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Phoenix 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.
Phoenix is the sixth most populous city in the United States according to the 2010 United States Census, with a population of 1,445,632, making it the most populous state capital in the United States. Phoenix's ranking as the sixth most populous city was a drop from the number five position it had held since the U. S. Census Bureau released population estimates on June 28, 2007. Those statistics used data from 2006, which showed Phoenix's population at 1,512,986, which put it just ahead of Philadelphia. In 2016, Phoenix regained the position of 5th most populous city, with the census bureau estimating its population at 1,615,017, edging out Philadelphia with a population of 1,567,872.
After leading the nation in population growth for over a decade, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, followed by the recession, led to a slowing in the growth of Phoenix. There were approximately 77,000 people added to the population of the Phoenix metropolitan area in 2009, which was down significantly from its peak in 2006 of 162,000.Despite this slowing, Phoenix's population grew by 9.4% since the 2000 census (a total of 124,000 people), while the entire Phoenix metropolitan area grew by 28.9% during the same period. This compares with an overall growth rate nationally during the same time frame of 9.7%. Not since 1940–50, when the city had a population of 107,000, had the city gained less than 124,000 in a decade. Phoenix's recent growth rate of 9.4% from the 2010 census is the first time it has recorded a growth rate under 24% in a census decade. However, in 2016, Phoenix once again became the fastest growing city in the United States, adding approximately 88 people per day during the preceding year.
The Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (officially known as the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale MSA), is one of 10 MSAs in Arizona, and was the 14th largest in the United States, with a total population of 4,192,887 as of the 2010 Census. Consisting of parts of both Pinal and Maricopa counties, the MSA accounts for 65.5% of the total population of the state of Arizona. Phoenix only contributed 13% to the total growth rate of the MSA, down significantly from its 33% share during the prior decade. Phoenix is also part of the Arizona Sun Corridor megaregion (MR), which is the 10th most populous of the 11 MRs, and the 8th largest by area. It had the 2nd largest growth by percentage of the MRs (behind only the Gulf Coast MR) between 2000 and 2010.