So, you are thinking about moving to the City of Maricopa in Arizona. I’m going to bet that you are probably looking for a little bit of information about this wonderful city. Let’s see if we can help answer some of the burning questions you have.
Today I am going to share with you 10 things you need to know before moving to Maricopa. Keep in mind these are all relevant to the time of this writing and in some cases, the numbers have changed but they are still close.
Now, let’s dive into those 10 things I promised about Maricopa….
Where & Who Lives in Maricopa?
Maricopa is a city in the Gila River Valley in Pinal County, Arizona It is part of the southern part of the Phoenix metropolitan area and has an elevation of 1,190 Ft.
The population of Maricopa was 66,290 during the 2021 census. However, it is currently estimated to be around 77,000+ people as of 2023 and growing!
The City of Maricopa was incorporated on October 15, 2003, as the 88th city in Arizona, and the 2000 census listed it at the time with a population of just 1,040.
During the following two years, its population exploded to 15,934 earning it the title of one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. WOW!
However, in 2008, as the city was approaching 40,000 people, the economy tanked and we lost half the population quickly. But as you can tell, the City and its residents are making a great comeback!
The population has increased by more than 4000% since 2000. This growth is due to several factors, including the city’s proximity to Phoenix, its affordable housing, and its growing job market.
Maricopa’s citizens are very diverse. It is a community that not only witnessed history but lived it. This is one of the things that makes Maricopa a great place to live!
To learn more about the history of Maricopa, check out this wonderful article a historian has done: https://www.maricopa-az.gov/our-city/history-of-maricopa
Maricopa is one of the fastest growing cities in all of Arizona and that is exciting! However, we’re unique because we can never be swallowed up by other cities, so it allows us to grow but still feel as if it’s a small town.
Why Can’t Maricopa Ever Be Swallowed Up By A Big City?
Maricopa is the only city in the nation bordered by two Native American communities. It continues to honor and celebrate this cultural diversity and embraces the American ingenuity and pioneering spirit that has been an integral part of its community for centuries.
You can’t help but notice the 17-mile stretch of Native American land as you hop off the I-10 interstate and head into Maricopa on Hwy 347.
This land is owned by the Gila River Tribe and they have no plans to expand or build on it. Making it pretty much impossible for Maricopa to be swallowed up by the growing Phoenix Metro area.
Maricopa has plenty of land to the west, south, and east, so there is plenty of area to grow over the next 10 years. But it sure is nice that we will retain one of the things that make us special and unique.
What Type of Dining Does Maricopa Have
While our dining options started slow, it continues to grow. Besides, who doesn’t love to go out to eat? I know I enjoy it!
Take a break from cooking and go out! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, it doesn’t matter! Maricopa offers it all with even more to come!
While we might not have all the major sit-down restaurants (yet!) We do have quite a few of the popular fast-food options, some major-name diners, and several locally-owned restaurants.
To name a few: Raceway Bar & Grill, I Hop, Denny’s, Arroyo Grill, Plaza Bonita, Roots Eatery Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers, Native New Yorker, multiple pizza joints, sandwich shops as well as many other options at the Casino and Golf Courses.
The City also offers a variety of Mexican food, pizza, Thai Food, Cookie Shops, donuts, and Burger Joints.
Not to mention a growing number of Food Trucks throughout the city with a proposal of creating a space for them all to hang out in the coming year or so.
If you are interested in a more upscale dining experience, the Casino offers a few restaurants for you to choose from. A good friend of mine is known to have a great steak at their steakhouse on many occasions. There is something for everyone in Maricopa!
And Maricopa is continuing to grow with more restaurants coming soon!
Cost of Living in Maricopa
The cost of living in Maricopa is relatively low compared to other cities in Arizona. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Maricopa is 8.55% lower than the national average.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Maricopa is around $1,246, with home rentals starting at $1,650 on up.
Homes are starting as of this writing around $325,000 with new homes just slightly higher. Compared to some other places, home prices in Maricopa are much more agreeable for most budgets. You get more house for your buck in Maricopa.
Not to mention the amazing deals you can get on a New Built home as we have many being built weekly with some great incentives. (by the way, always have a Realtor represent you when buying a new build as you want someone in your corner and it doesn’t cost you a dime)
Homes in Maricopa vary in size and shape. We have single-story homes ranging from 1,200 sq ft to larger single-story homes of almost 2,500 sq ft. Plus, we have two-story homes starting around 1,600 sq ft up to those over 4,000 sq ft
I am sure that no matter what your needs are for your future home, Maricopa will have something perfect for you and your family.
Is Maricopa a Safe Place to Live?
While I can’t steer you one way or another, I can only share what my experience has been living here for the past 20 years.
My family and I feel Maricopa is a safe city. Another of my great friends raised her son here and would do it again if she had more children.
The crime rate is relatively low compared to other cities in Arizona. There are a few articles on the internet to learn more, including how Maricopa was once even considered the 5th safest city in Arizona. Click here to view an article
If you’re looking for a great place to live, Maricopa is definitely worth considering. With its growing population, diverse community, and family-friendly atmosphere, Maricopa has something to offer everyone.
Not to mention that the community as a whole is always looking out for each other. It is very common to go to a store and see someone you know. All parents out there can use an extra eye on their kids when they are out playing.
I always enjoy hearing kids playing outside. It just warms the heart. Many times, a new family will move in and as soon as kids see a new face, they want to be friends and play. It is very common to see the neighborhood kids playing in the streets with one of the parents having a watchful eye while they play.
Maricopa is also known to spend a huge amount of the city’s budget on the police and fire departments. Plus, we have a rule that Graffiti is addressed immediately. Both of these lead to a community that is well-patrolled and a mission to have one of the safest cities out there.
Are we perfect, no. But it is one of the safest places I’ve ever lived. We encourage you to do your homework and check out the various websites that are out there for more information. See if Maricopa meets your needs.
Maricopa School System
There are quite a few great schools in the area. Several of our subdivisions were built around the schools to have a more community feel to them.
The Maricopa Unified School District is the largest in Pinal County. The district also has many Charter schools, which offer specialized programs in areas such as science, math, and the arts.
The school district has 2 high schools & 2 Jr High Middle Schools. One of each end of town. There are also 6 elementary schools plus one virtual school. There are 5 charter schools that have a variety of levels. Two go through high school, but most do elementary through middle school. Lots of options for your kids. We encourage you to do your homework.
Additionally, there is a community college in Maricopa, Central Arizona College also known as CAC offering an array of academic degrees, certificates, career training, and personal enrichment classes. The college offers in-person and online classes, university transfer courses, and workshops for community members.
Job Market in Maricopa
The job market in Maricopa is getting stronger each year. The unemployment rate in Maricopa is 4.9%, which is lower than the national average of 5.5%. The largest employers in Maricopa are the Maricopa Unified School District, the City of Maricopa, and the Ak-Chin Indian Community. Not to mention our local Walmart & local grocery stores (Basha’s & Frys). Plus, several large companies just outside of Maricopa such as Intel and Lucid.
As Maricopa grows, more and more jobs will become available. A Home Depot is currently in the process of building and will be opening in Maricopa in late 2024. A typical Home Depot can have 150+ employees.
Additionally, there are other large companies in the process of opening in the next year or two.
Needless to say, the options to stay local and avoid commuting into the Phoenix area continue to grow with each passing year. This is one area that has changed over the past few years.
Transportation in Maricopa
While we don’t have a true bus system, we do offer a couple of small bus routes, which are operated by Maricopa Express Transit (MET). MET has a very easy-to-follow schedule of pick-up and drop-off times. The MET transportation is free of charge. Maricopa also offers Dial-a-Ride. The cost is $1.00 one way. As Maricopa grows, so will the local infrastructure.
The Phoenix International Airport is located about 30 – 40 minutes north of the city. However, we do have a small airport for small planes. the Maricopa-Casa Grande Regional Airport. The airport is located about 10 miles from downtown Maricopa. However, this is for private flights so you will want to use PHX located up in the Phoenix Metro area.
By the way, have I mentioned how awesome the community is when there is a bicyclist on the road? Because Maricopa is small, even while it is growing, quite a few people take to the bike paths and ride to the store or meet up for a coffee. It is very common to be driving to the store and see community members walking or riding their bikes to get where they are heading. So, no car? No problem! Everything in Maricopa is a quick ride away!
Indoor/Outdoor Recreation in Maricopa
Maricopa has so much to offer for recreation! As Maricopa has grown, we have continued to expand what we offer for recreation. Both indoor and outdoor.
For those of you who love the outdoors, there are some great golf courses in the area, including the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club and the Maricopa Golf Club.
We also have multiple great hiking trails in the area, including the Maricopa Wells Trail and the Maricopa Mountains Trail. Have I mentioned the great biking trails in the area? Just to name a couple, the Maricopa Canal Trail and the Maricopa-Casa Grande Regional Trail.
There are several other great places to enjoy in Maricopa.
Copper Sky Multi-generational Center is great for both indoor and outdoor activities. Don’t forget to check out the beautiful fishing lake!
At Copper Sky Recreation Center and Pacana Park, you can drop a fishing line and catch White Bass, Striped Bass, Large Mouth Bass, White Crappie, Black Crappie, and Big Mouth Buffalo Fish, just to name a few. Imagine, cast your line in, and relax. A fish is sure to bite!
The city has several parks, including the Maricopa Sports Complex, the Maricopa Aquatic Center, Pacana Park, and several other parks being added across the City.
By the way, we also have 2 dog parks with a 3rd coming soon. So we have fun for Fido too!
There are also gyms within the City. Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, CrossFit, and Copper Sky Recreation Center. Copper Sky offers access to an open Multi-Use Gym, a Fitness Floor with equipment, an indoor walking/jogging track, over 45 weekly group fitness classes, an Aquatic Center, Child watch programming, and more! Planet Fitness is open 24 hours a day! Work out on your schedule and at your pace.
Fun Things to Do Inside to Beat the Heat
After you are done with all the outdoor things, come check out our shopping! There are great shopping centers and stores in the area, including the Maricopa Towne Center, Edison Place, and the Shops at Maricopa Fiesta.
We are growing our big box retail as well. We already told you about Walmart and the coming Home Depot but we also have Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, Dicks Sporting Store, and a new Tractor Supply.
Not to mention that a short 20 minutes away is the Outlet Mall! The Premium Outlet Mall offers everything from Clothes to Shoes to Jewelry to Luggage! Something for everyone!
Maricopa also has dance studios, ATA Martial Arts (Sunrise Taekwondo), Sip & Paint, Car Shows, Holiday Bazars, Fireworks, Salsa Festivals and so much more!
Want to get out of the heat or just have some great family fun? Then check out the Ak-chin Movie Theatre where you can watch a movie, bowl, or play a game of laser tag! (not to mention eat some yummy food)
And don’t forget, after all that work or outdoor fun check out the Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. Whether you love slot machines, Bingo, or table games this casino has plenty of fun for the afternoon or evening.
As you can see, we have lots of both indoor and outdoor fun with more on the way!
Still Thinking of Moving to Maricopa?
If you have made it this far, I’m sure you have realized how much Maricopa has going for it but more importantly how much is still to come!
Maricopa is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. With its growing population, diverse community, and family-friendly atmosphere, Maricopa has something to offer everyone.
Many of the local residents also work and play in Maricopa. The community is always there to supply a warm welcome and a helping hand.
Work, Live, and Play in one of the greatest little big towns in Pinal County.
And if you are looking for an agent to help you with your future housing needs in Maricopa, please keep in mind Maricopa Home Realty. We all love, live, and work here in Maricopa and would love to help you with your new home.