Planning a Scottsdale for Tomorrows Residents

Planning a Scottsdale for Tomorrows Residents

This past Sunday, the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Phoenix hosted a candidate debate for both the City Council and the Mayoral elections.  One of the questions posed to candidates was around the changing demographics in Scottsdale and how that would affect communication in the future. One of the Mayoral candidates responded that the idea that Scottsdale is getting younger is a myth being promoted by developers and advocates who want to build high-density residential.  So that got me thinking. Is that true? So, I did what I naturally do, turned to the data. Here is what I discovered.

According to the city’s website, the median age of Scottsdale is 47 years of age.  That data Source was the U.S. Census American Community Survey 2010-2017. This demographic information was published in 2018, and such is three years old. A closer look at more recent data shows that the website which used 2018 US Census ACS data, shows the median age of Scottsdale as 45.7 for females and 49.0 for females.  Drilling down to even more recent data, the real estate market trends website Point2homes published in December 2019, also used Census ACS data from 2019, shows the average age of residents in the old town zip codes of 85251 and 85257 show the median age is 37.6 years of age.

The average age in our downtown urban center is trending dramatically younger.  This is precisely what we want to see in our downtown.  We need to build a city that appeals to the next generation. 

With the world around us changing very quickly, Scottsdale City leaders need to recognize these changes. New generations of residents may have different visions of our city. We need to maintain our rich western heritage while simultaneously planning a City that appeals to tomorrow’s knowledge workers.  

2 Replies to “Planning a Scottsdale for Tomorrows Residents

  • Mark A

    By Mark A


    I know that there is definitely a subset of the community that does not want to see the demographics of the city change and fights off any hint of higher density or more affordable housing, because they are worried about “keeping Scottsdale special.” What would you say to convince someone that has a NIMBY mindset towards building a younger and more diverse Scottsdale?

    • ludwig428

      By ludwig428


      Hi Mark,
      Great question. The fact of the matter is that Scottsdale is a wonderful city that is now land-locked. Yet thousands of new residents will call Scottsdale Home in the next few years. They are coming and there we have to accommodate them one way or another. I support development that is a done in a collaborative way with the neighboring citizens. They were many great projects that are coming where the multi-use project will bring redevelopment to economically struggling parcels and will do so with a design that is a win-win. That is what I would tell someone. We can either bury our heads in the sand and get crummy projects. Or we can embrace development and get some great design and community benefit out of it.

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