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By Bill McClure, Editor

Taken from Desert Valley Times Online

Mesquite has jumped past Henderson as the fastest growing city in Nevada, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau July 9. Mesquite's estimated population of 11,264 resulted in a state-leading 8.5 percent increase in residents among Nevada's largest cities in 2002. The bureau estimated Mesquite's population on July 1, 2001 at 10,379.

"Its going to be hard for another city to take that away from us," Mesquite Mayor Bill Nicholes said Monday. "With the new spirit and new pride in Mesquite, I think we'll exceed 20 percent growth in the next five years."

Mesquite topped North Las Vegas and Henderson, which ranked second and third, respectively, in the Census Bureau's Table 7, Nevada Incorporated Place Population Estimates. An estimated 885 people moved to Mesquite last year. And that's a conservative estimate.

Nevada demographer Jeff Hardcastle estimates Mesquite grew from 11,904 on July 1, 2001 to 13,216 on July 1, 2002, an increase of 10.7 percent. That's 1,312 new residents.

Mesquite Director of Planning and Redevelopment, Don Matson estimates the city's population at 14,200. Between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003, the City of Mesquite issued 348 residential permits valued at $41.3 million.

North Las Vegass population increased 6.7 percent in 2002 to a total of 135,902 residents. Henderson grew by 6.3, or 12,148 residents, the largest population influx of any city in Nevada. The cities of Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City grew 1.9 percent during the same period.