Phoenix is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, it is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area (also known as the Valley of the Sun) and is the 12th largest metro area by population in the United States with about 4.4 million people in 2009. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County, and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area. Phoenix is the largest capital city in the United States and the only state capital with over 1,000,000 people.
Phoenix was incorporated as a city in 1881 after being founded in 1861 near the Salt River, near its confluence with the Gila River. The city has a notable and famous political culture and has been home to numerous influential American politicians and other dignitaries, including Barry Goldwater, William Rehnquist, John McCain, Carl Hayden, and Sandra Day O'Connor. Residents of the city are known as Phoenicians.
Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a subtropical arid climate. In summer average high temperatures are typically over 100 °F (38 °C) and over 120 °F (49 °C) on occasion.