The anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area, it is the 13th largest metro area by population in the United States with approximately 4.3 million people in 2010. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.
Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers, Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community, many of the original crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton, citrus and hay. In fact, the "Five C's", remained the driving forces of Phoenix's economy until after World War II, when high tech industries began to move into the valley.
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