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Phoenix is the capital, largest city, and largest metropolitan area of the state of Arizona, United States. Phoenix ranked:
the fifth-largest city in the U.S., at about 1.6 million population (passed Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2004)
the fourteenth largest metropolitan area of the United States, with a population of 3,251,876 (as of the 2000 census)
the largest capital city by area and population in the U.S. (including Washington, DC)
the eighth-fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S. (2000 census)
Phoenix was incorporated on February 5, 1881. It is the county seat of Maricopa County and the principal city of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Phoenix is called Hoodzo (lit. 'the place is hot') in Navajo (a language spoken in Arizona & New Mexico) and Fiinigis in Western Apache (a language spoken in Arizona).
The coming of the railroad in the 1880s was the first of several important events that revolutionized the economy of Phoenix. Merchandise now flowed into the city by rail instead of wagon. Phoenix became a trade center with its products reaching eastern and western markets. In recognition of the increased tempo of economic life, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized on November 4, 1888.
In early 1888, the city offices were moved into the new City Hall, built where the downtown bus terminal now stands. This building also provided temporary offices for the territorial government when it moved to Phoenix from Prescott in 1889.
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the National Reclamation Act making it possible to build dams on western streams for reclamation purposes. Valley of the Sun residents were quick to supplement this federal action by organizing the Salt River Valley Waters Users' Association on February 4, 1903, to assure proper management of the precious water supply. It functions to this day as the major agency for controlled use of irrigation water in the Valley.
On May 18, 1911, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam, then the largest masonry dam in the world, began operation. It created Roosevelt Lake, expanded irrigation of land in the Valley for farming, and increased the water supply for the growing population.
On February 14, 1912, President William Howard Taft approved Arizona's statehood, making Phoenix the state capital.
In 1913, Phoenix changed its form of government from mayor-council to council-manager. Phoenix was one of the first cities in the United States to have this form of city government.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge sold 13,000 acres (53 km˛) of South Mountain to the city of Phoenix for $17,000. At its present size of 16,500 acres (67 km), South Mountain Park is the largest metropolitan park in the world, and it entertains 3 million visitors each year year.
Phoenix began to grow into a young metropolis. By 1920, Phoenix had a population of 29,053 inhabitants, which by 1930 nearly doubled to 48,118.
1940 marked another turning point, as the war changed Phoenix from a farming center to a distribution center. Phoenix rapidly turned into an embryonic industrial city with mass production of military supplies. Luke Field, Williams Field and Falcon Field, coupled with the giant ground-training center at Hyder, west of Phoenix, brought thousands of men into Phoenix.
In 1950, 105,000 people lived within the city limits and thousands more lived in adjacent communities and depended upon Phoenix for their livelihoods. The city had 148 miles (238 km) of paved streets and 163 miles (262 km) of unpaved streets, a total of 311 miles (501 km) of streets within the city limits.
Phoenix has been selected four times since 1950 as an All-America City, rare among larger cities. The hallmark of an All-America City is the extent to which its private citizens get involved in the workings of their government. Thousands of citizens have served on various city committees, boards and commissions to assure that major decisions are in the best interest of the people.
At the census of 2000, there were 1,321,045 people, 465,834 households, and 307,450 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,074/km˛ (2,782/mi˛). There were 495,832 housing units at an average density of 403/km˛ (1,044/mi˛). The racial makeup of the city was 71.07% White, 5.10% African American, 2.02% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 16.40% from other races, and 3.28% from two or more races. 34.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any country origin.
There were 465,834 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.39.
In the city the population age distribution was 28.9% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 103.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,207, and the median income for a family was $46,467. Males had a median income of $32,820 versus $27,466 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,833. 15.8% of the population and 11.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.0% of those under the age of 18 and 10.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
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