5 Fastest Growing Cities in Arizona

The United States is one of the largest countries in the world, with a population of over 300 million people. Despite this, the population is unevenly skewed across the United States.

Moreover, Arizona is the 9th fastest-growing state in the United States for a good reason. The state is replete with hiking trails, desert wildlife, and iconic mountains. 

Besides, Arizona is a unique place to call home because of the cacti. The weather can reach boiling point, but the apparent absence of the Four Seasons attracts residents looking to move from the chilliest climates. Little surprise, the state population swelled by almost 12% in 2020. 

Outdoor enthusiasts are overwhelmed with activities, and you can enjoy a unique experience every other weekend. Additionally, people with a more luxurious taste can choose from their pick of fine dining, shopping, and spas. 

The Grand Canyon State has major industries that attract people looking for new career opportunities in tourism, mining, service, and manufacturing.

These workers, students, retirees, and nature lovers move from all over the United States, but where are they staying? Let’s look at the top five fastest-growing cities in Arizona.

1. Queen Creek

Queen Creek prides itself as “Arizona’s best-kept secret.” But it’s already open knowledge about this city’s attractions hence the population explosion. The state saw a massive 125.8% population increase from 26,361 to 59,519 in ten years. 

The city is replete with various cultural events and is an essential cornerstone for showcasing Arizona’s heritage and culture. The city was established in 1989 and is relatively new as a city. 

The city lies below the San Tan Mountain Regional Park, with 10,000 acres of the Sonoran Desert to explore. Numerous trails for horseback riding and hiking, and even then, it’s only a few minutes from the perks of Phoenix.

The Manuel Carter Oasis Park is at the center of Queen Creek and is chock-full of wholesome activities for families and loved ones. The Park is free for everyone and has many restrooms, designated picnic areas, and parking spaces in its 50-acre enclosure. 

You’ll also find a fishing lake and trail access to explore. The Queen Creek town consistently pulls all the stops to make this Park the most fulfilling across the greater Phoenix area.

The Queen Creek Performing Arts Center is home to the most bespoke performing arts. Whether it’s a magic show, burlesque, or a comedy routine you’re after, there are lots to see for every age grade. 

Arizona is known for its olives, and the Queen Creek Olive Mill has been pressing out extra virgin olive oil since the 90s. The mill has since grown into a place of interest, with guided tours available for visitors who’d like to explore the production facilities.

And if you’re into art, the Milan Art Institute is an authentic art school with lots of classes and activities for kids with creativity. The institute also houses some breathtaking art pieces that are a must-see for art fans and enthusiasts.

2. Marana

A picture of a field of crops, with some buildings and homes in the background, and a mountain backdrop.

Marana is another rapidly growing city in the Grand Canyon State, with a population expansion from 34,961 to 51,908, representing a 48.5% growth from 2010 to 2020. The city sits just North of Tucson, and it’s a strategic location for commuters to enjoy affordable housing. 

More than that, Marana is currently a magnet for tourists’ courtesy of Mount Lemmon and the Saguaro National Park, making it the perfect nature getaway for wildlife enthusiasts. 

There are many employment opportunities in the hospitality sector with the opening of the Ritz-Carlton in the area. The Marana Golf Course is another haven for seniors looking to golf in retirement. 

There’s been a steady rise in paintballing due to its stress-relieving features. You can de-stress by shooting some high-velocity paintballs at the Disruptive Paintball facility in Marana.

Marana is also home to over 15 microbreweries, most of which can be found in bars and restaurants. These custom brews are produced with organic ingredients from Arizona, including prickly pear cacti, jalapenos, and even agave nectar. 

You’ll also find live entertainment like live bands, trivia events, and televised sporting shows. The Tortolita Mountain Park offers challenging hiking trails replete with desert fauna like cholla, pincushion, and saguaro for the ardent nature lovers at heart. 

The mountains are in the Tortolita Mountain Park, a massive 3,100 acres of pristine desert land. While the trails are accessible, you’ll do well to keep in mind the harshness of this landscape, primarily because of the lack of essential amenities like designated restrooms and picnic areas. 

Lastly, The El Rio Preserve is one attraction you can’t miss with its rich historical pedigree and glorious wildlife. It has been the home of the Native Americans hundreds of years ago and still has an important cultural significance today.

3. Goodyear

Goodyear is the third on this list with an astonishing growth of 46%. There’s been an influx of 30,000+ residents since the beginning of the new millennium. It’s a suburban city nestled at the heart of Maricopa county and welcoming to people looking to work in Phoenix, AZ. 

Goodyear is attractive all year with enjoyable winters and many activities to enjoy. Goodyear was ranked as the 4th best place to live in Arizona, which is the reason for its steady growth. 

The city is renowned for the Goodyear Tire Company, from which the town gets its name. The Goodyear BallPark is a world-class training facility. The baseball park is best known for hosting the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds. 

Designed by renowned architectural firm HOK, this 100 million dollar facility has two state-of-the-art training fields and a primary field that can seat over 10,000 fans. You’ll find seven extra fields serving various sporting purposes for the city.

The Estrella Mountain Regional Park also sits at the boundary of Goodyear and Phoenix. The 20,000 Park consists of diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, deserts, and mountains.

Other attractions include a top-notch golf course, fishing areas with public access, and more than 30 miles of hiking, horseback riding, and biking trails. Renowned trails include the 8.7-mile Pederson Trail alongside the shorter 2.4mile Baseline Trail. 

Another place worth visiting is the Bible Museum which was established in 1988. The Museum houses some of the rarest collections of books globally. 

4. San Luis

Sitting at the Mexican border, you wouldn’t think San Luis is Arizona’s 4th fastest growing city. The city’s population was 25,505 in 2010 but grew to 35,257 in 2020. This 38.2% growth is because of the meager living cost, with the average property price at $260,000. 

Due to its proximity to Mexico, San Luis has a rich Spanish heritage that gives you that Old Mexico Feel. For instance, the Joe Orduno Park is an epicenter of heritage and cultural centers, including aquatic facilities, barbeque areas, soccer grounds, and other amenities. 

While the Park sees plenty of local use, it’s rapidly becoming a go-to area for tourists who value its convenience and use the venue while in the area. 

If you have some stuff you don’t need, the U-Sell-It-Swap Meet from Thursday to Sunday allows you to trade unwanted knick-knacks for some change. 

Another place worth stopping by is the Cocopah Museum and Cultural Center, founded in 1996. It sits inside the Sonoran Desert, a few minutes’ drive from San Luis. This Museum is an excellent place to purchase memorabilia to take home. 

The items in the gift shop will invoke memories of your trip. The Wild River Family Center is aptly named because it will keep your family and loved ones thoroughly entertained. 

It’s a short drive from the city and has a potpourri of games; from laser tag to bowling, there’s so much to do and see. This attraction is suitable for bored kids and adults who want to relive their childhood experiences.

5. Sahuarita

A picture of homes from an aerial view in Sahuarita, Arizona. A couple freeways in front and mountains in the backdrop.

The city of Sahuarita has continued to witness a remarkable rise in population density, growing from 25,259 individuals to 34,134 ten years after. The 35.1% growth makes this city the fifth largest city in Arizona, with a further rise expected in the coming years. 

Sahuarita is home to the Titan Missile Museum, famous for its ICBMs. The Museum has tours provided by retired military veterans well-versed about the site.

The Anamax Recreation Center is another Sahuarita gem with many places for diverse activities. Visitors with dogs can use the dog parks, and there are fantastic picnic areas, including a skate park.

Wrapping Up

If you’re ready to throw in the towel and relocate from the concrete city jungle, Arizona is the right place. The state is known for its expansiveness, with hundreds of places to see. 

Arizona also has world-class restaurants and cuisine, shopping, and abundant wildlife living free in nature. The natural setting is a catalyst for creativity, and there are hundreds of outdoor activities to enjoy. 

Arizona is so much more than the Grand Canyon and is dotted with nature reserves and public parks. The Five cities above are the fastest growing by population, and you can’t go wrong relocating to one of them. 

Related: Best Places to Retire in Arizona on a Budget

References:

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/queencreektownarizona/PST045221

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/sahuaritatownarizona/PST045221

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/sanluiscityarizona

https://www.goodyearaz.gov/Home/Components/News/News/12078/1549

https://www.maranaaz.gov/news/2021/9/15/2020-census-marana-in-numbers-over-the-last-decade