Tempe, Arizona

Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, AZ
Judy Hedding

Tempe is located in the southeast part of the Greater Phoenix area. It is one of the cities that are included an area often referred to as the East Valley. The city offices of Tempe are about 5 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Generally, Scottsdale is to the north, Chandler is to the south, Mesa is to the east, and the Ahwatukee Foothills section of Phoenix is to the west.

Tempe is most commonly pronounced, temp-ee. A person who lives in Tempe is called a Tempean.

Tempe got its name in 1879. According to the City of Tempe, "'Lord' Darrell Duppa, an Englishman who helped establish Phoenix, is credited with suggesting the name. The sight of the butte and the wide river, and the nearby expanse of green fields, reminded him of the Vale of Tempe in ancient Greece." The Tempe Chamber of Commerce offers a detailed history of the area.

County: Maricopa
Area Code: 480
Zip Codes: 85280, 85281, 85282, 85283, 85284, 85285, 85287, 85289

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Tempe Population and Income Statistics

Splash Pad at Tempe Beach Park
© Judy Hedding

Tempe is considered a young city, with many young professionals. The population of Tempe was 161,719 (2010). That makes it the 8th largest city in Arizona (2010).

Percentage White: 72.6%
Percentage African American: 5.9%
Percentage Asian: 5.7%
Percentage Latino/a or Hispanic (of any race): 21.1%

Percentage of people under 5 years old: 5.0%
Percentage of people over 65 years old: 8.4%
Median age: 28.1

Percentage of people 25 years old and older that graduated from college, 4-year degree or graduate degree: 38.9% (2009)

Median household income (in 2009 inflation-adjusted dollars): $49,173

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Tempe's Largest Employers

US Airways Headquarters in Tempe
© Judy Hedding

Obviously, Arizona State University is a huge employer in Tempe; it is a State of Arizona (government) employer. As far as the private sector is concerned, the largest employers in Tempe are Wells Fargo, Safeway, Freescale Semiconductor, Honeywell, Chase, USways, Insight Direct, TEAM Security, Express Scripts, IKON Office Solutions, Edward Jones, State Farm, Sonora Quest Labs and ABM Janitorial Services.

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What's Special About Tempe, and More

Mill Avenue in Tempe
Photo provided courtesy of Tempe Convention & Visitors Bureau

Certainly, Arizona State University gives Tempe a unique profile in the Greater Phoenix area. When people are looking for places to live in Tempe, it is wise to consider that areas close to ASU and nearby dorms not only tend to have a young and transient population, but also that crime is relatively high there. This is an urban living environment. Other parts of Tempe, to the south and east have more typical neighborhoods for this area in all price ranges.

Tempe is unique in that its borders are all defined and have been since 1974; Tempe is landlocked. Growth is now occurring upward, with high rises being built to accommodate the growing population.

Near the university in downtown Tempe, Mill Avenue is one of the nicest and most interesting walking neighborhoods in the Valley of the Sun, with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, retail and entertainment. Some of the largest festivals in the area and in the Southwest are held here, and Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets may be closed to vehicular traffic during these events.

Tempe Town Lake, also in downtown Tempe, takes up 220 acres, and was created as part of the Rio Salado Project. It was dedicated in 1999, along with an enlarged and remodeled Tempe Beach Park. Tempe Town Lake offers fishing and boating in the midst of an urban setting. Tempe Beach Park often hosts weekend festivals, many of which involve music/bands.

http://phoenix.about.com/library/blmapkiwanis.htm">Kiwanis Park covers 125 acres, and boasts one of the world's largest indoor/outdoor wave pools.

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