Numeric Population Change, Arizona
Annual estimates of the population change in Arizona vary considerably between the Census Bureau and the Office of Employment and Population Statistics (OEPS), even though both time series are benchmarked to the 2000 and 2010 decennial census counts. Compared to the Census Bureau, the OEPS shows greater numeric gains from 2003 through 2007 and lesser gains from 2008 through 2012. The Census Bureau’s estimates include little reduction in immigration after 2007 despite the passage of Arizona’s Employer Sanctions Law, though evidence exists that many undocumented immigrants left the state. Thus, the Census Bureau likely underestimated the state’s population gain between 2000 and 2007 and overstated the increases from 2008 through 2012. In 2013 and 2014, the Census Bureau and OEPS estimates are not too dissimilar. Each source shows that population gains are gradually rising, but remain well below the figures from before 2008.