Census: Irvine among fastest growing cities

Latest figures show roughly 229,000 live in the master-planned community

Long known as a uniquely master-planned city, Irvine now is garnering just as much attention for its rapid growth, which shows no signs of slowing.

Irvine ranked eighth nationwide, and first in California, as it grew by 4.2 percent, to roughly 229,000 residents, from July 2011 to July 2012, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Article Tab: An aerial view of homes in an Irvine neighborhood seen in late 2010. The city was the eighth fastest growing city in the country between July 2011 and July 2012.
An aerial view of homes in an Irvine neighborhood seen in late 2010. The city was the eighth fastest growing city in the country between July 2011 and July 2012.

Top Ten Fastest Growing Cities

San Marcos, Texas: 50,001 pop. Up 4.9%.

South Jordan, Utah: 55,934 pop. Up 4.87%.

Midland, Texas: 119,385 pop. Up 4.87%.

Cedar Park, Texas: 57,957 pop. Up 4.67%.

Clarksville, Tenn.: 142,519 pop. Up 4.43%

Alpharetta, Ga.: 61,981 pop. Up 4.37%.

Georgetown, Texas: 52,303 pop. Up 4.21%.

Irvine, Calif.: 229,985 pop. Up 4.21%.

Buckeye, Ariz.: 54,542 pop. Up 4.14%.

Conroe, Texas: 61,533 pop. Up 4.01%.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

“Who wouldn’t want to live here?” said Anthony Kuo, chair of the city’s planning commission. “We have a commitment in this city to make sure that things do look nice. We all want to live in cities that are not only safe but pleasant to live in.”

Irvine is considered to be among the safest big cities in America, and also hasn’t skimped on services and amenities as the population has grown, a result of forward-thinking planning, he said.

The city had some 53,712 homes in 2000. Today, the number is closer to 85,000.

And The Irvine Co., the city’s largest landowner, is still building, with plans to expand its housing developments on land where the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater sits now. Another developer, FivePoint Communities, has sold lots for 726 homes to be built north of the Orange County Great Park, the first homes among about 5,000 total. And the developer wants approval to build another 5,000 more.

Irvine’s ballooning population, in comparison to its neighboring Orange County cities, has been no secret. Between 2000 and 2012, Irvine’s population grew 56.4 percent from 143,072 people at the start of the millennium. Lake Forest was second with 32.9 percent, Tustin grew by 13.4 percent, according to Irvine’s draft housing plan.

Some of the city’s land has been rezoned from industrial to residential in the Irvine Business Complex area, the nearer one gets to John Wayne Airport.

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