It is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area and is the 12th largest metro area by population in the United States with about 4.2 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.
Phoenix was incorporated as a city in 1881, after being founded in 1861 near the Salt River close to its confluence with the Gila River. The city has a notable and famous political culture and has been home to numerous influential American politicians, including Barry Goldwater, William Rehnquist, John McCain, Carl Hayden, and Sandra Day O'Connor. Residents of the city are known as Phoenicians.
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