Mesa, Arizona

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Mesa, Arizona
Country United States
State Arizona
Counties Maricopa
Mayor Keno Hawker
 - City 125.2 mi² 324.2 km²
 - Land 125.0 mi², 323.7 km²
 - Water 0.2 mi², 0.6 km² km²
Elevation 1,241 feet (378 m) m
 - City (2005) 442,780<ref name=popest>Template:Cite web</ref>
Time zone MST (UTC-7)

Mesa is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona and part of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metropolitan Area. It is the third-largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix and Tucson.

Mesa is one of the United States' fastest-growing cities, and currently ranks as the 41st-largest. In 2005 the mid-decade Census survey estimated the city's population to be 442,780.<ref name=popest/> Though a suburban city, Mesa actually has a larger population than better-known cities such as St. Louis, Missouri, Miami, Florida and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Despite its large population, Mesa has a decidedly bedroom-community, sprawl-like character. Its downtown is minimal, and there are very few buildings in Mesa with more than two stories. Nevertheless, the recently completed Mesa Arts Center may help invigorate downtown Mesa. The city is also home to many gated retirement communities, which may explain the large percentage of senior citizens in the population.

Mesa was founded in January 1878 by Mormon (Latter-day Saint) pioneers and its population is still roughly one-tenth Mormon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates one of its oldest temples in Mesa (the Mesa Arizona Temple), and the city is a hub of sorts for Latter-day Saints residing in the Phoenix Metro area.

The City of Mesa logo


[edit] Geography

Mesa's elevation is approximately 1,241 feet (378 m) and is located at 33°24′40″N, 111°44′47″W (33.411199, -111.746438)GR1. The city spreads over a mesa or plateau that stands about one hundred feet higher than Phoenix. Thus, the name given to it by its Mormon settlers.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 324.2 km² (125.2 mi²). 323.7 km² (125.0 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it (0.16%) is water.

[edit] History

  • Circa 1 AD. The Hohokams arrived in the area. They built an extensive canal system.[1]
  • 1358. A large flood occurred, perhaps damaging the canal system.[2]
  • 1865. At a ferry west of present-day Val Vista Road, an establishment called Maryville was created. The ferry was used by soldiers.[3]
  • 1877. After Maryville was abandoned, a group of LDS pioneers arrived in March 1877 and settled in an area called Lehi (in the northwest part of present-day Mesa). The pioneers were led by Daniel Webster Jones, who had been asked by LDS officials to direct a party of people in establishing a settlement in Arizona.[4]
  • 1878. An 85-member LDS pioneer contingent called "The First Mesa Company" arrived from Utah and Idaho. Their leaders were named Crismon, Pomeroy, Robson, and Sirrine. They decided not to stay with Daniel Webster Jones' group in Lehi and moved southward and began to clear out the Hohokam canals. [5]

[edit] Demographics

As of the censusGR2 2004 estimate, there were 447,845 people, 146,643 households, and 99,863 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,224.4/km² (3,171.3/mi²). There were 175,701 housing units at an average density of 542.8/km² (1,405.7/mi²).

The racial make-up of the city was 79.30% White, 3.30% Black or African American, 1.80% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 12.00% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 20.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 146,643 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,817, and the median income for a family was $49,232. Males had a median income of $35,960 versus $27,005 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,601. About 6.2% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over. Mesa's residents exhibit jarring economic diversity, with low-income areas constructed somewhat close to high-scale neighborhoods with extravagant custom homes.

[edit] Cultural attractions

LDS Mesa Arizona Temple

[edit] Schools

Almost all of the city of Mesa is served by public schools operated by Mesa Public Schools.

A small southern portion is served by the Gilbert Public Schools.

A small western portion is served by the Tempe Elementary School District and the Tempe Union High School District.

[edit] Military

Williams Air Force Base closed in 1993 and is now Williams Gateway Airport and ASU Polytechnic.

Mesa is also home to Falcon Field airport and aircraft museum. Originally opened at the beginning of World War II for the training of British RAF pilots, it was turned over to the City of Mesa at the end of the war.

[edit] Trivia

[edit] Sister cities

Mesa, Arizona has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):

[edit] See also

[edit] References


[edit] External links

State of Arizona
Phoenix (capital)

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