Tempe ( tem-PEE; Oidbaḍ in O'odham) is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2020 population of 180,587. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale and the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University.
Mesa ( MAY-sə) is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a suburb about 20 miles (32 km) east of Phoenix in the East Valley section of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is bordered by Tempe on the west, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on the north, Chandler and Gilbert on the south along with Queen Creek, and Apache Junction on the east. Mesa is the largest suburban city by population in the United States, the third-largest city in Arizona after Phoenix and Tucson, the 37th-largest city in the US, and the largest city that is not a county seat. The city is home to 504,258 people as of 2020 according to the Census Bureau, which makes it more populous than Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Miami. Mesa is home to numerous higher education facilities including the Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University. It is also home to the largest relief airport in the Phoenix area, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, which is in the southeastern corner of the city.
Phoenix ( FEE-niks; Navajo: Hoozdo; Spanish: Fénix or Fínix) is the capital and most populous city in Arizona, with 1,608,139 residents as of 2020. It is also the fifth-most populous city in the United States, the largest state capital by population, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is part of the Salt River Valley. The metropolitan area is the 11th largest by population in the United States, with approximately 4.85 million people as of 2020. Phoenix is the seat of Maricopa County and the largest city in the state at 517.9 square miles (1,341 km2), more than twice the size of Tucson and one of the largest cities in the United States.Phoenix was settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers and was incorporated as a city in 1881. It became the capital of Arizona Territory in 1889. It is in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert and has a hot desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community with the original settlers' crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton, citrus, and hay. Cotton, cattle, citrus, climate, and copper were known locally as the "Five C's" anchoring Phoenix's economy. These remained the driving forces of the city until after World War II, when high-tech companies began to move into the valley and air conditioning made Phoenix's hot summers more bearable.The city averaged a four percent annual population growth rate over a 40-year period from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. This growth rate slowed during the Great Recession of 2007–09, and has rebounded slowly. Phoenix is the cultural center of the state of Arizona.
Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix within the city's metropolitan area. Once known as the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World", it is the sixth-largest municipality in Arizona, and the fifth-largest in the Phoenix metro area. It covers an area of nearly 69 square miles (179 km2). Gilbert has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeastern valley of the Greater Phoenix area. It has grown at an extremely high rate over the last three decades, increasing in population from 5,717 in 1980 to 243,254 as of the 2020 census. The town grew at an average annual rate of nearly 13% during this 30-year period. In 2019, the town's population was estimated to be 254,114. It is the largest incorporated town in the United States.