Maricopa County, Arizona

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Maricopa County, Arizona
Maricopa County Courthouse October 6 2013 Phoenix Arizona 2816x2112 Rear.JPG
Maricopa County Administrative Building
Flag of Maricopa County, Arizona
Seal of Maricopa County, Arizona
Map of Arizona highlighting Maricopa County
Location in the U.S. state of Arizona
Map of the United States highlighting Arizona
Arizona's location in the U.S.
Founded February 14, 1871
Seat Phoenix
Largest city Phoenix
 • Total 9,224 sq mi (23,890 km2)
 • Land 9,200 sq mi (23,828 km2)
 • Water 24 sq mi (62 km2), 0.3%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 4,087,191
 • Density 444/sq mi (171/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7

Maricopa County (/ˌmærˈkpə/ MARR-i-KOH-pə) is a county located in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,817,117,[1] making it the most populous county in the state, and the fourth-most populous in the United States. It is more populous than 23 states. The county seat is Phoenix,[2] the state capital and sixth-most populous city in the country.

Maricopa County is included in the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In 2010, the county's center of population was the city of Mesa.[3]

The population explosion is evident in a 2007 Forbes study which ranked four of Maricopa County's municipalities in the top ten fastest-growing cities in the nation. Those included Buckeye as the second-fastest-growing city, Surprise and Goodyear as 3rd and 4th, and Avondale as 9th.[4] All four of these cities are located in the growing "West Valley", which is the area of Maricopa County to the west of the city of Phoenix.

Maricopa County was named after the Maricopa Indians.[5] There are five Indian reservations located in the county.[6] The largest of these are the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (east of Scottsdale) and the Gila River Indian Community (south of Phoenix).


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.[7] 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


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%
Est. 2014 4,087,191 [8] 7.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010–2014[1]


As of the census of 2010, there were 3,817,117 people.

In addition, Hispanic or Latino people, of any race, formed 29.6% of the population.


As of the census of 2000, there were 3,072,149 people, 1,132,886 households, and 763,565 families residing in the county. The population density was 334 people per square mile (129/km²). There were 1,250,231 housing units at an average density of 136/sq mi (52/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 77.35% White, 3.73% African American, 1.85% Native American, 2.16% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 11.86% from other races, and 2.91% from two or more races. 29.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.10% reported speaking Spanish at home.[13]

There were 1,132,886 households out of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.60% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.60% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.21.

The population was spread out with 27.00% under the age of 18, 10.20% from 18 to 24, 31.40% from 25 to 44, 19.80% from 45 to 64, and 11.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 100.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,358, and the median income for a family was $51,827. Males had a median income of $36,858 versus $28,703 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,251. About 8.00% of families and 11.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.40% of those under age 18 and 7.40% of those age 65 or over.


Maricopa County Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2012 54.3% 749,885 43.6% 602,288
2008 54.4% 746,448 43.9% 602,166
2004 57.0% 679,455 42.3% 504,849
2000 53.2% 479,967 42.9% 386,683
1996 47.2% 386,015 44.5% 363,015
1992 41.4% 360,049 32.6% 285,457
1988 64.9% 442,337 33.9% 230,952
1984 72.0% 411,902 27.1% 154,833
1980 65.0% 316,287 34.5% 119,752
1976 61.7% 258,262 35.3% 144,613
1972 69.3% 244,593 27.0% 95,135
1968 59.1% 161,262 31.4% 86,204
1964 53.9% 143,114 46.0% 122,042

Maricopa County has a long history of being a Republican Party stronghold. While the city of Phoenix leans towards the Democratic Party, along with some other small areas within the county, the rest of the county tends to vote heavily Republican. Every Republican presidential candidate has carried Maricopa County since 1948. This includes the 1964 presidential run of native son Barry Goldwater; who would not have even carried his own state had it not been for a 21,000-vote margin in Maricopa County.

Despite its apparent political leanings, Maricopa County voted against Proposition 107 in the 2006 election. This referendum, designed to ban gay marriage and restrict domestic partner benefits, was rejected by a slim 51.6%-48.4% margin within the county, and statewide by a similar margin. Two years later, however, a majority of county residents voted to pass the ultimately successful state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The County Board of Supervisors consists of five members chosen by popular vote within their own districts. Currently, the Board consists of four Republicans, each representing districts in the more affluent or conservative districts of the county, and one Democrat, representing the largest district.[14] Each member serves for a period of four years, and may be continuously reelected. The Board of Supervisors acts in the capacity of executive authority for the county within the statutes and powers prescribed by Arizona state law. In this respect the Legislature of the State of Arizona is, in effect, the legislative body of the county, with limited discretion granted to the Board of Supervisors on minor ordinance and revenue collection issues. Chair of the Board is held by one member for a period of one year, and is selected by the Board members themselves through public hearing. Unlike cities and towns in Arizona, each county is not a chartered government and is considered both politically and legally a sub-division of the state.

The election of the County Sheriff, County Attorney, County Assessor, County Treasurer, Superintendent of Schools, County Recorder, Constables, Justices of the Peace, Clerk of the Superior Court, and retention of Superior Court Judges are also determined by popular vote.

The current sheriff is Joe Arpaio, who has labeled himself "America's Toughest Sheriff" due to his flamboyant and often controversial management of office.[15]

As Maricopa County is home to almost 60 percent of the state's population, it dominates Arizona's politics. Eight of the state's nine congressional districts include at least some portion of the county, and five of said districts have their population center located there. Most of the state's most prominent elected officials live in the county, as well.

Elected officials

United States Congress

District Name Party First elected [lower-alpha 1] Area(s) represented
United States Senate
  Class I Senator Jeff Flake Republican 2012 All of state
  Class III Senator John McCain Republican 1986
United States House of Representatives
  1 Ann Kirkpatrick Democratic 2012[lower-alpha 2] Gila River Indian Community
  2 Martha McSally Republican 2014 Tucson, Cochise
  3 Raul Grijalva Democratic 2002 Avondale, Buckeye
  4 Paul Gosar Republican 2010 Northern Maricopa County
  5 Matt Salmon Republican 2012[lower-alpha 3] Mesa, Gilbert
  6 David Schweikert Republican 2010 Phoenix, Scottsdale
  7 Ruben Gallego Democratic 2014 Phoenix
  8 Trent Franks Republican 2002 West Valley
  9 Kyrsten Sinema Democratic 2012 Phoenix, South Scottsdale, Tempe
  1. Due to redistricting in 2002 and again in 2012, many of the Representatives listed were first elected to a district other than the one they currently represent.
  2. Kirkpatrick previously represented Arizona's 1st District from 2009-2011.
  3. Salmon previously represented Arizona's 1st District from 1995-2001.

Arizona Legislature

Board of Supervisors

Party District Name First elected Area(s) represented
  Republican District 1 Denny Barney 2012 Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Sun Lakes, Tempe
  Republican District 2 Steve Chucri 2012 Apache Junction, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale
  Republican District 3 Andy Kunasek 1997 Anthem, Desert Hills, New River, Paradise Valley, Phoenix
  Republican District 4 Clint Hickman 2014 Avondale, Aguila, Buckeye, El Mirage, Glendale, Goodyear, New River, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Wickenburg, Youngtown
  Democratic District 5 Steve Gallardo 2015 Avondale, Buckeye, Gila Bend, Glendale, Goodyear, Guadalupe, Phoenix, Tolleson



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


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.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

County population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Maricopa County.[16][17]

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

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. "Centers of Population by State: 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  4. Woolsey, Matt. - "America's Fastest-Growing Suburbs". - Forbes. - July 16, 2007.
  5. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 199. 
  6. Indian Reservations in the Continental United States, Bureau of Indian Affairs on National Park Service website. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
  7. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 23, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  8. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  10. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  11. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  12. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  14. Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Maricopa County, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  15. Joseph M. Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-12.

Further reading

  • Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office History and Pictorial. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing. Co., 2005.

External links

Coordinates: 33°30′50″N 112°28′33″W / 33.51389°N 112.47583°W / 33.51389; -112.47583