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December 16, 2010


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Folks, I'm heading to the hills for the holidays. Need to finish my survival bunker in the mountains. I would like to wish all of you the most Contrarian Christmas possible. I really like that label. May have to get a t-shirt made with it. Seriously, Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all of you. See you in 2011.

Here's The New York Times' survey of the same data but with more entertaining graphics:

Transfer payments from the federal government, particularly in health care, are keeping Arizona's economy afloat. As such, they keep our population growing (if much more modestly than during the Great Boom). It's the trendlines that should really catch out attention since inertia is a fact we can't easily spin. Since Arizona's economy is based on a quasi-libertarian model favoring low wages, cheap growth, and low investment, none of this should surprise.

"I throw it out and you can make of it what you will."


I'm actually surprised by these numbers. For Phoenix to have bared the brunt of much immigration, including illegal I expected the poverty rate to be higher. It is somewhat shocking that Denver's poverty rate is 26.4% while Phoenix' is 18.2% and Seattle's is 12.4%.

I also found this interesting in the community survey:

"Median household incomes in 185 of the 234 counties (79.1 percent) in the country’s 25 largest
metropolitan areas were above the national 75th percentile. In eight of the 25 largest Metropolitan
areas (Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles, California; Riverside-San Bernadino, California; Sacramento,
California; San Francisco, California; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Portland-Vancouver, Oregon;
Seattle, Washington) all counties that comprised the metropolitan areas were in the national top


When I have time I'll look at the data closer, but it seems that the metro area/urban area/and principal city poverty rates are mixed. Seattle (principal city) looks like it has a higher poverty rate than Phoenix (principal city). This doesn't account for Seattle's exploding homeless populations (mainly, children, teens). In contrast Phoenix' homeless population has shrunk.

Soleri's NYTimes map is a very cool tool. I think it is misleading to say that Phoenix population estimates and white population is somehow skewed by its land size (500 sq miles). If you look at the census map, less than 80,000 people live in far north Phoenix (north of the loop 101). In fact, less than 100,000 people live south and near the Loop 101).

Nearly 1.3 million people live in a relatively small area of the city Metro Center area and south. This means that most of Phoenix' 1.6 million residents live in about 200 square miles (about 8,000/sq mile).

Also, San Antonio is not the nearest city in terms of population to Phoenix, Philadelphia still holds the sixth most populous city spot. The 2010 early released population counts are this:

Houston: 2.2 million
Phoenix: 1.63 million
Philladelphia: 1.52 million
San Antonio: 1.3 million

It was never predicted that Phoenix would surpass Houston this decade since Houston has been hovering around 2 million people for a very long time.

Soleri, do you have comparisons of Arizona's share of Federal dollars compared to other states. From recent Phoenix Business Journal and AZ Republic columns I've read, Arizona's share of federal dollars is among the lowest in the country.



This means that most of Phoenix' 1.6 million residents live in about 200 square miles (about 8,000/sq mile).


1.3 million residents live in about 200 square miles (about 6,500/sq mile).

"Post-crash"? The view from central Phoenix is that the crash is not over.

Is it even 'mid-crash'?

Suggestion: Read the post looking for Joe Arpaio's raison d'être. I feel sure it's lurking in the data...

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