Maricopa County, Arizona

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Maricopa County
County of Maricopa [1]
Maricopa County Courthouse October 6 2013 Phoenix Arizona 2816x2112 Rear.JPG
The Maricopa County Courthouse and Old Phoenix City Hall, also known as the County-City Administration Building, in 2013
Flag of Maricopa County, Arizona.svg
Seal of Maricopa County, Arizona.svg
Map of Arizona highlighting Maricopa County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Arizona
Arizona in United States.svg
Arizona's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 33°30′50″N112°28′33″W / 33.513888888889°N 112.47583333333°W / 33.513888888889; -112.47583333333
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Arizona.svg  Arizona
FoundedFebruary 14, 1871
Named for Maricopa people
Seat Phoenix
Largest cityPhoenix
  Total9,224 sq mi (23,890 km2)
  Land9,200 sq mi (24,000 km2)
  Water24 sq mi (60 km2)  0.3%
  Density480/sq mi (190/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
Congressional districts 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th

Maricopa County is 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, [2] 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. [3] Five Native American Reservations are located in the county. [4] The largest are the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (east of Scottsdale) and the Gila River Indian Community (south of Chandler).


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 9,224 sq mi (23,890 km2), of which 24 sq mi (62 km2) (0.3%) are covered by water. [5] Maricopa County is one of the largest counties in the United States by area, with a land area greater than that of four other US states. From west to east, it stretches 132 miles (212 km), and 103 miles (166 km) from north to south. [6] It is by far Arizona's most populous county, encompassing well over half of the state's residents. It is the largest county in the United States to have a capital city.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Median Household Income in 2015 across metro Phoenix; the darker the green, the higher the income Median Household Income Maricopa County.png
Median Household Income in 2015 across metro Phoenix; the darker the green, the higher the income
Percent of people living in poverty across metro Phoenix in 2016; the darker the red, the higher the concentration of poverty Poverty in Maricopa County.png
Percent of people living in poverty across metro Phoenix in 2016; the darker the red, the higher the concentration of poverty
Historical population
1880 5,689
1890 10,98693.1%
1900 20,45786.2%
1910 34,48868.6%
1920 89,576159.7%
1930 150,97068.5%
1940 186,19323.3%
1950 331,77078.2%
1960 663,510100.0%
1970 971,22846.4%
1980 1,509,17555.4%
1990 2,122,10140.6%
2000 3,072,14944.8%
2010 3,817,11724.2%
2020 4,420,56815.8%
U.S. Decennial Census [9]
1790–1960 [10] 1900–1990 [11]
1990–2000 [12] 2010–2018 [13]

Racial and ethnic composition since 1960

Racial composition2020 [14] 2010 [14] [15] 2000 [15] 1990 [15] 1980 [15] 1970 [15] 1960 [15]
White 59.8%73.0%77.3%84.7%86.6%94.8%94.5%
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%----

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, 3,072,149 people, 1,132,886 households, and 763,565 families were living in the county. The population density was 334 people/sq mi (129/km2). The 1,250,231 housing units averaged of 136/sq mi (52/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.4% White, 3.7% African American, 1.9% Native American, 2.2% Asian, 12.0% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. About 29.5% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race. About 19.1% reported speaking Spanish at home. [16]

Of the 1,132,886 households, 33.0% had children under 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were not families. About 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.67, and the average family size was 3.21.

The age distribution in the county was 27.0% under 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 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 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 8.0% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, 3,817,117 people, 1,411,583 households, and 932,814 families were living in the county. [17] 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). [18] 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. [17] The largest ancestry groups were: [19]

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. [17]

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. [20]

According to data provided by the United States Census Bureau in October 2015 and collected from 2009 to 2013, 73.7% of the population aged five years and over spoke only English at home, while 20.3% spoke Spanish, 0.6% spoke Chinese, 0.5% Vietnamese, 0.4% Tagalog, 0.4% Arabic, 0.4% German, 0.3% French, 0.3% Navajo, 0.2% Korean, 0.2% Hindi, 0.2% Italian, 0.1% Persian, 0.1% Russian, 0.1% Serbo-Croatian, 0.1% Telugu, 0.1% Polish, 0.1% Syriac, 0.1% Japanese, 0.1% spoke Romanian, and 0.1% spoke other Native North American languages at home. [21]


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. [22] In 2014, the county had 1,177 religious organizations, the fifth most out of all US counties. [23]

Government, policing, and politics


The governing body of Maricopa County is its board of supervisors. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors consists of five members chosen by popular vote within their own districts. Currently, the board consists of four Republicans and one Democrat. Each member serves a four-year term, with no term limits.

Maricopa County sheriff

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office provides court protection, administers the county jail, and patrols the unincorporated areas of the county plus incorporated towns by contract.


For much of the time after World War II, Maricopa County was one of the more conservative urban counties in the United States. While the city of Phoenix has been evenly split between the two major parties, most of the rest of the county was strongly Republican. Until 2020, every Republican presidential candidate since 1952 had carried Maricopa County. This includes the 1964 presidential run of native son Barry Goldwater, who would not have carried his own state had it not been for a 21,000-vote margin in Maricopa County. Until 2020, it was the largest county in the country to vote Republican. From 1968 to 2016, Democrats held the margin within single digits only three times–in 1992, 1996, and 2016. In 2020, Joe Biden became the first Democrat in 72 years to win the county, which flipped Arizona to the Democratic column for the first time since 1996 and only the second time since 1948. [24] Furthermore, Biden became the first presidential candidate to win more than one million votes in the county. This makes Maricopa County the third county in American history to cast more than one million votes for a presidential candidate. The county is also a statewide bellwether, voting for the statewide winning candidate in all elections except 1996.

Despite its consistent Republican allegiance since 1952, its fast-growing Hispanic population and influx of conservative retirees and Mormons, which were traditionally conservative voting blocs but were increasingly skeptical of President Donald Trump, signaled that it was a crucial bellwether in the 2020 election. [25]

Voter Registration as of April 2022 [26]
PartyNumber of votersPercentage
Republican 888,42634.3%
Democratic 787,97130.4%
Libertarian Party 22,3150.9%
United States presidential election results for Maricopa County, Arizona [27]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
2020 995,66547.96%1,040,77450.13%39,6471.91%
2016 747,36147.67%702,90744.83%117,5667.50%
2012 749,88554.30%602,28843.61%28,7862.08%
2008 746,44854.43%602,16643.91%22,7561.66%
2004 679,45556.86%504,84942.25%10,6570.89%
2000 479,96753.23%386,68342.88%35,0493.89%
1996 386,01547.22%363,99144.53%67,4268.25%
1992 360,04941.06%285,45732.56%231,32626.38%
1988 442,33764.90%230,95233.89%8,2291.21%
1984 411,90271.98%154,83327.06%5,5380.97%
1980 316,28764.97%119,75224.60%50,79510.43%
1976 258,26261.66%144,61334.53%15,9663.81%
1972 244,59369.29%95,13526.95%13,2723.76%
1968 162,26259.08%86,20431.39%26,1859.53%
1964 143,11453.94%122,04246.00%1700.06%
1960 127,09059.37%86,83440.57%1350.06%
1956 92,14062.96%54,01036.91%1910.13%
1952 77,24960.57%50,28539.43%00.00%
1948 36,58546.31%40,49851.27%1,9092.42%
1944 24,85343.41%32,19756.23%2080.36%
1940 22,61038.93%35,05560.36%4140.71%
1936 13,67128.71%32,03167.28%1,9084.01%
1932 15,08634.07%28,60164.59%5931.34%
1928 20,08962.25%12,14637.64%340.11%
1924 10,61144.66%9,17738.63%3,97016.71%
1920 11,33656.23%8,82543.77%00.00%
1916 5,74739.26%7,63452.14%1,2598.60%
1912 64211.32%2,60645.97%2,42142.71%

Despite its political leanings at the time, 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 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 a successful state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The amendment was later invalidated by the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges , which declared that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right in the United States.

Unlike cities and towns in Arizona, counties are politically and legally subordinate to the state and do not have charters of their own. The county Board of Supervisors acts under powers delegated by state law, mainly related to minor ordinances and revenue collection. With few exceptions, these powers are narrowly construed. The state legislature devotes considerable time to local matters, with legislative approval required for many routine local issues. The chairperson of the board presides for a one-year term, selected by the board members during a public hearing.

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

The county's dominant political figure for over two decades (from 1993 to 2017) was Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who called himself "America's Toughest Sheriff" and gained national notoriety for his flamboyant and often controversial practices and policies. [28]

Maricopa County is home to 62 percent of the state's population and therefore dominates Arizona's politics. For example, in the 2018 Senate election, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema carried the county en route to becoming the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Arizona since 1988. [29] She won the county by over 60,000 votes, more than enough for the victory; she won statewide by 55,900 votes. [30] All but one of the state's nine congressional districts include part of the county, and five of the districts have their population center located there. Most of the state's prominent elected officials live in the county. Further underlining Maricopa County's political dominance, Biden's margin of 45,109 votes was more than enough to carry the state; he only won Arizona by 10,457 votes.

Elected officials

United States Congress

DistrictNamePartyFirst elected [lower-alpha 1] Area(s) represented
United States Senate
 Class I Senator Kyrsten Sinema Democratic2018At Large
 Class III Senator Mark Kelly Democratic2020
United States House of Representatives
 1 Tom O'Halleran Democratic2016Phoenix, Gila River Indian Community
 3 Raul Grijalva Democratic2002Buckeye, Gila Bend, Avondale, Phoenix
 4 Paul Gosar Republican2010Apache Junction, Camp Creek, Phoenix
 5 Andy Biggs Republican2016Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Queen Creek
 6 David Schweikert Republican2010Fountain Hills, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley
 7 Ruben Gallego Democratic2014Glendale, Phoenix
 8 Debbie Lesko Republican2018Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Surprise
 9 Greg Stanton Democratic2018Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix
  1. Due to redistricting in 2012, many of the Representatives listed were first elected to a district other than the one they currently represent.

The 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th districts are all centered in Maricopa County. The 1st and 4th are centered in rural Arizona, while the 2nd is primarily Tucson-based.

Board of Supervisors

Elected county officials

PartyOfficeNameFirst electedReference
 RepublicanAssessorEddie Cook2020† [31]
 RepublicanClerk of the Superior CourtJeff Fine2018† [32]
 RepublicanCounty Attorney Rachel Mitchell 2022† [33]
 RepublicanCounty RecorderStephen Richer2020 [34]
 RepublicanCounty School SuperintendentSteve Watson2016 [34]
 DemocraticSheriff Paul Penzone 2016 [34]
 RepublicanTreasurerJohn Allen2020 [34]

†Member was originally appointed to the office.


K-12 schools

School districts with territory in the county (no matter how slight, even if the administration and schools are in other counties) include: [35]




There is also a state-operated school, Phoenix Day School for the Deaf.

The Phoenix Indian School was formerly in the county.


Major highways


The major primary commercial airport of the county is Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).

Other airports located in the county include:


In terms of freight rail, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad serve the county.

In terms of passenger rail, greater Phoenix is served by a light rail system. The county has no other passenger rail transport as Amtrak's Sunset Limited, which served Phoenix until June 2, 1996, has its closest stop in Maricopa 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.




Ghost towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Native American communities

County population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Maricopa County. [36] [37]

county seat

RankCity/Town/etc.Population (2010 Census)Population (2017 Estimate)Municipal typeIncorporated
1 Phoenix1,445,6321,626,078City1881
2 Mesa 439,041496,401City1878 (founded)
3 Chandler 236,123253,458City1920
4 Scottsdale 217,385249,950City1951
5 Glendale 226,721246,709City1910
6 Gilbert 208,453242,354Town1920
7 Tempe 161,719185,038City1894
8 Peoria (partially in Yavapai County )154,065168,181City1954
9 Surprise 117,517134,085City1960
10 Avondale 76,23884,025City1946
11 Goodyear 65,27579,858City1946
12 Buckeye 50,87668,453City1929
13 Queen Creek (partially in Pinal County )26,36139,184Town1990
14 Sun City 37,499-- CDP
15 El Mirage 31,79735,216City1951
16 Sun City West 24,535--CDP
17 Fountain Hills 22,48924,583Town1989
18 Anthem 21,700--CDP
19 New River 14,952--CDP
20 Paradise Valley 12,82014,293Town1961
21 Sun Lakes 13,975--CDP
22 Wickenburg 6,3637,409Town1909
23 Tolleson 6,5457,205City1929
24 Youngtown 6,1566,760Town1960
25 Guadalupe 5,5236,525Town1975
26 Litchfield Park 5,4766,009City1987
27 Cave Creek 5,0155,622Town1986
28 Citrus Park 4,028--CDP
29 Carefree 3,3633,783Town1984
30 Gila Bend 1,9222,069Town1962
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


Maricopa County
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [38]


In 2019, the largest employers in Maricopa County were: [39]

#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
6Maricopa County13,350
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: [40]

SectorNumber of jobsPercentNational percent
Health care and social assistance312,38511.2%11.3%
Retail trade271,8029.8%9.4%
Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services249,7869.0%6.2%
Finance and insurance226,9348.2%5.4%
Accommodation and food services204,9177.4%7.5%
Professional, scientific, and technical services200,5087.2%7.2%
Real estate and rental and leasing169,3636.1%4.8%
Local government152,9395.5%7.1%
Other services (except government)140,7885.1%5.8%
Transportation and warehousing134,1514.8%4.5%
Wholesale trade91,1143.3%3.2%
Arts, entertainment, and recreation64,1172.3%2.4%
Educational services63,4452.3%2.4%
State government49,0511.8%2.7%
Management of companies and enterprises35,9171.7%1.4%
Federal civilian21,3660.8%1.4%
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction5,3560.2%0.6%
Forestry, fishing, and related activities2,9940.1%0.5%

Maricopa produces far more Brassica than anywhere else in the state, including far more cabbage, [41] :288 collards, [41] :289 and mustard greens, [41] :292 and far more eggplant [41] :290 and greenhouse production of tomato. [41] :311 Slightly more kale is grown here than Yavapai, [41] :291 and a close second to Yuma for broccoli, [41] :288 cauliflower, [41] :289 and spinach, [41] :294 and to Yavapai for field tomato. [41] :295 The county is top for parsley and is tied with Pima for other fresh herbs. [41] :290 Some of the state's melon, okra, and bell pepper are also grown here. [41] :289

Almost all the apricot, [41] :298 freestone peach, [41] :300 persimmon, [41] :301 and nectarine [41] :299 in the state are grown here. The county also ties for the highest amount of cling peach with Cochise, [41] :300 along with Pima produces almost all the pomegranate, [41] :302 and grows most of the kumquat. [41] :302 Maricopa's farms grow a middling amount of fig, [41] :299 grape ( Vitis spp. including V. vinifera ), [41] :299 and pear (Pyrus spp.) other than Bartlett. [41] :300 A small amount of plum is also produced here. [41] :301

All of the boysenberry, [41] :307 half of the elderberry (along with Yavapai), [41] :307 and a small amount of the state's blackberry [41] :307 and strawberry [41] :308 are harvested here.

A large part of the vegetable seed in Arizona is grown here. [41] :310

See also

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Arizona's 1st congressional district is a congressional district located in the U.S. state of Arizona. Geographically, it is the eleventh-largest congressional district in the country and includes much of the state outside the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas. Since 2013, it includes the Navajo Nation, the Hopi reservation and the Gila River Indian Community, with 25% of the population being Native American. The district has more Native Americans than any other congressional district in the United States. It is currently represented by Democrat Tom O'Halleran, who has served since 2017.

Maricopa Association of Governments Council of governments for greater Phoenix, United States

Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is a Council of Governments (COG) that serves as the regional agency for the greater Maricopa region in Arizona, United States. This includes the Phoenix area and the neighboring urbanized area in Pinal County, containing the Town of Florence and City of Maricopa. When MAG was formed in 1967, the elected officials recognized the need for long-range planning and policy development on a regional scale. They realized that many issues such as transportation, air quality and human services affected residents beyond the borders of their individual jurisdictions.

Arizona Sun Corridor Megaregion in Arizona, United States

The Arizona Sun Corridor, shortened Sun Corridor, is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of Arizona. The Sun Corridor is comparable to Indiana in both size and population. It is one of the fastest growing conurbations in the country and is speculated to double its population by 2040. The largest metropolitan areas are the Phoenix metropolitan area – Valley of the Sun, and the Tucson metropolitan area – The Old Pueblo. The regions' populace is nestled in the valley of a desert environment. Similar to Southern California, the urban area extends into Mexico, reaching the communities of Nogales and Agua Prieta.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

Timeline of Arizona Timeline of the history of Arizona

The following is a timeline of the history of the area which today comprises the U.S. state of Arizona. Situated in the desert southwest, for millennia the area was home to a series of Pre-Columbian peoples. By 1 AD, the dominant groups in the area were the Hohokam, the Mogollon, and the Ancestral Puebloans. The Hohokam dominated the center of the area which is now Arizona, the Mogollon the southeast, and the Puebloans the north and northeast. As these cultures disappeared between 1000 and 1400 AD, other Indian groups settled in Arizona. These tribes included the Navajo, Apache, Southern Paiute, Hopi, Yavapai, Akimel O'odham, and the Tohono O'odham.


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Further reading

Coordinates: 33°30′50″N112°28′33″W / 33.51389°N 112.47583°W / 33.51389; -112.47583