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Maricopa County, Arizona facts for kids

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Maricopa County
County of Maricopa
The Maricopa County Courthouse and Old Phoenix City Hall, also known as the County-City Administration Building, in 2013
The Maricopa County Courthouse and Old Phoenix City Hall, also known as the County-City Administration Building, in 2013
Flag of Maricopa County
Flag
Official seal of Maricopa County
Seal
Map of Arizona highlighting Maricopa County
Location within the U.S. state of Arizona
Map of the United States highlighting Arizona
Arizona's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Country  United States
State  Arizona
Founded February 14, 1871
Named for Maricopa people
Seat Phoenix
Largest city Phoenix
Area
 • Total 9,224 sq mi (23,890 km2)
 • Land 9,200 sq mi (24,000 km2)
 • Water 24 sq mi (60 km2)  0.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 4,420,568
 • Density 479.246/sq mi (185.038/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
Congressional districts 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th

Maricopa County is located in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2020 census, the county’s population was 4,420,568, making it the state's most populous county, and the fourth-most populous in the United States. It contains about 62% of Arizona's population, making Arizona one of the most centralized states in the nation. The county seat is Phoenix, the state capital and fifth-most populous city in the United States.

Maricopa County is the central county of the Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area. The Office of Management and Budget renamed the metropolitan area in September 2018. Previously, it was the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale metropolitan area, and in 2000, that was changed to Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale.

Maricopa County was named after the Maricopa Native Americans. Five Native American Reservations are located in the county. The largest are the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (east of Scottsdale) and the Gila River Indian Community (south of Chandler).

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 9,224 square miles (23,890 km2), of which 9,200 square miles (24,000 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62 km2) (0.3%) is water. Maricopa County is also one of the largest counties in the United States by area having a land area greater than that of seven states. It is by far Arizona's most populous county, encompassing well over half of the state's residents. It is also the largest county in the United States to contain a capital city.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

Median Household Income Maricopa County
Median Household Income in 2015 across metro Phoenix; the darker the green, the higher the income
Poverty in Maricopa County
Percent of people living in poverty across metro Phoenix in 2016; the darker the red, the higher the concentration of poverty
Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 5,689
1890 10,986 93.1%
1900 20,457 86.2%
1910 34,488 68.6%
1920 89,576 159.7%
1930 150,970 68.5%
1940 186,193 23.3%
1950 331,770 78.2%
1960 663,510 100.0%
1970 971,228 46.4%
1980 1,509,175 55.4%
1990 2,122,101 40.6%
2000 3,072,149 44.8%
2010 3,817,117 24.2%
2020 4,420,568 15.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2018

Racial and ethnic composition since 1960

Racial composition 2020 2010 2000 1990 1980 1970 1960
White 59.8% 73.0% 77.3% 84.7% 86.6% 94.8% 94.5%
 —Non-Hispanic 53.3% 58.7% 66.2% 77.1% 81.1% - -
Black or African American 5.9% 5.0% 3.7% 3.4% 3.1% 3.3% 3.7%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 30.6% 29.6% 24.8% 16.2% 13.1% 14.5% -
Asian 4.6% 3.5% 2.1% 1.7% - - 0.3%
Native American 2.3% 2.1% 1.8% 1.7% - - 1.2%
Pacific Islander 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% - - - -
Mixed Race 13.6% 2.4% 2.9% - - - -

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, 3,817,117 people, 1,411,583 households, and 932,814 families were living in the county. The population density was 414.9/sq mi (160.2/km2). The 1,639,279 housing units averaged 178.2/sq mi (68.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 73.0% white (58.7% non-Hispanic white), 5.0% African American, 3.5% Asian, 2.1% American Indian, 0.2% Pacific islander, 12.8% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 29.6% of the population. The largest ancestry groups were:

Of the 1,411,583 households, 35.1% had children under 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.9% were not families, and 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.25. The median age was 34.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $55,054 and the median income for a family was $65,438. Males had a median income of $45,799 versus $37,601 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,816. About 10.0% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.8% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.

According to data provided by the United States Census Bureau in October 2015 and collected from 2009 to 2013, 73.72% of the population aged five years and over spoke only English at home, while 20.32% spoke Spanish, 0.56% spoke Chinese, 0.47% Vietnamese, 0.41% Tagalog, 0.37% Arabic, 0.36% German, 0.30% French, 0.25% Navajo, 0.21% Korean, 0.20% Hindi, 0.15% Italian, 0.14% Persian, 0.13% Russian, 0.13% Serbo-Croatian, 0.12% Telugu, 0.12% Polish, 0.11% Syriac, 0.11% Japanese, 0.11% spoke Romanian, and 0.10% spoke other Native North American languages at home.

Religion

In 2010 statistics, the largest religious group in Maricopa County was the Diocese of Phoenix, with 519,950 Catholics worshipping at 99 parishes, followed by 242,732 LDS Mormons with 503 congregations, 213,640 non-denominational adherents with 309 congregations, 93,252 AG Pentecostals with 120 congregations, 73,207 SBC Baptists with 149 congregations, 35,804 Christian churches and churches of Christ Christians with 29 congregations, 30,014 ELCA Lutherans with 47 congregations, 28,634 UMC Methodists with 55 congregations, 18,408 LCMS Lutherans with 34 congregations, and 15,001 PC-USA Presbyterians with 42 congregations. Altogether, 39.1% of the population was claimed as members by religious congregations, although members of historically African-American denominations were underrepresented due to incomplete information. In 2014, the county had 1,177 religious organizations, the fifth most out of all US counties.

Transportation

The county is served by three interstates (Interstate 8, Interstate 10, and Interstate 17), one U.S. Highway (US 60), and several state highways (SR 51, SR 74, SR 85, SR 87, SR 143, Loop 101, Loop 202, and Loop 303).

In the area of rail transport, the region is also served by Phoenix's light rail system. The county has no other passenger rail transport as Amtrak's Sunset Limited, which once served Phoenix, has its closest stop in Maricopa, Arizona in neighboring Pinal County. The train connects Maricopa to Tucson, Los Angeles, and New Orleans three times a week. However it does not stop in Phoenix itself.

Major Highways

  • I-8 (AZ).svg Interstate 8
  • I-10 (AZ).svg Interstate 10
  • I-17 (AZ).svg Interstate 17
  • US 60.svg U.S. Route 60
  • Arizona 101.svg Loop 101
  • Arizona 202.svg Loop 202
  • Arizona 303.svg Loop 303
  • Arizona 51.svg State Route 51
  • Arizona 71.svg State Route 71
  • Arizona 74.svg State Route 74
  • Arizona 85.svg State Route 85
  • Arizona 87.svg State Route 87
  • Arizona 143.svg State Route 143
  • Arizona 347.svg State Route 347

Airports

Phoenix's major airport is Sky Harbor International Airport. Other airports that are also used are Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Scottsdale Municipal Airport in Scottsdale, Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Goodyear and Buckeye Municipal Airport in Buckeye.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Indian reservation

County population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Maricopa County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Population (2010 Census) Municipal type Incorporated
1 Phoenix 1,445,632 City 1881
2 Mesa 439,041 City 1878 (founded)
3 Chandler 236,123 City 1920
4 Glendale 226,721 City 1910
5 Scottsdale 217,385 City 1951
6 Gilbert 208,453 Town 1920
7 Tempe 161,719 City 1894
8 Peoria (partially in Yavapai County) 154,065 City 1954
9 Surprise 117,517 City 1960
10 Avondale 76,238 City 1946
11 Goodyear 65,275 City 1946
12 Buckeye 50,876 City 1929
13 Sun City 37,499 CDP
14 El Mirage 31,797 City 1951
15 Queen Creek (partially in Pinal County) 26,361 Town 1990
16 Sun City West 24,535 CDP
17 Fountain Hills 22,489 Town 1989
18 Anthem 21,700 CDP
19 New River 14,952 CDP
20 Sun Lakes 13,975 CDP
21 Paradise Valley 12,820 Town 1961
22 Tolleson 6,545 City 1929
23 Wickenburg 6,363 Town 1909
24 Youngtown 6,156 Town 1960
25 Guadalupe 5,523 Town 1975
26 Litchfield Park 5,476 City 1987
27 Cave Creek 5,015 Town 1986
28 Citrus Park 4,028 CDP
29 Carefree 3,363 Town 1984
30 Gila Bend 1,922 Town 1962
31 Rio Verde 1,811 CDP
32 Komatke 821 CDP
33 Aguila 798 CDP
34 Wittmann 763 CDP
35 Maricopa Colony 709 CDP
36 Gila Crossing 621 CDP
37 St. Johns 476 CDP
38 Morristown 227 CDP
39 Arlington 194 CDP
40 Theba 158 CDP
41 Kaka 141 CDP
42 Wintersburg 136 CDP
43 Tonopah 60 CDP

Economy

In 2019, the largest employers in Maricopa County were:

# Employer # of employees
1 Banner Health 27,650
2 State of Arizona 23,950
3 Walmart 16,870
4 Frys Food Stores 15,170
5 Wells Fargo 13,790
6 Maricopa County 13,350
7 City of Phoenix 12,190
8 Intel Corporation 11,410
9 Arizona State University 10,950
10 HonorHealth 9,430
11 JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association 9,310
12 Bank of America 9,180
13 Dignity Health 9,100
14 Amazon 9,050
15 Mesa Unified School District 4 8,500
16 Honeywell 8,450
17 United States Department of the Air Force 7,720
18 Home Depot 7,420
19 State Farm Insurance 7,420
20 United States Postal Service 7,260

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2019 the employment of Maricopa County in the following sectors was:

Sector Number of jobs Percent National percent
Health care and social assistance 312,385 11.2% 11.3%
Retail trade 271,802 9.8% 9.4%
Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services 249,786 9.0% 6.2%
Finance and insurance 226,934 8.2% 5.4%
Accommodation and food services 204,917 7.4% 7.5%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 200,508 7.2% 7.2%
Construction 172,119 6.2% 5.5%
Real estate and rental and leasing 169,363 6.1% 4.8%
Local government 152,939 5.5% 7.1%
Other services (except government) 140,788 5.1% 5.8%
Manufacturing 137,444 4.9% 6.7%
Transportation and warehousing 134,151 4.8% 4.5%
Wholesale trade 91,114 3.3% 3.2%
Arts, entertainment, and recreation 64,117 2.3% 2.4%
Educational services 63,445 2.3% 2.4%
State government 49,051 1.8% 2.7%
Information 48,195 1.7% 1.7%
Management of companies and enterprises 35,917 1.7% 1.4%
Federal civilian 21,366 0.8% 1.4%
Military 14,632 0.5% 1.0%
Utilities 8,229 0.3% 0.3%
Farming 6,237 0.2% 1.3%
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction 5,356 0.2% 0.6%
Forestry, fishing, and related activities 2,994 0.1% 0.5%
Total 2,783,679 100.0% 100.0%

Education

  • Maricopa County Library District operates the county libraries in Maricopa County.
  • The Maricopa County School Superintendent is charged with the general conduct and supervision of the public school system in Maricopa County. The Superintendent is one of six county-wide elected officials, elected by the voters of Maricopa County every four years. Since the inception of the office, there have been thirteen Maricopa County School Superintendents. The incumbent, Steve Watson, took office January 1, 2017.
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