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 state of Arizona
Map of the United States highlighting Arizona
Arizona's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 14, 1871
Largest cityPhoenix
 • Total9,224 sq mi (23,890 km2)
 • Land9,200 sq mi (23,828 km2)
 • Water24 sq mi (62 km2), 0.3%
 • (2010)3,817,117
 • Density415/sq mi (160/km²)
Congressional districts1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th
Time zoneMountain: UTC-7
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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 state of Arizona
Map of the United States highlighting Arizona
Arizona's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 14, 1871
Largest cityPhoenix
 • Total9,224 sq mi (23,890 km2)
 • Land9,200 sq mi (23,828 km2)
 • Water24 sq mi (62 km2), 0.3%
 • (2010)3,817,117
 • Density415/sq mi (160/km²)
Congressional districts1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th
Time zoneMountain: UTC-7

Maricopa County (/ˌmærɨˈkpə/ 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.

There are five Indian reservations located in the county.[5] 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.[6] 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[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Est. 20134,009,4125.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[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.[11]

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
201254.3% 749,88543.6% 602,288
200854.4% 746,44843.9% 602,166
200457.0% 679,45542.3% 504,849
200053.2% 479,96742.9% 386,683
199647.2% 386,01544.5% 363,015
199241.4% 360,04932.6% 285,457
198864.9% 442,33733.9% 230,952
198472.0% 411,90227.1% 154,833
198065.0% 316,28734.5% 119,752
197661.7% 258,26235.3% 144,613
197269.3% 244,59327.0% 95,135
196859.1% 161,26231.4% 86,204
196453.9% 143,11446.0% 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.[12] 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.[13]

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[edit]

United States Congress[edit]

DistrictNamePartyFirst elected [a]Area(s) represented
United States Senate
 Class I SenatorJeff FlakeRepublican2012All of state
 Class III SenatorJohn McCainRepublican1986
United States House of Representatives
 1Ann KirkpatrickDemocratic2012[b]Gila River Indian Community
 2Ron BarberDemocratic2012[c]Tucson, Cochise
 3Raul GrijalvaDemocratic2002Avondale, Buckeye
 4Paul GosarRepublican2010Northern Maricopa County
 5Matt SalmonRepublican2012[d]Mesa, Gilbert
 6David SchweikertRepublican2010Phoenix, Scottsdale
 7Ed PastorDemocratic1991Phoenix
 8Trent FranksRepublican2002West Valley
 9Kyrsten SinemaDemocratic2012Phoenix, 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 2nd District from 2009-2011.
  3. ^ Barber, an aide to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, won the special election after Giffords resigned to focus on her recovery following the 2011 Tucson shooting.
  4. ^ Salmon previously represented Arizona's 1st District from 1995-2001.

Arizona Legislature[edit]

Board of Supervisors[edit]

PartyDistrictNameFirst electedArea(s) represented
 RepublicanDistrict 1Denny Barney2012Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Sun Lakes, Tempe
 RepublicanDistrict 2Steve Chucri2012Apache Junction, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale
 RepublicanDistrict 3Andy Kunasek1997Anthem, Desert Hills, New River, Paradise Valley, Phoenix
 RepublicanDistrict 4Clint HickmanN/A, selected by sitting Supervisors to fill seat vacated by Max Wilson, Spring 2013Avondale, Aguila, Buckeye, El Mirage, Glendale, Goodyear, New River, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Wickenberg, Youngtown
 DemocraticDistrict 5Marie Lopez RogersN/A, selected by sitting Supervisors to fill seat vacated by Mary Rose Wilcox, January, 2014Avondale, 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[edit]


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[edit]

Other communities[edit]

County Population Ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Maricopa County.[14][15]

county seat

RankCity/Town/etc.Population (2010 Census)Municipal typeIncorporated
2Mesa439,041City1878 (founded)
8Peoria (partially in Yavapai County)154,065City1954
13Sun City37,499CDP
14El Mirage31,797City1951
15Queen Creek (partially in Pinal County)26,361Town1990
16Sun City West24,535CDP
17Fountain Hills22,489Town1989
19New River14,952CDP
20Sun Lakes13,975CDP
21Paradise Valley12,820Town1961
26Litchfield Park5,476City1987
27Cave Creek5,015Town1986
28Citrus Park4,028CDP
30Gila Bend1,922Town1962
31Rio Verde1,811CDP
35Maricopa Colony709CDP
36Gila Crossing621CDP
37St. Johns476CDP

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "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. ^ Indian Reservations in the Continental United States, Bureau of Indian Affairs on National Park Service website. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Maricopa County, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  13. ^ Joseph M. Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
  14. ^
  15. ^

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