Mesa, Arizona is somewhat of a well-kept secret. In spite of its status as the third-largest city in Arizona and 37th-largest in the country, it remains relatively unknown compared to other cities with comparable populations. For example, Mesa has a larger population than Minneapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Miami, but is far less recognizable. For this reason, Mesa has earned the title of a “bedroom community” even though almost half a million people call it home.
Geographically, Mesa is roughly 20 miles east of Phoenix and is bordered by Apache Junction, Gilbert, and Scottsdale. Mesa hosts the Chicago Cubs during spring training, has its own airport, houses an LDS temple, and has a substantial Hispanic population. In fact, Hispanics comprise over 25 percent of Mesa’s general population, according to the latest census. The city also has a relatively young population, with 27.3 percent of Mesans being under the age of 18. Only the demographic including 25-44-year-olds is larger.
The public school system is by far the largest employer in Mesa, with 10,000 employees. Banner Health, the healthcare provider that runs most of the hospitals in the area, comes in second with 8,650 employees, and aerospace manufacturer Boeing comes in third with 4,000 employees. The median household income in Mesa is $42,817.
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