Arizona, #948 largest county nationwide

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Elnogalense // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Santa Cruz County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +249
--- #1,297 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.5%
--- #10 among counties in Arizona, #1,409 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 47,669
--- #12 largest county in Arizona, #1,025 largest county nationwide

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Bill Morrow // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Greenlee County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +1,126
--- #972 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +13.3%
--- #2 among counties in Arizona, #271 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 9,563
--- #15 largest county in Arizona, #2,448 largest county nationwide

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Wars // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Graham County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +1,313
--- #945 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.5%
--- #9 among counties in Arizona, #983 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 38,533
--- #13 largest county in Arizona, #1,211 largest county nationwide

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Ken Lund // Flickr

#7. Yuma County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +8,130
--- #482 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.2%
--- #8 among counties in Arizona, #914 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 203,881
--- #6 largest county in Arizona, #335 largest county nationwide

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HildaWeges Photography // Shutterstock

#6. Coconino County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +10,680
--- #411 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.9%
--- #5 among counties in Arizona, #571 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 145,101
--- #7 largest county in Arizona, #456 largest county nationwide

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InSapphoWeTrust // Wikicommons

#5. Mohave County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +13,081
--- #371 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.5%
--- #6 among counties in Arizona, #662 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 213,267
--- #5 largest county in Arizona, #321 largest county nationwide

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Martha.baden // Wikimedia

#4. Yavapai County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +25,176
--- #247 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +11.9%
--- #4 among counties in Arizona, #327 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 236,209
--- #4 largest county in Arizona, #290 largest county nationwide

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zeesstof // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Pinal County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +49,494
--- #133 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +13.2%
--- #3 among counties in Arizona, #279 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 425,264
--- #3 largest county in Arizona, #167 largest county nationwide

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Jay Yuan // Shutterstock

#2. Pima County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +63,170
--- #101 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.4%
--- #7 among counties in Arizona, #669 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 1,043,433
--- #2 largest county in Arizona, #45 largest county nationwide

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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#1. Maricopa County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +603,451
--- #2 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +15.8%
--- #1 among counties in Arizona, #200 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 4,420,568
--- #1 largest county in Arizona, #4 largest county nationwide

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