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Mesa, AZ

Mesa, Arizona, is located 15 miles east of Phoenix and is considered part of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. This placid desert suburb and golfers' Mecca is now one of the fastest-growing American cities. With a population estimated at more than 460,000 in 2006, Mesa is the third-largest city in Arizona and the 37th-largest city in the United States.

Mesa has a record of habitation dating back thousands of years. Over many centuries the Hohokam people constructed canals in the desert, some of which remain active. White settlement began in 1877, led by members of the Mormon Church, whose presence and influence remain strong in the area. Agriculture was the predominant way of life until after World War II, when Mesa began its transformation into a bedroom community.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Mesa's development has been diverse and uneven, with low-income areas languishing in neglect while affluent districts and subdivisions have sprouted up like desert flowers. The city's character is defined by a number of neighborhoods:

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Two airfields built during World War II helped spur Mesa's transformation into a military-industrial center. Aerospace became the city's leading industry, and that sector remains well-represented:

The electronics sector, specifically semiconductor manufacturing, also has a sizable presence in Mesa:

Banking and retail are among Mesa's other top industries. The city is home to three shopping malls:

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

FAMILY FUN

SPORTS TEAMS

EDUCATION

LOCAL MEDIA

Mesa is part of the Phoenix media market, the 12th-largest in the United States. Two daily newspapers serve the area: the Phoenix-based Arizona Republic, one of the nation's ten-largest papers in circulation, and the East Valley Tribune, whose headquarters are in Mesa.


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