Welcome to Phoenix! Find information below about our city, including history, climate, and the tourism industry.
Population (city proper): 1.6 million (2019 Census estimate)
Population rank (city proper): Fifth in the United States
Median age of resident: 32.9 33.5
Area: About 500 square miles
Elevation: About 1,100 feet
Temperature: 75 degrees Fahrenheit year-round average. Visit our weather page for monthly averages.
Rainfall: 8.04 inches of annual average
Hotel inventory (city proper): More than 185 170 hotels and resorts with more than nearly 28,000 rooms for visitors.
The largest hotel in Phoenix is Sheraton Phoenix Downtown with 1,003 rooms. The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa has 950 rooms, Arizona Grand Resort & Spa has 744 rooms, the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, has 738 rooms, and the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa has 732 rooms.
Regional population: 4.9 million (10th most populated metro area in U.S. as of July 2019, based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates released July 2020)
Greater Phoenix hotel inventory: More than 69,000 guest rooms at over 500 hotels, and 40 full-service resort properties.
Area: About 2,000 square miles
Maricopa County — where Greater Phoenix is located — covers 9,266 square miles, making it about the size of New Hampshire.
Greater Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, which is one of the wettest and greenest deserts in North America, thanks to between 3 and 15 inches of annual rainfall.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, dubbed America's Friendliest Airport, is the main airport for the Greater Phoenix area. It serves more than 45 million passengers a year and goes to more than 120 domestic and international destinations, making it one of the busiest airports in the nation. With about 1,200 daily flights, Sky Harbor is also one of the most convenient airports.
Sky Harbor is a hub for two major carriers (American Airlines and Southwest Airlines).
More than 46.2 million people traveled through Sky Harbor in 2019.
Sky Harbor has a $38 billion annual economic impact.
Sky Harbor was purchased by the City of Phoenix in July of 1935 for $100,000. The City paid $35,300 in cash and took out a $64,700 mortgage.
Sky Harbor's size: 3,400 acres.
Check out Sky Harbor’s website for information about security, flights, accessibility and the PHX Sky Train, or visit the airport's statistics page for information on passenger counts and flight operations.
Greater Phoenix is home to 170 golf courses.
Greater Phoenix consistently ranks among the nation’s top cities in the number of Five Diamond and Four Diamond and Five Star and Four Star hotels and resorts.
There are six lakes within a 75-minute drive of downtown Phoenix.
Phoenix is home to one of the largest municipal parks in North America. South Mountain Park and Preserve covers more than 16,000 acres and has more than 50 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails.
Greater Phoenix is the corporate headquarters of five Fortune 500 companies: Avnet Freeport-McMoRan, Republic Services, Insight Enterprises and Magellan Health.
Phoenix has museums to suit nearly every taste. The Heard Museum (American Indian); Desert Botanical Garden (the world's largest collection of desert plants); Taliesin West (UNESCO World Heritage Site); the Phoenix Art Museum (the Southwest's largest art museum); the Arizona Science Center; the Hall of Flame (the world's largest collection of fire-fighting equipment); Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park (Hohokam) and the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) are among the cultural hot spots.
The Heard Museum has an extensive collection of American Indian artifacts, including the largest kachina doll collection (donated in part by the late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater) of any museum in the country.
Phoenix has an average annual rainfall of 8.04 inches, an average temperature of 75.05 degrees and an annual high temperature of 86.7 degrees. The average high temperature in winter is 67 degrees.
According to data compiled by the National Climatic Data Center, Phoenix basks in sunshine more often than any other major metropolitan area in the U.S. The sun shines on Phoenix during 85 percent of its daylight hours.
The settlement that would become Phoenix was built on the banks of the Salt River in the early 1860s.
According to legend, Phoenix gets its name from one of the city’s first settlers: Cambridge-educated pioneer Darrell Duppa predicted that a great city would arise from the ancient Hohokam ruins like the legendary phoenix bird that was said to have risen from its own ashes.
Arizona is home to 22 sovereign American Indian tribes.
Phoenix’s earliest inhabitants were the Hohokam Indians. This tribe thrived in the region until about 1450 A.D. There is no record of the Hohokam after that, although they are believed to be ancestors of the Pima Indians. In the Pima language “hohokam” means “those who have gone.”
The city of Phoenix officially was recognized on May 4, 1868, when the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors formed an election precinct there.
Statehood was celebrated on Feb. 14, 1912, and George W. P. Hunt was elected Arizona’s first governor.
More than 19 million people visited Phoenix in 2019, including overnight and day trip visitors and 1.5 million international visitors.
Estimated direct spending by these visitors in the city exceeded $3.8billion.
When considering indirect and induced spending, total economic impact from visitors to Phoenix in 2019 was more than $6.6 billion.
Visitor spending impacted more than 55,000 jobs in Phoenix in 2019. The visitor economy sustains 8.7% of all jobs in the Phoenix area.
Total estimated state and local taxes generated through direct, indirect and induced impacts from Phoenix visitors was more than $500 million.
Source: Tourism Economics
Average Phoenix visitor age: 47.8 years old
Median household income: $79,000
Average number of overnights spent in Phoenix: 3.6
Average travel party size: 2.5 persons
The top five activities participated in by Phoenix overnight visitors: Shopping, fine dining, visiting a state/national park, hiking/backpacking, visiting landmark/historic site.
Source: Longwoods International
Estimated direct spending by visitors in the region exceeded $16.7 billion in 2019.
Visitor spending impacted more than 115,000 jobs in the region in 2019.
Total estimated state and local taxes generated through direct, indirect and induced impacts from Greater Phoenix area visitors was nearly $1.5 billion.
Source: Arizona Office of Tourism/Dean Runyan Associates
Average nights spent in region: 3.6
Average Phoenix visitor age: 50.4 years old
Average travel party size: 2.5 persons
Source: Arizona Office of Tourism/Longwoods International
The "checkout" tax rate in the City of Phoenix is 12.57% and is broken down as follows:
5.50% State of Arizona
5.30% City of Phoenix
1.77% Maricopa County
Phoenix is one of the only 13 U.S. cities with franchises in all four major professional sports leagues: Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Arizona Cardinals (NFL) and Arizona Coyotes (NHL). In addition, Phoenix is also the home of the Phoenix Mercury (WNBA), Phoenix Rising FC (USL), and the Arizona Rattlers (IFL).
Greater Phoenix hosted Super Bowl XXX on Jan. 28, 1996, Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008 and Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015. Phoenix will host the Super Bowl once again in 2023.
The Phoenix Suns have brought the NBA playoffs to PHX Arena (formerly Talking Stick Resort Arena) 29 times.
15 Major League Baseball teams play a combine total of more than 200 spring training games at 10 stadiums in the Cactus League, which drew a record 1.7 million fans in 20197.
Greater Phoenix is currently home to 15 Cactus League franchises: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
State Farm Stadium, home of Super Bowls XLII, XLIX and (future) LVII in 2023, features both a retractable fabric roof and a roll-out grass field.
State Farm Stadium hosted the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and will again host it in 2024. The stadium also hosted the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
The Waste Management Open, played each February at the TPC Scottsdale, is the best-attended event on the PGA Tour, averaging more than 700,000 spectators.
Greater Phoenix is home to college football’s Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl. The 2007 and 2011 BCS National Championship games were played at State Farm Stadium. The stadium also hosted the 2016 College Football Playoff. In addition, Greater Phoenix hosted Pro Bowl in 2015.
Phoenix Raceway plays host to two NASCAR events each racing season.
The historic Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort has hosted every U.S. president since Herbert Hoover, and, ironically, Irving Berlin wrote “White Christmas” while sunbathing next to one of the resort’s pools.
The Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale, a Curio Collection by Hilton, offers its guests rock-climbing clinics and nature-photography instruction amid the 12 billion-year-old boulders after which the resort is named.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess annually plays host to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the best-attended event on the PGA Tour.
A professional astronomer leads complimentary stargazing talks under the Sonoran Desert sky weekly at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.
The Hermosa Inn is the former guest ranch and studio of cowboy artist Alonzo “Lon” Megargee, whose painting “The Last Drop From His Stetson” adorns the inside of the Stetson Company’s premium cowboy hats.
The Hotel Valley Ho hosted the private wedding reception of Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood in 1957.
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass employs a Cultural Concierge who is available to educate guests about the history and traditions of Pima and Maricopa tribes.
Each evening at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, Scottish bagpipes usher in the sunset in an homage to Scottish immigrants’ contributions to Arizona's railroads, mines and towns.
The Wigwam was formerly a cotton farm and winter retreat for executives from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch offers a French Celtic mineral pool at Spa Avania as well as nightly gondola rides with a singing balladeer.
Chris Bianco brings exquisite Italian flavor to Phoenix with his locally and nationally cherished restaurant, Pizzeria Bianco. Born in the Bronx, Chef Bianco began his culinary career by working in a pizzeria at 13 years old. He has since been named the Best Chef in the Southwest (2003) by the James Beard Foundation.
Phoenix’s own Vincent Guerithault is a master of Southwestern cuisine. Famous for applying his classic French technique to the indigenous ingredients of the Southwest, Vincent was named the Best Chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in 1993. Vincent was the first chef ever to receive a Citation of Excellence from the International Food & Wine Society. Guerithault’s restaurant, Vincent on Camelback, is a Phoenix favorite.
Beau MacMillan, the Executive Chef of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain and its signature restaurant, elements, is a Food Network star who also has served as the personal chef for Wayne Gretzky and cooked for international rock group U2.
Phoenix chefs have been nominated and been awarded James Beard Awards since 1992:
Best Chef: Southwest
Vincent Guerithault of Vincent on Camelback (1992 Nominee, 1993 Winner, 2000 Nominee)
Christopher Gross of Christopher’s (1993 Nominee, 1994 Nominee, 1995 Winner)
Roxsand Scocos of RoxSand (1995 Nominee, 1996 Nominee, 1997 Nominee, 1998 Nominee, 1999 Winner)
Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco (2000 Nominee, 2003 Winner)
Mark Tarbell of Tarbell’s (2001 Nominee)
Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Café (2010 Semifinalist, 2011 Semifinalist, 2012 Semifinalist, 2014 Semifinalist, 2017 Semifinalist, 2018 Semifinalist, 2019 Semifinalist)
Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s Restaurant (2018 Semifinalist, 2019 Semifinalist)
Charleen Badman of FnB (2019 Winner)
For statistics and data from the City of Phoenix, visit Community and Economic Development website. Phoenix Open Data.
Visit Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport for information about flights and recent announcements.