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Mesa is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona and part of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metropolitan Area. It is the third-largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix and Tucson.
Mesa is one of the United States' fastest-growing cities, and currently ranks as the 41st-largest. In 2005 the mid-decade Census survey estimated the city's population to be 448,096. Though a suburban city, Mesa actually has a larger population than better-known cities such as St. Louis, Missouri, Miami, Florida and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Despite its large population, Mesa has a decidedly bedroom-community, sprawl-like character. Its downtown is minimal, and there are very few buildings in Mesa with more than two stories. Nevertheless, the recently completed Mesa Arts Center may help invigorate downtown Mesa. The city is also home to many gated retirement communities, which may explain the large percentage of senior citizens in the population.
Mesa was founded in January 1878 by Mormon (LDS) pioneers and its population is still roughly one-tenth Mormon. The LDS Church operates one of its oldest temples in Mesa (the Mesa Arizona Temple), and the city is a hub of sorts for Latter-day Saints residing in the Phoenix Metro area.
Mesa's residents exhibit jarring economic diversity, with low-income areas and mobile-home parks somewhat close to high-scale neighborhoods with extravagant custom homes.
The City of Mesa logoContents [hide]
4 Cultural attractions
8 Sister cities
9 See also
10 External links
Mesa's elevation is approximately 1,241 feet (378 m) and is located at 33°24′40″N, 111°44′47″W (33.411199, -111.746438)GR1. The city spreads over a mesa or plateau that stands about one hundred feet higher than Phoenix. Thus, the name given to it by its Mormon settlers.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 324.2 km² (125.2 mi²). 323.7 km² (125.0 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it (0.16%) is water.
Daniel Webster JonesCirca 1 AD. The Hohokams arrived in the area. They built an extensive canal system.
1358. A large flood occurred, perhaps damaging the canal system.
1865. At a ferry west of present-day Val Vista Road, an establishment called Maryville was created. The ferry was used by soldiers.
1877. After Maryville was abandoned, a group of LDS pioneers arrived in March 1877 and settled in an area called Lehi (in the northwest part of present-day Mesa). The pioneers were led by Daniel Webster Jones, who had been asked by LDS officials to direct a party of people in establishing a settlement in Arizona.
1878. An 85-member LDS pioneer contingent called "The First Mesa Company" arrived from Utah and Idaho. Their leaders were named Crismon, Pomeroy, Robson, and Sirrine. They decided not to stay with Daniel Webster Jones' group in Lehi and moved southward and began to clear out the Hohokam canals. 
As of the censusGR2 2004 estimate, there were 447,845 people, 146,643 households, and 99,863 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,224.4/km² (3,171.3/mi²). There were 175,701 housing units at an average density of 542.8/km² (1,405.7/mi²).
The racial makeup of the city was 79.30% White, 3.30% Black or African American, 1.80% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 12.00% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 20.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 146,643 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,817, and the median income for a family was $49,232. Males had a median income of $35,960 versus $27,005 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,601. About 6.2% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
LDS Mesa Arizona TempleHoHoKam Park Cactus League spring training home of the Chicago Cubs and former summer home to the now defunct Mesa Miners professional baseball team of the Golden Baseball League.
Mesa Arts Center
Mesa Arizona Temple, a large LDS temple, where an elaborate Easter pageant is held every spring.
Arizona Museum for Youth
Commemorative Air Force Museum
Mesa Historical Society and Museum
Mesa Southwest Museum
Main Library (MN)
Dobson Ranch Branch (DR)
Red Mountain Branch (RM)
Almost all of the city of Mesa is served by public schools operated by Mesa Public Schools.
A small southern portion is served by the Gilbert Public Schools.
A small western portion is served by the Tempe Elementary School District and the Tempe Union High School District.
Williams Air Force Base closed in 1993 and is now Williams Gateway Airport and ASU Polytechnic.
Mesa is also home to Falcon Field airport and aircraft museum. Originally opened at the beginning of World War II for the training of British RAF pilots, it was turned over to the City of Mesa at the end of the war.
In the Pima language, Mesa is known as Mo:mli.
Alternative/pop-punk band Jimmy Eat World is from Mesa.
MLB Players Adam Hyzdu and Russ Ortiz reside in Mesa during the winters.
Country music legend Waylon Jennings is interred at the Mesa City Cemetery.
The waterpark used in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is Golfland/Sunsplash on Country Club Drive at U.S. Route 60.
Mesa, Arizona has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Upper Hutt, New Zealand