Phoenix | United States
Phoenix (/ˈfiːnɪks/) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arizona. With 1,615,017 people (as of 2016), Phoenix is the fifth most populous city nationwide, the most populous state capital in the United States, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.
Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is a part of the Salt River Valley. The metropolitan area is the 12th largest by population in the United States, with approximately 4.3 million people as of 2010. In addition, Phoenix is the seat of Maricopa County and, at 517.9 square miles (1,341 km2), it is the largest city in the state, more than twice the size of Tucson and one of the largest cities in the United States.
Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers, Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. It became the capital of Arizona in 1889. Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a hot 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 (which was important for the cattle industry). Cotton, cattle, citrus, climate, and copper were known locally as the "Five C's" of Phoenix's economy. These industries remained the driving forces of the city until after World War II, when high-tech companies began to move into the valley and air conditioning made Phoenix's hot summers more bearable.
The city averaged a four percent annual population growth rate over a 40-year period from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. This growth rate slowed during the Great Recession of 2007–09, and has rebounded slowly. Phoenix is the cultural center of the Valley of the Sun, as well as the entire state.
While some of the native flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert can be found within Phoenix city limits, most are found in the suburbs and the undeveloped desert areas surrounding the city. Native mammal species include coyote, javelina, bobcat, mountain lion, desert cottontail rabbit, jackrabbit, antelope ground squirrel, mule deer, ringtail, coati, and multiple species of bats, such as the Mexican free-tailed bat and western pipistrelle, that roost in and around the city. There are many species of native birds, including Costa's hummingbird, Anna's hummingbird, Gambel's quail, Gila woodpecker, mourning dove, white-winged dove, the roadrunner, the cactus wren, and many species of raptors, including falcons, hawks, owls, vultures (such as the turkey vulture and black vulture), and eagles, including the golden and the bald eagle.
The area is also home to a plethora of native reptile species including the Western diamondback rattlesnake, Sonoran sidewinder, several other types of rattlesnakes, Sonoran coral snake, dozens of species of non-venomous snakes (including the Sonoran gopher snake and the California kingsnake), the gila monster, desert spiny lizard, several types of whiptail lizards, the chuckwalla, desert horned lizard, western banded gecko, Sonora mud turtle, and the desert tortoise. Native amphibian species include the Couch's spadefoot toad, Chiricahua leopard frog, and the Sonoran desert toad.
In 1997, the Phoenix Mercury were one of the original eight teams to launch the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). They also play at Talking Stick Resorts Arena. They have won the WNBA championship three times: first in 2007 when they defeated the Detroit Shock, again in 2009 when they defeated the Indiana Fever, and in 2014 when they swept the Chicago Sky.
photo of the University of Phoenix Stadium taken from the parking lot, showing the domed stadium against an overcast sky
The Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball began play as an expansion team in 1998. The team has played all of its home games in the same downtown park, now known as Chase Field.  It is the second highest stadium in the U.S. (after Coors Field in Denver), and is known for its swimming pool beyond the outfield fence. In 2001, the Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees 4 games to 3 in the World Series, becoming the city's first professional sports franchise to win a national championship while located in Arizona. The win was also the fastest an expansion team had ever won the World Series, surpassing the old mark of the Florida Marlins of 5 years, set in 1997.
The Arizona Cardinals are the oldest continuously run professional football franchise in the nation. Founded in 1898 in Chicago, they moved to Phoenix from St. Louis in 1988 and currently play in the Western Division of the National Football League's National Football Conference. Upon their move to Phoenix, the Cardinals originally played their home games at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University in nearby Tempe. In 2006 they moved to the newly constructed University of Phoenix Stadium in suburban Glendale. Since moving to Phoenix, the Cardinals have made one championship appearance, Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, where they lost 27–23 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Phoenix metro area is served by many local television stations and is the largest designated market area (DMA) in the Southwest, and the 12th largest in the U.S., with over 1.8 million homes (1.6% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KNXV 15 (ABC), KPHO 5 (CBS), KPNX 12 (NBC), KSAZ 10 (Fox), KASW 61 (The CW), KUTP 45 (MyNetworkTV), and KAET 8 (PBS, operated by Arizona State University). Other network television affiliates operating in the area include KPAZ 21 (TBN), KTVW-DT 33 (Univision), KFPH-DT (UniMás), KTAZ 39 (Telemundo), KDPH 48 (Daystar), and KPPX-TV 51 (ION). KTVK 3 (3TV) and KAZT 7 (AZ-TV) are independent television stations operating in the metro area. KSAZ-TV, KUTP, KPAZ-TV, KTVW-DT, KFPH-DT, KTAZ, KDPH-LP, and KPPX-TV are network owned-and-operated stations.
Many major feature films and television programs have been filmed in the city. From the opening sequences in Psycho, to the night attack by the aliens in 1953's The War of the Worlds, to freeway scenes in Little Miss Sunshine, Phoenix has been the location for numerous major feature films. Other notable pictures filmed at least partially in Phoenix include Raising Arizona, A Home at the End of the World, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Days of Thunder, The Gauntlet, The Grifters, Waiting to Exhale and Bus Stop.
The radio airwaves in Phoenix cater to a wide variety of musical and talk radio interests. Stations include classic rock formats of KOOL-FM and KSLX-FM, to pop stations like KYOT-FM and alternative stations like KDKB-FM, to the talk radio of KFYI-AM and KKNT-AM, the pop and top 40 programming of KZZP-FM and KALV-FM, and the country sounds of KMLE-FM. With its large Hispanic population there are numerous Spanish stations, such as KCCF-FM, KHOT-FM, and KOMR-FM.
Low-weight births (7.5%) were below the national average of 8.1%, yet infant mortality (7.2%) was higher than the rest of the U.S. (6.1%). Births to teen mothers were significantly higher than the rest of the country, sitting at 12.2% as compared to 8.4% nationally.
The Phoenix metropolitan area is serviced by 56 hospitals and medical centers. The Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical practice and medical research group based in Rochester, Minnesota. Phoenix is one of two other locations with Mayo Clinics (the other being Jacksonville, Florida). It is the first and largest integrated not-for-profit medical group practice in the world; Mayo Clinic has been near or at the top of the U.S. News & World Report List of "Best Hospitals" for more than 20 years. St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is part of Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), one of the largest healthcare systems in the western United States. St. Joseph's is a not-for-profit hospital with special advocacy for the poor and underserved. John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital is a general medical and surgical hospital, which performed nearly at the level of nationally ranked U.S. News Best Hospitals in 4 adult specialties. The Phoenix Children's Hospital is nationally ranked in 5 pediatric specialties according to U.S. News & World Report. It is a 425-bed children's teaching hospital. Arizona Heart Institute, opened in 1971, is known internationally as one of the first freestanding outpatient clinics dedicated exclusively to cardiovascular health. Banner Health is a non-profit health system in the United States, based in Phoenix. It operates 23 hospitals as well as specialized facilities. The health system is the 2nd largest employer in Arizona, behind Walmart, employing more than 35,000. Banner Health was created in 1999 through a merger of Lutheran Health Systems, based in North Dakota, and Samaritan Health System, based in Phoenix. Of the top 10 rated hospitals in the city (top 12 in the state), 4 are Banner hospitals. Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is the world's largest dedicated neurosurgical center and a leader in neurosurgical training, research, and patient care. More operative neurosurgical procedures take place at BNI than at any other institution in the United States.