PHOENIX — Between 2010 and 2018, the Valley of the Sun added an estimated 480,279 new residents. However, this tremendous growth did not evenly spread throughout the metro area, and some regions have grown at a much faster pace than others.
ABC15 analyzed the growth of the Phoenix Metro over the past 10 years at the neighborhood level using publicly available census data. Five neighborhoods, designated as "tracts" by the US Census Bureau, had a growth rate of over 100 percent from when 2010 census was collected to the most recent data available in the 2018 American Community Survey.
Four of the five neighborhoods are in the East Valley and share some similar characteristics, such as a median age lower than 38. Four of five neighborhoods have a median household income that is considerably higher than Arizona’s median household income of $59,246.
We took Google Earth satellite photos from the past 10 years and put them side by side to show the changes that have occurred. The results of the comparison mainly show underdeveloped or farmland being swallowed up by housing new tracts.
Click on the map to zoom to different areas across the Valley.
- 2010 Population: 0
- 2018 Population: 2,671
- Growth Rate: 2,671%
- Median Age: 34.6
- Median Household Income: $137,566
In 2012 the former General Motors proving grounds in the East Valley was sold for $32 million, paving the way for the master planned community of Eastmark. Today, brand new houses from home builders such as Ashton Woods, Meritage, and Taylor Morrison line the landscape. The community also includes a 96 acre “Great Park” as well as BASIS and Pathfinder charter schools.
2. Arizona State University Main Campus
- 2010 Population: 420
- 2018 Population: 1,279
- Growth Rate: 204%
- Median Age: 20
- Median Household Income: $43,929
Permanent residents in the area around Arizona State University was a rarity at one point. In the mid 2000s, there were several plans for modern condos to be built on the shoreline of Tempe Town Lake and surrounding Mill Avenue, but much of the investments dried up during the Great Recession. The interest began to return, however, in the mid 2010s when State Farm built a regional headquarters on Rio Salado Parkway just across Sun Devil Stadium.
3. Lehi Crossing
- 2010 Population: 1,612
- 2018 Population: 3,574
- Growth Rate: 122%
- Median Age: 33.3
- Median Household Income: $111,875
In 2009, this neighborhood north Mesa at Val Vista and E McDowell, named for the first Mormon settlers in the area, was all orange groves. Today, only a few plots of groves remain on the land south of the Red Mountain Freeway. In the past decade the neighborhood has more than doubled in size.
4. Gilbert at Hunt Highway
- 2010 Population: 8,175
- 2018 Population: 16,873
- Growth Rate: 106%
- Median Age: 32.8
- Median Household Income: $120,489
This very large neighborhood in the southeast valley starts at Germann Road and extends south to Hunt Highway. In 2009, it was already a mix of both large and small residential plot land as well as farmland. In the past ten, years the pattern of farmland giving way to tract housing is writ large here, with the area adding an estimated additional 8,698 residents.
5. Ocotillo Heights
- 2010 Population: 3,393
- 2018 Population: 6,936
- Growth Rate: 104%
- Median Age: 35.3
- Median Household Income: $103,991
This neighborhood along Rittenhouse and Ocotillo roads in Queen Creek consisted of one tract housing surrounded by farmland with a few more in the process of being built. Even today, a great deal of agricultural land remains, implying that this tract may still see tremendous growth in the future.