The city of Buckeye is dealing with a number of challenges, including its rate of growth.
During the past 10 years, according to the city, that number is the highest in the U.S.: 80%.
That’s how much the city has grown since 2010. From a published U.S. Census Bureau 2010 population of 50,876, the count for the 2020 Census puts Buckeye at about 91.000.
With 3,400 single-family residential permits issued by the city during 2020, and a 13% increase over that pace, so far, in 2021, city officials estimate the current population is closer to 104,000.
While one can quickly complete an Internet search for “fastest growing cities” and find all sorts of place names across the U.S. Some lists place Buckeye far back in the pack, or don’t include the city at all.
However, Buckeye shows up on dozens of prominent lists not published by the Census Bureau, including a Rocket Mortgage list that puts Buckeye at No. 2 behind Frisco, Texas.
Phoenix and Goodyear also show up frequently on “fastest-growing” lists. The Census Bureau says the population of the greater Phoenix and East Valley metro area is now more than 5 million, with Phoenix proper now at more than 1.7 million and up 163,000 from 2010.
Major employers for Buckeye residents who are of working age include the health care industry, the city of Phoenix, and several financial companies, such as American Express, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Downtown Buckeye is home to several businesses either locally owned or are national retailers.
According to Buckeye Economic Development Director David Roderique, there are some positives in passing the magic 100,000 number.
“Passing the 100,000 threshold is an important milestone for the city,” Roderique said in a news release. “Many employers, retailers, and service providers look for at least 100,000 population before they will consider opening facilities in that city.”
There is still plenty of growth on the horizon, on both flat and hilly land. With a planning area of more than 640 square miles — Phoenix is a mere 517 square miles — Buckeye is only 5% built-out today.
Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborn said not all of the growth is associated with new headaches.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Orsborn said of helping guide such a fast-growing city. “Back in the year 2000, we were about 6,500. In 2010, when I joined the council, we shot up to 53,000. We’ve added 4,000 single-family homes (since that April 2020 Census snapshot), so we think at about 3.2 people per household, we’re well up over 100,000 now. There are a lot of people moving into the community. And now we’ve started to have some success in adding permanent jobs to the mix.”
Orsborn said adding more jobs and becoming more self-sustaining, economically, are priorities.
“There are a couple of other things in line that we’re hoping we can announce soon,” he said.
The Census Bureau says the nationwide average commuting time to work is 26.4 minutes. The average for the Phoenix metropolitan area is slightly less, at 25.4 minutes.