[ Welcome to Gilbert, Arizona ]
Gilbert is in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, just southeast of PHOENIX, within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Gilbert was recognized in 2010 as the "36th Best Place to Live in the nation", as well as among the nation's "top places to live and learn" by GreatSchools.org. Washington-based C.Q. Press rated Gilbert the "safest municipality in Arizona, and 24th safest in the nation," in their annual report released November 2009 using FBI statistics. Gilbert's Cosmo Dog Park has twice made Dog Fancy magazine's list of top dog parks in the nation since opening in 2006, including being named Dog Park of the Year in 2007. The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is recognized by the National Audubon Society as being an "Important Bird Area". Gilbert has been named as a "bicycle-" and "tree-friendly" community and receives "high satisfaction rates" from citizens in town surveys.
Today, Gilbert encompasses 76 square miles (197 km2) and has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeast valley of the PHOENIX metropolitan area. In the last two decades, Gilbert has grown at an extremely high rate, increasing in population from 5,717 in 1980 to 208,453 as of a 2010 Census Bureau estimate. Gilbert has evolved into a highly educated and affluent community supporting high-wage jobs in life science and health services, high technology, clean and renewable energy, and corporate and regional headquarters/offices in advanced business services.
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 2009, and due to annexations the current Municipal Planning Area of Gilbert has a total area of 76.0 square miles (197 km2), of which, 75.76 square miles (196.2 km2) of it is land and 0.24 square miles (0.6 km2) of it is water.
As of July 1, 2009, Maricopa Association of Governments, Census 2000. United States Census Bureau. there were 217,521 people, 74,147 housing units, and 3.01 persons per household.
- Fastest growing municipality in the United States from 1990-2003. U.S. Census Bureau
- Currently the 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.
- One of the top 25 safest cities in the United States.
- 34.5% of Gilbert residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Highest household median income in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area with Population 50,000+ U.S. Census Bureau 2005
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, the Queen Creek Unified School District, and the Highly Unified School District. Also in Gilbert are charter schools such as Edu-Prize (the first charter school in Arizona).
Main article: Metropolitan Phoenix Freeways
Gilbert is served by two area freeway -- the Santan Freeway portion of Loop 202 around the East and US60 to it's north. Valley. Several major 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 twenty-five 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. However, buses operate to downtown Phoenix from here, and future commuter rail service to Gilbert will require little modification since most of the facilities are already built