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Houses continue to rise rapidly in Pinal County, making some of the official U.S. Census numbers released days ago a surprise. Some cities and towns did not increase as fast as expected in population, and some actually fell below previous estimates. And that followed a shock to the state in not gaining a member of the U.S. House for the first time since 1950.

Of course, much growth has occurred since last year’s census, but still, various reasons for the unexpected numbers are being examined by government officials and others. The pandemic and wider use of the internet are likely causes. Fear by non-citizens about government intrusion also is suspected.

Many questions remain, including whether the census was more effective in other places. Also, is there any remedy now, and ultimately, how can this issue be prevented in the future?

For now, Casa Grande was 10.4% larger than 10 years before at 53,000-plus population, but that is some 5,000 fewer than the 2019 estimate. Maricopa shot up 33.7% to 58,000 as the largest city in Pinal. Meanwhile, the unincorporated San Tan Valley went to about 100,000.

Some funding is based on other estimates as the decade goes on, so that will mitigate the effects of a lower-than-expected census. But overall, the growth shown is substantial, and all indications are that it hasn’t slowed down since last year.

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