Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix within the city's metropolitan area. Incorporated on July 6, 1920, Gilbert was once known as the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World".[6] With a population of 267,918, it is the fifth-largest municipality in Arizona, and the fourth-largest in the Phoenix metro area. It covers an area of nearly 69 square miles (179 km2).

Gilbert, Arizona
Gilbert's Heritage Court as viewed from Gilbert Road
Gilbert's Heritage Court as viewed from Gilbert Road
Flag of Gilbert, Arizona
Official seal of Gilbert, Arizona
"Gilbert: Clean, Safe, Vibrant"
Location in Maricopa County, Arizona
Location in Maricopa County, Arizona
Gilbert is located in Arizona
Gilbert is located in the United States
Gilbert is located in North America
Coordinates: 33°21′10″N 111°47′20″W / 33.35278°N 111.78889°W / 33.35278; -111.78889[1]
CountryUnited States
 • MayorBrigette Peterson[2]
 • Total68.79 sq mi (178.17 km2)
 • Land68.59 sq mi (177.64 km2)
 • Water0.20 sq mi (0.53 km2)
Elevation1,237 ft (377 m)
 • Total267,918
 • Estimate 273,136
 • RankUS: 80th (2021 est)
 • Density3,906.25/sq mi (1,508.20/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP codes
85233, 85234, 85295, 85296, 85297, 85298
Area code480
FIPS code04-27400

Gilbert has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeastern valley of the Greater Phoenix area. It has grown at an extremely high rate over the last three decades, increasing in population from 5,717 in 1980 to 267,918 as of the 2020 census.[4] The town grew at an average annual rate of over 10% during this 40-year period. It is the 5th-largest incorporated town in the United States.[citation needed]

History edit

Gilbert was established by William "Bobby" Gilbert, who provided land to the Arizona Eastern Railway in 1902 to construct a rail line between Phoenix and Florence, Arizona. Ayer's Grocery Store, the first store in Gilbert, opened in 1910 and became the location of the first post office in 1912. The location of the town post office moved several times before settling on the east side of Gilbert Road in downtown, where it still stands today. In 1912, many Mormons who had fled the Mormon colonies in Mexico due to the actions of the forces of Pancho Villa settled in Gilbert. By 1915, they began holding church meetings at the Gilbert Elementary School. In 1918, they were organized into the Gilbert Ward.[7]

Incorporated in July 1920, Gilbert was primarily a farming community fueled by the rail line and construction of the Roosevelt Dam and the Eastern and Consolidated Canals. It remained an agricultural town for many years and was known as the "Hay Capital of the World"[8] from 1911 until the late 1920s.

In 2019, the town ranked highly on three national surveys, related to safety, livability and family life; it was named the fourth-safest (of 182 communities), twelfth-most livable town, and seventh-best place to raise a family in the United States.[9]

Geography edit

Gilbert is located in the southeast portion of the Phoenix metropolitan area. It is south of Mesa, northeast of Chandler, and northwest of Queen Creek.[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, in the 2000 Census, the town had an estimated area of 40 square miles (104 km2). As of 2021 the town has a total area of 68.8 square miles (178 km2), of which 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2), or 0.30%, are water.[3]

Climate edit

Gilbert has a subtropical, hot desert type of climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) with dry and hot summers, and mild to warm winters, with little rainfall.

Climate data for Gilbert, Arizona
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 67
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 41
Record low °F (°C) 15
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.01
Source: The Weather Channel[11]
Climate data for Gilbert
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily daylight hours 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 14.5 14.0 13.5 12.5 11.5 10.5 10.0 12.2
Source: Weather Atlas[12]

Demographics edit

Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census of 2010, there were 208,453 people, 74,147 housing units, and 3.01 persons per household.

  • Between 2000 and 2010, the town of Gilbert was the fastest-growing incorporated place among populations of 100,000 or more in the United States, with an increase of 90%.[14]
  • Fastest growing municipality in the United States from 1990 to 2003 (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • 4th fastest growing municipality in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau – 2009)
  • Ranked by CNN's Money magazine in 2008 as one of the best places to live in the United States[citation needed]
  • One of the top 25 safest cities in the United States[15]
  • 34.5% of Gilbert residents hold a bachelor's degree or higher.[16]
  • Highest household median income in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area with population 50,000+ (U.S. Census Bureau – 2005)

According to Nielsen's Claritas demographics,[16] in 2009 the estimated racial makeup of the town was:

2009 estimated population data by gender/age:[16]

  • 31.37 average age male/female. By 2019, the average age was reported as 33.6.[9]
  • 50.2% male
    • 30.0 est. average age
  • 49.8% female
    • 31.8 est. average age
  • 37.1% population under 21
  • 33.3% population under 18
  • 70.0% population over 16
  • 66.8% population over 18
  • 62.9% population over 21
  • 5.3% population over 65

2009 estimated population age 15+ by marital status:[16]

  • 20.9% never married
  • 66.7% married, spouse present
  • 2.2% married, spouse absent
  • 2.1% widowed
  • 8.1% divorced

2009 estimated population age 25+ educational attainment:[16]

  • 92.3% high school/GED or higher
  • 37.5% bachelor's degree or higher. A 2019 report put the rate at close to 50% for residents over the age of 25.[9]
  • 10.5% master's degree or higher

2009 estimated household by household income:[16]

  • $109,213 average household income
  • $89,077 median household income. Median income noted as >$87,000 in a report of 2013–2017 US Census data, as compared to a state-wide median of $53,000.[9]
  • $35,559 per capita Income
  • 2.3% of families were below the poverty level

Race/ethnicity edit

Gilbert town, Arizona - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[17] Pop 2020[18] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 151,930 178,671 72.88% 66.69%
Black or African American alone (NH) 6,606 9,601 3.17% 3.58%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 1,394 1,998 0.67% 0.75%
Asian alone (NH) 11,877 17,690 5.70% 6.60%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 406 574 0.19% 0.21%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 264 1,211 0.13% 0.45%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 4,902 13,041 2.35% 4.87%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 31,074 45,132 14.91% 16.85%
Total 208,453 267,918 100.00% 100.00%

Religion edit

Various religious denominations are represented in Gilbert. The town has been known for its high population of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a fact evidenced by the building of the Gilbert Arizona Temple, which was dedicated on March 2, 2014.[19][20]

Economy edit

Town Hall building at the Civic Center
Gilbert Historical Museum
A waterfront in the Val Vista Lakes community in Gilbert
The Liberty Market with the Gilbert water tower (in background), pictured in March 2009
SanTan Village in September 2009

Largest employers edit

According to the town's 2022 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[21] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Gilbert Public Schools 3,098
2 Banner Health 2,465
3 Town Of Gilbert 1,679
4 Fry's Food and Drug 1,518
5 Higley Unified School District 1,246
6 Walmart 1,218
7 Go Daddy 1,159
8 Northrop Grumman 1,078
9 Dignity Health 878
10 Silent Aire USA 778

Arts and culture edit

9/11 Memorial edit

Gilbert is home to a 9/11 Memorial, located at Town Hall[22] that features an eight-foot steel girder beam[23] which held up the North Tower of the World Trade Center.[citation needed] Former Gilbert Fire Chief Collin DeWitt fund-raised extensively for three years to create the memorial, and to bring the beam from New York City to Arizona. He drove to collect it himself along with his then Assistant Fire Chief Jim Jobusch.[24]

The design of the memorial angles the beam, which puts it in reach of everyone. Four granite walls bear the names of those lost to the attacks. Concrete was poured in the shape of a pentagon for the foundation of the memorial,[25] and is surrounded by bricks which carry names of some of those who helped to donate to bring the memorial to life. There was an unveiling ceremony of the memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attack on September 11, 2011.[26]

Historic place edit

Gilbert Elementary School was built in 1913, and now houses the Gilbert Historical Museum. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.[27]

Parks and recreation edit

Gilbert Regional Park and Desert Sky Park were established in 2019 with multi-million dollar investments.

The Freestone Recreation Center, north of Freestone Park, was opened in 2002. It has a rock wall, a gymnasium, a steam room and dry sauna, and exercise equipment.[9]

Government edit

Gilbert was recognized in 2010 as the "36th Best Place to Live in the nation",[28] as well as among the nation's "top places to live and learn",[28] by Washington, DC-based CQ Press rated Gilbert the "safest municipality in Arizona, and 25th safest in the nation."[29]

Since Gilbert remains incorporated as a town, it lacks the additional powers possessed by nearby Mesa and Chandler, which are incorporated as cities. For instance, Arizona towns do not have as much power to regulate utilities and construction within their borders as cities possess.[30] Unlike most of its neighboring communities, Gilbert is theoretically vulnerable to annexation.[31]

The town is part of Arizona's 5th congressional district, which is represented by Republican and Gilbert resident Andy Biggs.[32] The mayor of Gilbert is Brigette Peterson.[2]

Mayors of Gilbert edit

Education edit

Most of Gilbert is zoned to schools in the Gilbert Public Schools, while other portions are zoned to districts including the Chandler Unified School District, Mesa Public Schools, and the Higley Unified School District. Also in Gilbert are charter schools such as Eduprize (the first charter school in Arizona), American Leadership Academy, and Legacy Traditional School. The town is also home to Gilbert Christian Schools, a chain of private schools. In 2018, the Park University opened the Gilbert Campus Center after leasing 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) at the University Building in the city's Heritage District.[36]

Infrastructure edit

Transportation edit

Gilbert is primarily served by one area freeway—the Santan Freeway portion of Loop 202. A small section of the US 60 Superstition Freeway also skirts the northern boundary of the town at the Higley Road interchange (Exit 186). Several regional arterials also serve the area, including Williams Field Road, Chandler Boulevard, and Gilbert Road. The town enjoys relative closeness to Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport, which is located in east Mesa, and is a 25-minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Recently, a park-and-ride facility was constructed in downtown Gilbert for bus service and future commuter rail service. Although the facility borders the Union Pacific (formerly Southern Pacific) tracks and has provisions for commuter rail service, there is currently no such service. Bus service is limited in Gilbert, with some north–south routes in Mesa dead-ending at Baseline Road before entering Gilbert. Routes that serve portions of Gilbert include the 108-Elliot Road, 112-Country Club/Arizona Avenue, 136-Gilbert Road, 140-Ray Road, 156-Chandler Boulevard/Williams Field Road, 184-Power Road, and 531-Mesa/Gilbert Express, with most of these routes operating at 30-minute frequency on weekdays. Sunday service is only available on Routes 108, 112, 156, and 184. Most people get around by cars or bikes. The city of Gilbert has a low percentage of households without a car. In 2015, 1.9 percent of Gilbert households lacked a car, and the figure was virtually unchanged in 2016 (1.7 percent). The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Gilbert averaged 2.08 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.[37]

In 2018 Waymo started testing in a small portion of the northwest portion of the town of Gilbert.[38]

Historic structures edit

The following is a brief description of the historic structures which are pictured. Some of these structures are listed in the National Register of Historic Places while others are listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.[27][39]

  • Gilbert Elementary School was built in 1913. It is located at 10 S. Gilbert Rd. and now houses the Gilbert Historical Museum. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Gilbert High School was built in 1920. It now houses the Gilbert Public School District Office. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • The Gilbert Water Tower was built in 1925. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • Gilbert's First Jail House was built in 1918 and later used as a pump house. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • The Tone Building was built in 1929 and now houses Joe's Real BBQ Restaurant. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • Liberty Market was built in 1936. Liberty Market was established by the Ong family. The neon sign which is still on display was designed by Mae Ong, the wife of Ben Ong, who purchased the market in 1943. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • The Creed building was built in 1918. It now houses the Farmhouse Restaurant. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • The Attaway Phelps-Blakely Building was built in 1910. It now houses the Norwood Furniture store. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • The Bank of Gilbert was built in 1917. It now houses an insurance company. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • Clare's Metal Shop was built in 1918. It now houses Bergies Coffee. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • Clement's Garage was built in 1934. The structure is listed as historical by the Gilbert Heritage District.
  • The American Legion Post 39 was built in 1934.

Notable people edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Gilbert". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  2. ^ a b "Mayor & Town Council | Town of Gilbert, Arizona". Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "2021 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Arizona". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Gilbert town, Arizona: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  5. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2021". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  6. ^ Gilbert Profile
  7. ^ "Gilbert Arizona Community's roots date to 1920". Church News. November 19, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  8. ^ "Gilbert History". Archived from the original on April 17, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d e Steinbach, Alison (December 26, 2019). "Gilbert ranks highest on safety, livability". Arizona Business Gazette. Vol. 139, no. 52. Phoenix, Arizona: Gannett. USA Today Network. p. 4 – via
  10. ^ Chandler, AZ, 7.5 Minute Topographic Quadrangle, USGS, 1952 (1982 rev.)
  11. ^ "Average Weather for Gilbert, AZ – Temperature and Precipitation". Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  12. ^ "Gilbert, Arizona, USA – Monthly weather forecast and Climate data". Weather Atlas. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  14. ^ Cohen, Darryl (March 2015). "Population Trends in Incorporated Places: 2000 to 2013" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "FBI Crime Statistics". March 17, 2010. Archived from the original on September 17, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Nielsen Claritas Archived June 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Gilbert town, Arizona". United States Census Bureau.
  18. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Gilbert town, Arizona". United States Census Bureau.
  19. ^ "LDS Church announces two new temples in Arizona". The Salt Lake Tribune. April 27, 2008. Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  20. ^ Gilbert Arizona Temple, Retrieved April 27, 2008.
  21. ^ "City of Gilbert 2022 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" (PDF). October 6, 2023. p. 134. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  22. ^ "Town Hall | Town of Gilbert, Arizona". Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  23. ^ Atridim, Captain Rick (September 25, 2011), 9-11 Memorial in Gilbert Arizona, retrieved February 28, 2020
  24. ^ "Gilbert Digital Newsroom | Town of Gilbert, Arizona". Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  25. ^ 9/11 Memorial – Gilbert, Arizona, archived from the original on November 17, 2021, retrieved February 28, 2020
  26. ^ Aug. 9;, 2011 11:01 AM The Republic |. "Gilbert 9/11 memorial: Work begins on site". Retrieved February 28, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ a b National Register of Historic Places Maricopa County, Arizona
  28. ^ a b "Best Places to Live 2010". CNN. Archived from the original on August 13, 2010.
  29. ^ "CQ Press: City Crime Rankings 2012" (PDF). Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  30. ^ "Arizona Revised Statutes §9-276. Additional powers of cities". Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  31. ^ "Arizona Revised Statutes §9–122. Unification of a city and a town". Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
  32. ^ "Official biography, Congressman Andy Biggs". Congressman Andy Biggs. January 6, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah "Mayor & Town Council". Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag "Mayors of Gilbert" (PDF). Gilbert Historical Museum. Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  35. ^ Steinbach, Alison (August 18, 2020). "Gilbert Town Council promotes Scott Anderson to interim mayor, taps newly elected Kathy Tilque to council". AZCentral.
  36. ^ Staff (April 1, 2020). "Park University to expand campus in downtown Gilbert". KTAR News. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  37. ^ "Car Ownership in U.S. Cities Data and Map". Governing. December 9, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  38. ^ "Waymo Expanding Chandler Operations Ahead of Launch of Arizona Public Ride Service". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  39. ^ Historic Gilbert properties you need to see
  40. ^ "For 1993 champ Jim Bechtel, Main Event always stirs up memories of competing at Binion's". July 7, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  41. ^ "OSU Time And Change: Dave Burba". ESPN. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  42. ^ Dellenger, Ross (July 1, 2021). "Behind the Scenes as the Cavinder Twins Became the Faces of Day 1 of NIL". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  43. ^ "NFL Players". National Football League. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  44. ^ "NFL Players". National Football League. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  45. ^ "Los Angeles Galaxy: Roster: Player Bio". Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  46. ^ Midey, Connie (July 3, 2011). "Former Miss USA and TV news anchor is still a farm girl at heart". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  47. ^; Prezelski, Ted. "Arizonan Gordon scores one for the Quakes | Soccer notes". Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  48. ^ Thomas, Mike (ed.). "Whatever Happened To: Shea Hillenbrand". Wicked Local. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  49. ^ "Gilbert woman vies for Miss USA". The Arizona Republic. April 11, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  50. ^ "Highly Sociable webcast". June 21, 2020.
  51. ^ Burnsilver, Glenn (November 9, 2016). "Gilbert's Lydia to Perform with Full String Section at Mesa Arts Center". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  52. ^ "The Valley's priciest home sales". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  53. ^ "Astronaut Bio: Carlos I. Noriega (1/2008)". Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  54. ^ "Phil Ortega Statistics". Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  55. ^ "Gilbert's Lindsey Stirling No. 2 on Billboard chart". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 8, 2004.
  56. ^ "Lifehouse is 'All In:' Pop band's Gilbert-born drummer still sharing 'moments' with fans". – Entertainer Magazine. Retrieved February 17, 2022.

External links edit