A special population count compiled last fall by the federal Census Bureau shows that the City of Buckeye’s population has increased by more than 20 percent over the last official count just five years ago.
In a letter to Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck, Director of the U. S. Census Bureau John H. Thompson said the city’s official population as of Oct. 1 of last year was 62,582 – a 22 percent increase from the official census count of 51,288 taken in 2010.
Thompson’s letter also reveals demographic details about the population that currently lives in 21,628 dwellings in Buckeye, including information on the city’s residents broken down by the age, sex, race and length of time they’ve lived in Buckeye.
Hundreds of federal Census workers knocked on doors in every neighborhood in Buckeye over a two-month period last fall to determine the current population. The city has been named one of the top 15 fastest growing municipalities in the nation, and the latest Census count seemed to reflect that kind of increase in its residential base.
For Mayor Meck and city officials, the increase in population, which determines the amount of revenue the city receives each year from the state, was an important number.
“We’ve known for some time that our population was increasing at a vigorous pace, especially in the past two or three years,” Meck said. “While we have been providing the new residents police, fire and other public services, we haven’t received the dollars to pay for those extra services because the state funds, in the form of its shared revenues, are based on Census populations.
“Now, we hope to see the annual revenues increase based on our total population, including the additional 11,000-plus new residents we have been happy to welcome into our city since 2010.”
Buckeye Intergovernmental Relations Director George Diaz, the local representative who supervised the federal count, said Buckeye’s allocation of state shared revenue is expected to increase by at least $1.5 million in fiscal year 2016-2017.
If Buckeye continues to grow in step with other Arizona cities and state law governing state shared revenues remains intact, Diaz expects similar annual increases in state revenue based on the city’s population to continue through 2020.
Diaz added that the city council had allocated $1.4 million to fund the special census. Based on estimates from the Census Bureau, Diaz said, the special count expenses totaled $1.2 million, coming in $200,000 under budget.