By Farah Eltohamy for Cronkite News
Buckeye got bumped from the top spot for population growth rate in 2019, but its 56.6 percent population increase since 2010 was still enough to make it the second-fastest growing city in the nation for the decade.
New population estimates released by the Census Bureau show Buckeye’s population grew to 79,620 in 2019, a 7.1 percent increase in just one year and a sizable leap from the 50,851 people who lived in the city in 2010.
The numbers also showed Phoenix maintaining its perch as the city with the largest number of new residents in 2019, keeping it in fifth place for overall population.
Phoenix’s growth over the decade also allowed it to keep the title as the city with the largest numeric increase in America from 2010 to 2019. The population grew by 234,301 residents over the decade – 26,317 in the last year alone – bringing its total estimated population to about 1.68M.
Buckeye is the one major Arizona city between Phoenix and Los Angeles. Besides being a major stop for goods and people traveling between the two, its location has also made Buckeye an attractive place for California companies looking to relocate, said David Roderique, Buckeye’s economic development director.
Another advantage is Buckeye’s size, sprawling across 640 square miles of largely undeveloped land. That makes the city a draw for affordable housing and planned communities, said Annie DeChance, the city’s communications director.
Fast growth can bring challenges, including the need to keep up with demands on school enrollment.
The Buckeye Elementary School District consults regularly with demographers to help forecast enrollment numbers and projected school capacities, said Mike Lee, assistant superintendent for academic programs and professional learning for the district.
The district is on track to open John S. McCain III Elementary for the 2021-2022 school year, and just announced plans for one more school a few years after McCain opens.
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