Amy Boylan's picture


  by  Amy Boylan

Buckeye, Arizona is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. There are numerous reasons why, but according to Rocket Mortgage, it's in part because residents can "find a corner of town that feels like home in the Phoenix metro, which has a population of nearly five million people." Between the small town charm and its proximity to major parks, it's no wonder Buckeye is seeing such a surge in new residents.

Ironically, once Buckeye - a western suburb of Phoenix - realizes its projected population growth, much of what drew people there in the first place will gradually cease to exist. The city that currently has a "true Hometown, USA feel" will meet a similar fate of other metropolitan areas: traffic congestion, noise pollution, rising housing prices, and loss of open space, to name a few.

This reality isn't far away. A new highway was approved that will ultimately connect Phoenix and Las Vegas, two other fast growing cities in their own right. This interstate will pass through Hassayampa Valley, and "that area, mostly virgin desert now, is slated as part of the City of Buckeye's massive growth plans. If those plans reach fruition, the once tiny farming town would rival Phoenix in size and population." Yet, a reason for people seeking a life in Buckeye may have at least partly been because it wasn't the same size and population of Phoenix. These people will be faced with a stark choice: adapt, or find somewhere new that offers a better quality of life.

Attaining a better quality of life will ultimately end up being a challenge to find in Arizona. According to NumbersUSA's Arizona Sprawl Study, the state loses one square mile to development every two weeks. In an arid state, where nearly all people live in just a few urbanized areas, all of the developed land is "removed permanently from Arizona's land base or its natural habitats." If this trend continues, croplands, pasturelands, rangelands, open spaces, and wildlife habitats will be replaced by a megapolis not dissimilar to what is occurring in the Piedmont region of our country.

Similar sprawl-spawning development is happening in and around other small cities and towns. It is clear that something needs to change. Yet, Congress holds steadfastly to its current immigration policies, which the Census Bureau projects to account for 90% of our national population growth. There is no upside to endless population growth. Everyone who lives in this country, citizens and immigrants alike, must cope with the deteriorating quality of life brought on by the endless need to accommodate more. Our members of Congress need to realize this, and they must act accordingly by reducing immigration numbers to levels that were recommended by the Democratic party over 26 years ago.

Amy Boylan is the Content Writer for NumbersUSA's Sustainability Initiative

Updated: Mon, Dec 20th 2021 @ 3:10pm EST

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