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Maricopa County, Arizona
Seal of Maricopa County, Arizona
Map of Arizona highlighting Maricopa County
Location in the state of Arizona
Map of the U.S. highlighting Arizona
Arizona's location in the U.S.
Founded February 14, 1871
Seat Phoenix
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

9,224 sq mi (23,890 km²)
9,203 sq mi (23,836 km²)
21 sq mi (54 km²), 0.23%
 - (2005)
 - Density

396/sq mi (153/km²)

Maricopa /ˌmɛ.ɹəˈko.pə/ County is located in the central part of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of July 2006 its population was 3,768,123, which ranks fourth among the nation's counties and is greater than the population of 23 states.[1] The county seat is Phoenix, which is Arizona's largest city and capital. The center of population of Arizona is located in Maricopa County, in the town of Gilbert [1]. It is Arizona's most populous county.

The population explosion is evident in a 2007 Forbes Magazine study which ranked four of Maricopa County's municipalities in the top ten fastest-growing cities in the nation. Those included Buckeye as the 2nd-fastest-growing city, Surprise and Goodyear as 3rd and 4th, respectively, and Avondale as 9th. All four of these cities are located in the booming "West Valley" which is the area of Maricopa County to the west of the City of Phoenix.

There are several Indian reservations located in the county. The largest of these are the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (East of Scottsdale) and the Gila River Indian Community (South of Phoenix).

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 23,891 km² (9,224 sq mi). 23,836 km² (9,203 sq mi) of it is land and 55 km² (21 sq mi) of it (0.23%) is water.

Adjacent Counties[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1890 10,986
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%
Est. 2006 3,768,123 22.7%

As of the census² of 2000, there were 3,072,149 people, 1,132,886 households, and 763,565 families residing in the county. The population density was 129/km² (334/sq mi). There were 1,250,231 housing units at an average density of 52/km² (136/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 77.35% White (66.22% non-Hispanic), 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 [2].

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.

2005 estimate[edit | edit source]

[3] *Non Hispanic (71.0%):

  • White(Non-Hispanic): 61.5%
  • Black: 4.3%
  • Asian: 2.7%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent: 2.2%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.2%
  • Persons of Two or more Races: 1.6%

*Hispanic (29.0%):

  • As of July 1st, 2005, Maricopa County had 3,635,528; an 18% change from 2000. Males accounted for 50.3% of the population, and females accounted for 49.7%.[[4]].
  • As of July 1st, 2005:
  • 27.4% of the population was under 18 years of age.
  • 61.5% of the population was between 19 and 64 years of age
  • 11.1% of the population was over 65 years of age.

Politics[edit | edit source]

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
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
1960 59.4% 127,090 40.6% 86,834

Maricopa County is one of the most conservative urban areas in the country. While the city of Phoenix leans Democratic and Arizona State University is almost solidly Democratic, the rest of the county tends to vote heavily Republican. Every Republican Presidential candidate has won Maricopa County since 1948.

Despite its Republican lean, Maricopa County voted against Proposition 107 in the 2006 election. This referendum, designed to ban gay marriage and restrict domestic parter benefits, was rejected by a slim 51%-49% margin within the county. Maricopa County made the difference statewide, as Arizona became the first state to reject a gay marriage ban by a 51%-49% margin that year.

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. 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, labeled "America's Toughest Sheriff" due to his tough, unique, and often controversial management of his office.

Cities and towns[edit | edit source]

Map of the incorporated areas as well as the municipal planning area borders for cities in Maricopa County. Some of the MPA borders stretch outside of Maricopa County. Also shown are major Interstate and Arizona State Highways and the borders for Indian reservations in the County.

Tent City[edit | edit source]

This is the location of the "Tent City", located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is an outdoor Jail where all the the inmates live in tents. It is run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Unincorporated areas[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

List of Arizona counties

References[edit | edit source]

33°30′50″N 112°28′33″W / 33.51389, -112.47583

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