Despite the recession, Arizona’s population rose 25 percent to 6.4 million in the past decade — second only to Nevada’s 36 percent surge, according to the first round of data released from the 2010 Census last week.
As a result, the state will gain a congressional seat when lawmakers redraw legislative boundaries to reflect the shifts in population. Overall, the population of western and southern states rose 14 percent, while the population of the Midwest and Northeast dropped by nearly 4 percent.
The latest numbers coupled with statistical profiles of individual communities from 2005-2009 provide a fascinating glimpse of every community in the state, including Payson.
For instance, the figures show that the town of Payson’s population of 15,176 accounts for nearly one-third of the population of the entire county population of 50,656. The shift of population from southern Gila County to northern Gila County will force a realignment of district boundaries for the board of supervisors and the Gila Community College Board.
The detailed community figures also show a fascinating glimpse of the key Rim Country communities.
The average Payson resident is 51, has a job, travels 18 minutes to get to work and owns a house worth $213,000, with a mortgage payment of $1,055. The average median household income is $42,000 and the average per capita income is $26,000.
Payson residents generally have more education, higher incomes and higher home ownership rates than the rest of the county.
For instance, 91 percent have graduated high school and 21 percent have a college degree — which compares to countywide figures of 83 percent and 15 percent respectively.
One of the most striking figures for Payson was the revelation that 18 percent of the adults are military veterans — compared to 14 percent countywide.