County's growth rate tops region

Mohave County is the fastest growing of the six Northern Arizona counties, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at Northern Arizona University reports a 55.5 percent growth rate for Mohave County compared to a 35 percent average growth rate for the region.

However, Mohave County's growth has slowed in the most recent year to less than the area average.

The area's growth has been led by Lake Havasu City, now the second largest city in the six counties.

Flagstaff remains the largest at 62,710.

Lake Havasu City's population was 42,680 in 2000, up from 24,363 in 1990.

Mohave County has moved ahead of Coconino County to second place in population with Yavapai still the leader with 160,075 residents.

Mohave County has a population of 145,425 while Coconino County has 124,575.

The first population numbers from the 2000 U.S.

census are expected by next month and are designed for use in redrawing legislative district boundaries.

Figures released by ADES are from population models subject to updates from the actual census counts as they are released in 2001 and 2002.

The most recent federal adjusted gross income (FAGI) figures are for 1996.

The average income reported on tax returns for the six counties was $30,759, up 6.1 percent compared to the state average income increase of 8.7 percent.

Mohave County had an average income reported on tax returns of $28,783, up 8 percent in one year as reported by NAU.

Four of the six counties in the Northern Arizona area -- Coconino, Gila, Navajo and Yavapai -- had average incomes higher than Mohave County.

Only Apache County is lower at an average $22,632.

The six-county area average unemployment rate is 5.9 percent for the third quarter of 2000, the latest figures available for the NAU business report.

Apache and Navajo counties had rates over ten percent.

Mohave County reported 4.1 percent unemployment.

Yavapai County, with 2.7 percent for the third quarter, was the lowest.

The statewide unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.