Phoenix, the capital of the Southwest United States, is a sprawling metropolitan area known for its year-round sunshine and warm temperatures. It is home to high-end spa resorts, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, and vibrant nightclubs. The Desert Botanical Garden is a popular attraction, showcasing cacti and native plants. With a population of 1,624,569 people, Phoenix is the most populous city in Arizona.
It is followed by Mesa with 509,475 inhabitants and Tucson with 543,242 residents. Phoenix is the fifth most populous city in the United States after New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. It is also the state capital of Arizona and is often referred to as “Valley of the Sun” or “The Valley”. The Phoenix Metropolitan Area has seen a 45.3% population increase from 1990 to 2000, making it the second fastest growing state in the US (after Nevada).
The median age of Phoenix's population is 34.4 years old. Of the 1,343,636 native inhabitants, 708,365 were born in Arizona and 612,636 were born in other US states. Amtrak serves the Phoenix metropolitan area with its Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle trains, both stopping at Maricopa located about 40 miles south of downtown Phoenix. The METRO Light Rail system travels more than 20 miles from Mesa to Tempe and into Phoenix.
It runs through the city center and provides access to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as well as two of the four campuses of Arizona State University's metropolitan area.