Saturday, January 28, 2023


Today's lesson about my state is about what we here call "The Valley", more formally "The Valley of the Sun".

The facts are thanks to a posting by my old employer, KPNX-TV, on its website 12 News today.


What is the Valley?

“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest. 

The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:

  • Mesa
  • Chandler
  • Scottsdale
  • Tempe
  • Glendale
  • Surprise
  • Peoria
  • Gilbert
  • El Mirage
  • Avondale
  • Litchfield Park
  • Goodyear
  • Buckeye

Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.

The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas.

How big is Maricopa County?

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.

By the way, where I live is another valley - Prescott Valley.

It's population is 48,188 at last count.

Prescott, about 8 miles to the west of us, has a current population of 46,833.

Prescott Valley used to be considered a suburb of Prescott.

Who's the suburb now!!!


  1. In our visits to you and SWMBO over the years we have seen the change, both in Phoenix and more recently in your PV. I worry about the future for Phoenix however given it's dependence on water from elsewhere, especially as that water becomes more scarce. We enjoyed our times with you in the "big city" but at this stage in our lives smaller is better. That's why we live in a village. Good report.

  2. We've visited Phoenix several times, and enjoyed its history and food. Rattlesnake is pretty good!

  3. Love all the statistics! I didn't know any of that and now I do!

  4. I now more about Arizona than I ever did before. Thanks.

  5. Wow, I just learned more about Phoenix and Arizona reading this than I did living there for six months in the summer of 1987.

  6. Love that blue sky! There is much more variety in Arizona than I imagined, only having been to Tucson and Phoenix.

  7. Interesting details! What a lot of info about Phoenix and the Valleys.

  8. I didn't realize that Prescott Valley had overtaken Prescott in population. Thanks for the stats.