The population of Arizona is growing, according to figures in the 2010 census.

In fact, the population has grown by 24.6 percent since 2000 bringing the total number of residents to 6,392,017, up from 5,130,632 when the last census was taken.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the population counts Dec. 21.

Arizona’s surge brings with it the benefit of an additional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and, maybe most importantly, the promise of better economic times to come.

The West and South appear to be in better shape than the Midwest and Northeast. Population migration reflects where jobs are available — people move to where they can work — and the West’s population, which includes Arizona, grew by 13.8 percent and the South’s grew by 14.3.

The Midwest was the only region where a state’s population actually dropped over the last 10 years — Michigan — which provides further evidence population shift is driven by the economy.

The Midwest’s total population increased by a mere 3.9 percent and the Northeast actually did worse, reporting a 3.2 percent increase.

Locally, the population of Yavapai County expand-ed enough to force the county to add two districts to our current three-district governing system.

The increase in state and regional population offers hope for our economically depressed state.
A few years ago, the future appeared bleak as home prices crashed, Arizonans lost their jobs and neighborhoods stood nearly empty with vacant homes on every street.

Today, for-sale signs are coming down as families move into the once-abandoned homes as people learn again how to make the best living they can and live within their means.

The recovery isn’t going to be short, and it will be painful, as recovery from any crash can be.

However, the news people are still moving to Arizona — often referred to as a transplant state — means there will be relief from the hard times.