If you are visiting Phoenix, considering moving to Phoenix, or even if you've lived here for 30 or more years, there are some things about Phoenix that you might not know. Some of these items are important when evaluating a community. Some of these facts are downright useless, but fun nonetheless! Please keep in mind that statistics vary greatly depending upon the time they were obtained, the source and the exact population measured.
Therefore, none of these numbers represented here are exact, but are merely the most recent and reasonable numbers I have been able to collect.
About the Phoenix Metropolitan Area
- The metropolitan area is actually defined as both Maricopa and Pinal Counties, according to the U.S. Census. It is called the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale MSA (metropolitan statistical area).
- The population of Maricopa County is more than 4 million people. Maricopa County consists of the cities/towns of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, and several other neighboring cities and towns.
- More than half of Arizona's population lives in Maricopa County.
- The Phoenix metro area is just over 9,000 square miles in area.
About the People
- There are slightly more men than women in the state.
- About 86% of the people in Maricopa County are high school graduates. About 29% have at least one college degree. There are nearly 20 institutions of higher learning, including Arizona State University and The Thunderbird School of Global Management.
- 34.2% of the people in Maricopa County over the age of 15 have never been married. 12.4% have been divorced.
- About 30% of the population of Maricopa County is Hispanic/Latino, 5.7% is African-American, 4% is Asian and 2.7% is Native American.
- Although the Phoenix area is well known as a retirement spot, only 13.4% of the population of Maricopa County is over age 65 compared to 14.9% in Miami-Dade County (2013).
- The median household income in the Maricopa County is about $54,385 (2012 estimate). About 22% of the households have an annual income greater than $100,000. In Maricopa County 11.6% of families fall below the poverty level.
About the Environment
- The skies are clear 59% of the time, partly cloudy 22% and cloudy 19%. Annual rainfall is about 7 inches. July is technically the hottest month, but in June and August when the temperature gets over 115°F it all feels the same to me. The unofficial Phoenix greeting is ". . . but it's a dry heat!" Do you know why we say that? See the monthly temperature averages for Phoenix.
- The major industries are services (includes tourism) and manufacturing.
- The sales tax is in the 9-11% range, and varies slightly depending upon the city.
- As with any large city, Phoenix is trying to deal with crime. Gang-related and drug-related crime are most common in west and south Phoenix. The areas in Tempe, near ASU that are off the beaten path can be dangerous.
Other Phoenix Stuff
- There are three area codes in the Phoenix area: 602, 480, and 623. If you are dialing from one of those area codes, you don't need to dial a "1" to access the other three, and they are considered local calls.
- Phoenix is on Mountain Standard Time, and never moves the clock forward or back. Only the Navajo nation observes daylight saving time.
- The average price for a new single-family home in Maricopa County is about $222,000 (March 2011). Different cities and towns within Maricopa County have property tax rates that vary within the range of about 8% to 15%, with the average being about 10% of assessed value.
- Phoenix originated in 1866 as a hay camp.
- There are six major lakes within an hour's drive from Phoenix.
- State Flower: Saguaro Cactus Flower
- State Bird: Cactus Wren
- State Tree: Palo Verde
- State Fossil: Petrified Wood
- State Gemstone: Turquoise
- State Amphibian: Arizona Tree Frog
- State Reptile: Arizona Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake
- State Nickname: The Grand Canyon State
(Yes, Grand Canyon IS in Arizona, NOT in Nevada.)