Local city information for Phoenix, AZ
(, O'odham Skikik
, Yavapai Wasinka
, Western Apache Fiinigis
, Navajo Hoozdo
, Mojave ''Hachpa 'Anya Nyava) is the capital and largest city in the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the fifth most populous city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,552,259 residents, and is the anchor of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, the 12th largest metro area by population in the United States with 4,281,899 residents. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County, and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.
Phoenix was incorporated as a city in 1881 after being founded in 1868 near the Salt River, near its confluence with the Gila River. The city eventually became a major transportation hub in North America and a main transportation, financial, industrial, cultural and economic center of the Southwestern United States. The city has a notable and famous political culture. Phoenix has been home to numerous influential American politicians and other dignitaries, including Barry Goldwater, William Rehnquist, John McCain, Janet Napolitano, Carl Hayden, and Sandra Day O'Connor. Residents of the city are known as Phoenicians.
Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has the hottest climate of any major city in the United States. The average high temperatures are over for almost five months out of the year, and have spiked over on occasion.
Phoenix is located at 33°26'54" North, 112°4'26" West (33.448457°, -112.073844°) in the Salt River Valley, or "Valley of the Sun", in central Arizona. It lies at a mean elevation of 1,117 feet (340 m), in the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert.
The Salt River runs westward through the city of Phoenix; the riverbed is often dry or a trickle due to large irrigation diversions, except after the area's infrequent rainstorms or when more water is released from upstream dams. The city of Tempe has built two inflatable dams in the Salt River bed to create a year-round recreational lake, called Tempe Town Lake. The dams are deflated to allow the river to flow unimpeded during releases. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is located in Northwest Phoenix within the suburb of Peoria, Arizona
The Phoenix area is surrounded by the McDowell Mountains to the northeast, the White Tank Mountains to the west, the Superstition Mountains far to the east, and the Sierra Estrella to the southwest. Within the city are the Phoenix Mountains and South Mountains. Current development (as of 2005) is pushing beyond the geographic boundaries to the north and west, and south through Pinal County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 475.1 square miles (1,230.5 km²); 474.9 square miles (1,229.9 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km², or 0.05%) of it is water.
The Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (officially known as the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA), is the 13th largest in the United States, with a total population of 4,039,182 as of the June 2006 update of the 2000 U.S. Census. It includes the Arizona counties of Maricopa and Pinal. Other cities in the MSA include Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, and Peoria. Several smaller communities are also included, such as Cave Creek, Queen Creek, Buckeye, Goodyear, Fountain Hills, Litchfield Park, Anthem,
Sun Lakes, Sun City, Sun City West, Avondale, Surprise, El Mirage, Paradise Valley, and Tolleson. The communities of Ahwatukee, Arcadia, Deer Valley, Laveen, Maryvale and others are part of the city of Phoenix, Ahwatukee being separated from the rest of the city by South Mountain.
As with most of Arizona, Phoenix does not observe daylight saving time. In 1973, Gov. Jack Williams argued to Congress that energy use would increase in the evening, as refrigeration units were not used as often in the morning on standard time. He went on to say that energy use would rise "because there would be more lights on in the early morning." He was also concerned about children going to school in the dark, which indeed they were. The exception to this are lands of the Navajo Nation in Northeastern Arizona, which observe daylight saving time in conjunction with the rest of their tribal lands in other states.
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