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Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the capital, largest city, and largest metropolitan area of the state of Arizona, United States. As of the 2000 census, Phoenix ranked:
Phoenix is surrounded by twenty two towns and cities that have grown so closely together that it is almost impossible to distinguish one from another in this satellite image. The large cluster of light brown pixels gridded by horizontal and vertical lines (roads and highways) demarcates the Greater Phoenix urban area.

Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County. It was incorporated on February 5, 1881.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 Weather
3 Demographics
4 Sports Teams, Venues and Tournaments
5 Museums, Attractions and other Places of Interest
6 Transportation
7 Military
8 List of famous Phoenix residents
9 Phoenix in film
10 See also


Phoenix lies at an elevation of approximately 1,117 feet in the heart of the Sonoran Desert and is located in the center of Arizona in the Phoenix Valley or "Valley of the Sun" at 33°31'42" North, 112°4'35" West (33.528370, -112.076300)1. The Greater Phoenix area has a population of 3.2 million and includes Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Peoria and many smaller communities such as Goodyear, Litchfield Park, and Anthem. Retirement communities include Sun City, Sun City West and Fountain Hills. The Salt River runs from the northeast of Maricopa County through the south of Phoenix although it is not unusual to see the river completely dried up. The Phoenix metro is surrounded by the McDowell Mountains to the north, South Mountain Park to the south and the Superstition Mountains far to the east.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1,230.5 km² (475.1 mi²). 1,229.9 km² (474.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.05% water.


Clear blue skies are typical, with an average of 300 sunny days a year. One-third of the year from mid-May to mid-September reaches highs near 100F (38C) or hotter. The arid Arizona air makes the hot temperatures more tolerable. It should also be noted that in most other warm climes in the USA humidity drops dramatically if temperatures begin to reach towards 100F, so that 100 in Phoenix is not much different than 100 in Dallas, Kansas City or Atlanta.

Winter lows can reach the low 30s F (around 0C), but temperatures rarely stay at that value for long. Measureable snow has been recorded only twice: 1/2 inch in 1939 and 1 inch in 1985. The average annual rainfall in the area is 7.7 inches. Rain is scarce and occurs primarily in the monsoon season from July to mid-September as humid air surges in from the Gulf of California.


Phoenix skyline in 2001

At the census of 2000, there were 1,321,045 people, 465,834 households, and 307,450 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,074.1/km² (2,781.9/mi²). There were 495,832 housing units at an average density of 403.2/km² (1,044.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.07% White, 5.10% African American, 2.02% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 16.40% from other races, and 3.28% from two or more races. 34.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any country origin.

There were 465,834 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the city the population age distribution was 28.9% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 103.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,207, and the median income for a family was $46,467. Males had a median income of $32,820 versus $27,466 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,833. 15.8% of the population and 11.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 21.0% were under the age of 18 and 10.3% were 65 or older.

Sports Teams, Venues and Tournaments

Arizona Diamondbacks, Major League Baseball
Seven Major League Baseball teams conduct spring training in Greater Phoenix; these teams, plus three that train in Tucson, are collectively known as the Cactus League.
Arizona Cardinals, National Football League
Phoenix Suns, National Basketball Association
Phoenix Mercury, Women's National Basketball Association
Phoenix Coyotes, National Hockey League
Arizona Rattlers, Arena Football League
Arizona Thunder, indoor soccer
Arizona Sting, National Lacrosse League

Phoenix International Raceway, Indy Racing League and NASCAR
Manzanita Speedway, drag racing
Firebird International Raceway, boat racing

Phoenix Open, PGA
Standard Register Turquoise Classic, LPGA
Tradition, PGA Champions Tour

Fiesta Bowl at Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium

Museums, Attractions and other Places of Interest

Heard Museum
Taliesin West and Gammage Auditorium, both designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Phoenix Art Museum
Fleischer Museum
Arizona Science Center
Hall of Flame
Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park
Phoenix Museum of History
Arizona Historical Society Museum
America West Arena
Bank One Ballpark
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Zoo and Hole-in-the-Rock in Papago Park
Tovrea Castle
Wrigley Mansion
St. Mary's Basilica
Symphony Hall for the Phoenix Symphony at the Phoenix Civic Plaza
South Mountain Park is the largest municipal park in the world
Mystery Castle
Camelback Mountain
Squaw Peak Recreation Area
Encanto Park
Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds
Metrocenter Mall
Castles N' Coasters amusement park


Sky Harbor International Airport
Williams Gateway Airport (converted from Williams Air Force Base closed in 1993)
Falcon Field Airport
Valley Metro Rail, a light rail project under development

Scottsdale Municipal Airport in nearby Scottsdale, attracts a large number of private jets.


Luke Air Force Base

List of famous Phoenix residents

Phoenix in film

See also

Zen Lunatics