The Greater Phoenix Area, also known as the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), Valley of the Sun, or Metro Phoenix, has a population of over 4.5 million.  

The Valley includes residents of both Maricopa and Pinal Counties economically and socially interconnected through the Valley’s advanced highway system.  There are an estimated 32 cities between the two countries, with some cities located in both counties.

In addition to its incorporated areas, the valley is known for its agricultural land located in the incorporated area.  These agricultural properties can be found in the urban centers and are identified as “county islands, horse or farm properties” with 1 acreage or 42,560 sq ft or more lot sizes. Zoning, building codes, and public services in these county islands are typically provided by the county of jurisdiction.

The Valley also includes Gila River Indian Community, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.

The City of Phoenix is the largest city in the Valley and the State’s capital city with over 1.5 million residents calling it home.  The urban areas to the east of Phoenix city limits are sometimes referred to as the East Valley while those in the west are often referred to as the West Valley. However, these terms have become less and less relevant as the cities have grown closer together.  The largest suburbs of Phoenix are Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale, Surprise, and Tempe.

Some of the cities in the East Valley include Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe.  The region is known for its high-tech jobs, well-educated residents, and vibrant economy.  Cities in the West Valley include Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, and Peoria.  Cities not considered to be located in the East or West Valley include Scottsdale, South and North Phoenix, Fountain Hills, Queen Creek, Apache Junction, Guadalupe, Ahwatukee, and San Tan Valley.  Each city and town in the Valley has its own unique lifestyle, history, and economic and cultural identity.

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