Mesa is a city located in Maricopa County Arizona. With a 2020 population of 538,146, it is the 3rd largest city in Arizona (after and ) and the 34th largest city in the United States . Mesa is currently growing at a rate of 1.91% annually and its population has increased by 22.57% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 439,041 in 2010. Mesa reached it's highest population of 538,146 in 2021. Spanning over 139 miles, Mesa has a population density of 3,897 people per square mile.
The average household income in Mesa is $77,738 with a poverty rate of 14.85%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,044 per month, and the median house value is $226,500. The median age in Mesa is 35.9 years, 34.5 years for males, and 37.7 years for females.
Mesa is a suburb located outside of Phoenix and is in Maricopa County. Mesa is best known for its educational institutions, including Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus.
Mesa Population and Economy Statistics
Banner Health System is the largest employer in the city, providing almost 10,000 jobs. Other top employers include Mesa Public Schools, Boeing, City of Mesa and Walmart, which each provide thousands of jobs to Mesa residents.
Mesa Population Growth
Mesa has seen an increase in population in every census taken since the early 1900s. The most substantial increase was recorded between the poll taken in 1970 and 1980, reflecting a 141.7% increase. While recent numbers haven’t been quite that high, the city most recently has seen 10.4% growth since the last census taken in 2010, indicating that this city still has more growth in its future.
Mesa was first inhabited by the Hohokam people thousands of years ago. During its early history, the people built a canal system that was one of the most sophisticated of its time. By the year 1450, hundreds of miles of canals were built, and many of them are still used in modern times.
The US Army came to the area in the late 19th century. At that time, it was opened for settlement. Daniel Webster Jones came from Utah to Arizona to found a Mormon settlement and arrived along the north edge of the city. This settlement was known as Lehi in 1883. The First Mesa Company came to the area to develop canals, followed by the Second Mesa Company who settled west of the First Mesa Company. It was during 1878 that Mesa City was designated as a town. Shortly after that, the first school was built and in 1883, the city was incorporated.
During the 1800s, the Mesa Canal was widened to construct a power plant. The city later purchased the plant and used funds to pave roads and build new buildings, including a hospital and library. During the 1940s, the city saw an increase in tourism, which led to population growth. Until the 1960s, agriculture was a significant contributor to the economy, until the city became more industrialized.
Today, Mesa is known for its schools, including Arizona State University, A.T. Still University’s Osteopathic Medical School and the CAE Global Academy Phoenix.