Maricopa County, Arizona
|Maricopa County, Arizona|
Historic Maricopa County Courthouse in Phoenix
Location in the state of Arizona
Arizona's location in the U.S.
|Founded||February 14, 1871|
9,224.27 sq mi (23,891 km²)
9,203.14 sq mi (23,836 km²)
21.13 sq mi (55 km²), 0.23%
415/sq mi (160.1/km²)
|Time zone||Mountain: UTC-7|
Maricopa County (pron.: // 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, the most populous in the state, and ranks fourth among the nation's counties and is greater than the population of 23 states. 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. 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. 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. It is also the largest US county whose seat does not start with the same letter as the county.
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. 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. 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 2000 census, the county has a total area of 9,224.27 square miles (23,890.7 km2), of which 9,203.14 square miles (23,836.0 km2) (or 99.77%) is land and 21.13 square miles (54.7 km2) (or 0.23%) is water.
Adjacent counties 
- La Paz County, Arizona - west
- Yuma County, Arizona - west
- Pima County, Arizona - south
- Pinal County, Arizona - southeast
- Gila County, Arizona - east
- Yavapai County, Arizona - north
National protected areas 
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,072,149 people.
- White: 73.0% (58.7% non-Hispanic)
- Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 29.6%
- Black or African American: 5%
- Asian: 3.5%
- Two or more races: 1.7%
- Native American: 2.1%
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
- Other race: 12.8%
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). 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.
|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 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. 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.
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 [a]||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[b]||Gila River Indian Community|
|3||Raul Grijalva||Democratic||2002||Avondale, Buckeye|
|4||Paul Gosar||Republican||2010||Northern Maricopa County|
|5||Matt Salmon||Republican||2012[c]||Mesa, Gilbert|
|6||David Schweikert||Republican||2010||Phoenix, Scottsdale|
|8||Trent Franks||Republican||2002||West Valley|
|9||Kyrsten Sinema||Democratic||2012||Phoenix, South Scottsdale, Tempe|
- 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.
- Kirkpatrick previously represented Arizona's 2nd District from 2009-2011.
- 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, Guadalupe, Queen Creek, Tempe|
|Republican||District 2||Steve Chucri||2012||Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale|
|Republican||District 3||Andy Kunasek||1997||Phoenix|
|Republican||District 4||Clint Hickman||N/A, selected by sitting Supervisors to fill seat vacated by Max Wilson, Spring 2013||Aguila, Buckeye, Glendale, Goodyear, New River, Peoria, Surprise, Wickenberg|
|Democratic||District 5||Mary Rose Wilcox||1988||Gila Bend, Sentinel|
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 
- Interstate 8
- Interstate 10
- Interstate 17
- U.S. Route 60
- Loop 101
- Loop 202
- Loop 303
- State Route 51
- State Route 71
- State Route 74
- State Route 85
- State Route 87
- State Route 143
- State Route 347
- MC-85 (Buckeye Road) Runs from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Buckeye, AZ
- Historic Route 80 runs from Buckeye to Gila Bend
- Salome Highway connects Old US 80 travelers to I-10 and US 60
- Sun Valley Parkway runs from Buckeye to Surprise, Arizona. Area residents use this highway to avoid using 1-10/Loop 303 traffic.
Census-designated places 
Other communities 
- Maricopa County Library District operates the county libraries in Maricopa County.
See also 
- Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Maricopa County, Arizona
- USS Maricopa County (LST-938)
- White Tank Mountain Regional Park
- "Maricopa County 2010 US Census Bureau". Quickfacts.census.gov. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- US county census
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Arizona Center of Population Ceremony, Arizona Geographic Information Council, 2005-06-15. Retrieved 2007-12-17.
- Woolsey, Matt. - "America's Fastest-Growing Suburbs". - Forbes. - July 16, 2007.
- Indian Reservations in the Continental United States, Bureau of Indian Affairs on National Park Service website. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- Gibson, Campbell. "Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990." United States Census Bureau. June, 1998. Retrieved on October 7, 2006.
- 2012 estimate
- Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Maricopa County, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- Joseph M. Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
|La Paz County and Yuma County||Gila County|
|Pima County||Pinal County|