Tempe is a city located in Arizona. With a 2020 population of 203,923, it is the 8th largest city in Arizona and the 117th largest city in the United States. Tempe is currently growing at a rate of 2.03% annually and its population has increased by 26.10% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 161,719 in 2010. Tempe reached it's highest population of 203,923 in 2021. Spanning over 40 miles, Tempe has a population density of 5,101 people per square mile.
The average household income in Tempe is $76,573 with a poverty rate of 19.78%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,164 per month, and the median house value is $272,900. The median age in Tempe is 29.5 years, 29.2 years for males, and 30 years for females. For every 100 females there are 110.4 males.
Tempe is located in Maricopa County, Arizona and takes its name from the Vale of Tempe in Greece. The city is located in the Phoenix metropolitan area between Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, and Phoenix. Phoenix Metro, sometimes called the Valley of the Sun, has a population of 4.2 million people and it’s one of the fastest growing major metros in the U.S.
Phoenix Metro, including Tempe, is experiencing rapid population growth. Arizona as a whole is the 4th fastest growing state according to a 2019 census report and Maricopa County is leading the charge. Unlike some regions, the area does have water and resource constraints and its population growth will naturally slow in the future. It’s predicted that the Phoenix Metro population will reach 6-7 million within 20 years compared to 4.2 million today.
Tempe, Arizona was originally settled by the Hohokam people who built elaborate canals for agriculture although they largely abandoned the area in the 1400s. In 1865, Fort McDowell was established in present-day Tempe and helped in the establishment of new towns along Salt River. Military members and Hispanic workers were brought in to care for animals and grow crops to support the fort and they created two permanent communities in the valley: San Pablo and Hayden’s Ferry named for a ferry operator. The community was later named Tempe in 1879.
Tempe had a history as a sundown town until the 1960s as African Americans were allowed to work in the community yet encouraged to live somewhere else. It was the construction of the Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad in 1887 that connected Tempe to the rest of the nation and paved the way for the city’s incorporation in 1894. When the Roosevelt Dam was completed in 1911, it ensured the region would have enough water to support agriculture and helped Tempe and other cities thrive.
Today’s Tempe is an inner suburb of Phoenix and serves as the region’s commerce and educational center.