Maricopa trade area will have more than 450,000 residents

Today, there are 91,835 people in the Maricopa trade area. That number is expected to more than quadruple over the coming years. [Brian Petersheim Jr.]

Maricopa is poised to become a huge player in terms of job and population growth according to figures shared by the City’s chief economic development officer.

According to Nathan Steele, Maricopa currently has 28,344 single-family homes in its “trade area” which includes Maricopa, unincorporated Pinal County land, the Ak-Chin Community, Gila River Indian Community and Stanfield.

Merriam-Webster defines a trade area as a geographic area within which a business enterprise or center of retail or wholesale distribution draws most of its business. It is the greatest distance consumers are willing to travel to buy goods and services.

Census data for the city of Maricopa shows that each dwelling unit, or home, in the City has an average of 3.24 residents – a figure 19 percent higher than the U.S. Census Bureau’s figure of 2.6 residents per dwelling unit nationally.

That means that today, there are 91,835 people in the Maricopa trade area. The breakdown by community is as follows:

Location         Current homes           Entitled homes           Total
Maricopa            23,956                        41,096                        65,052
Pinal County       3,241                          72,129                        75,370
Gila River            600                             —                              600
Ak-Chin               344                             —                              344
Stanfield             203                              —                             203
Total              28,344                        113,225                     141,569

According to Steele, these numbers do not include any apartments currently occupied or recently completed, nor does it include Casa Grande or Gila Bend, both of which send considerable business into Maricopa.

But here’s the kicker: Steele said there are another 113,225 homes coming in the relatively near future – homes that have already been approved for construction. That includes 41,096 within the current City limits and an incredible 72,129 in Pinal County.

“If you look at the entitled lots – meaning those already approved to be built – across the same area, you’re looking at a trade area population of more than 458,000 when all is said and done,” Steele said.

He added that does not include projects in the planning phases, multi-family projects, or homes in the surrounding communities.

Many of the coming homes – about 75 percent more – lie outside Maricopa’s current City limits. But City Manager Rick Horst has frequently stated that as the City grows, surrounding communities will wish to be annexed in order to have access to better public safety services like police and fire protection and community amenities like parks, schools and libraries.


  1. No worries…..once they fix Rt. 347 in twenty or so years it won’t take 5 hours to drive the 13 miles to Route 10……the idiots who run this city should be working the drive-thru at Wendy’s…

  2. How about longer turn lanes so the cars going straight don’t block them? How about running the green turn arrows after the regular green lights ? How about flashing yellow turn arrows so you don’t sit at a light for no reason during non-busy times during the week? How about synchronizing the lights so you don’t hit every single red light driving through town. Those are all cheap ideas that could be implemented easily.

    Why would you design a town this size with basically 1 way in from Phoenix ? They could have built a road on the north side of town than ran east and west so you don’t have to drive all the way down John Wayne Pkwy. At least from the 347 to white & Parker north of Lakeview Dr.

    Why in the world didn’t they hire a city planner? There was mostly just farm land 20 years ago. A nearly blank slate and this is the best they could come up with. I challenge you to find another city this size that takes you more time to travel through than Maricopa.

    • I encourage you to watch this little video series on YouTube about “Strong Towns”. Basically, small towns like Maricopa tend to all follow the same failed playbook for growth, pretending they’re like the big boys now, with no foresight into the long term damaging consequences of their growth model, often leading to the financial insolvency of the entire town decades later.

      If you watch these videos, every single thing they say not to do is exactly how Maricopa operates. The good news is, this means our city leadership isn’t necessarily MORE incompetent than other places – just equally as incompetent as the average small town aspiring to be a city.