Why We Live Here
One of the best places to live in America, Gilbert boasts sunny weather, safe neighborhoods, and an exceptional school system, as well as a wide array of outdoor and cultural attractions.
The following rankings tell the story: most prosperous city in the nation (2017), the city where the greatest number of millennials are buying homes (2020), the seventh best place to raise a family (2019); and the tenth safest city in America (2020). Additionally, approximately 70% of Gilbert’s psychographic make-up consists of younger families, with median ages in the low to mid 30’s, that are focused on planting roots in the suburban periphery of metro areas; they are well-educated with 70% having some form on college education and over 50% having a college degree.
- Incorporated 1920
- Area 68.5 sq. mi.
- Elevation 1,237’
- County Maricopa
- Website https://www.gilbertaz.gov
- Population 262,514 (2021 est.)
- Population Density 3,833.4 per sq. mi.
- Median Age 33.9
- Families with Kids Under 18 50.8
- Average Household Income $113,964
- Overall Cost of Living 116
In 1902, the Arizona Eastern Railway asked for donations of right of way in order to establish a rail line between Phoenix and Florence. A rail siding was established on property owned by William “Bobby” Gilbert. The siding, and the town that sprung up around it, eventually became known as Gilbert. Gilbert was a prime farming community, fueled by the construction of the Roosevelt Dam and the Eastern and Consolidated Canals in 1911. It remained an agriculture town for many years and was known as the “Hay Capital of the World” until the late 1920s. Gilbert began to take its current shape during the 1970s when the Town Council approved a strip annexation that encompassed 53 square miles of county land.
Gilbert grew at an extremely high rate from a 1980 population of just 5,717 to 208,453 by the 2010 census.
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. Unlike most of its neighboring communities, Gilbert is theoretically vulnerable to annexation.
Gilbert is home to a 9/11 Memorial, located at Town Hall, that features an eight-foot steel girder beam which held up the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Former Gilbert Fire Chief Collin DeWitt fundraised 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.
Major Attractions and Events
- Gilbert Concerts in the Park
- Gilbert Heritage District
- Gilbert Historical Museum
- Gilbert Regional Park
- Hale Centre Theater
- Higley Center for the Performing Arts
- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
- Clever Koi
- Cuisine & Wine Bistro
- High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill
- Nico Heirloom Kitchen
- Postino’s Wine Cafe