About Chandler, Arizona
The city of Chandler is located in the southern half of Arizona, in Maricopa County. While the city includes hundreds of thousands of people, it’s considered a suburb of the Phoenix metropolitan area and part of the state’s main metropolitan hub. Tempe borders Chandler to the northwest, Mesa to the north, Phoenix is just beyond Tempa, Gilbert is to the east, and Gila River Indian Community to the south.
There were 256,579 people living in Chandler in April of 2018, in which the city saw a small increase of around 25,000 residents since the previous United States Census in 2010. Despite its size, the city is relatively new. It was founded in 1912 and incorporated in 1920.
History of Chandler
In 1891, Dr. Alexander Chandler settled on a plot of land south of Mesa. By 1900 he acquired 18,000 acres of land. He quickly created plans for a townsite on and around what was then called Chandler Ranch.
The town office opened on May 17, 1912, which is also the year Chandler High School was built and opened for local children. Initially, the town had four major roads — Galveston Street to the north, Frye Road to the south, Hartford Street to the west and Hamilton Street to the east. In 1913, a town center was established and Hotel San Marcos became Arizona’s first golf resort.
The city did not initially experience a population boom. There were a little more than 3,000 residents in 1950. The town relied on the cotton industry, which suffered shortly after The Great Depression. The creation of Williams Air Force Base in 1941 led to a small population surge, but Chandler remained small, compared to nearby Phoenix, until the second half of the 21st century. By 1980, Chandler had grown to 30,000 residents. Much of this population increase is credited to the residential development of formerly agricultural land and the establishment of manufacturing plants for communications and computing firms such as Microchip, Motorola and Intel.
Since the 1990s, Chandler has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States and has matched Phoenix’s population rate of growth. The pulse of the city is the historic downtown, which includes Chandler City Hall and the Chandler Center for the Arts.
In 2010, Chandler earned the distinction of being an “All-America City” from the National Civic League. Chandler was the only city to receive this label that year, the sixty-first year of the awards.
Due to Chandler’s location on the southern half of Arizona, the city experiences hot summer months that often reach triple digits in temperature. The record high for Chandler is 119 degrees, set in July of 1907. By comparison, the Arizona state record is 129 degrees.
Each month from April through October has a high topping 100 degrees. Only two months, January and December, have record highs below 90 degrees. The record low is 15 degrees, set in January of 1950. Only two other months, February and December, have ever experienced temperatures below 20 degrees.
The average high for Chandler in June, July and August tops 100 degrees, which means people regularly experience extreme heat in the city during the summer. May and September also get hot as the average high is 94 and 99 degrees, respectively. The city does not get any snow due to how far south it is located along with the dry temperatures, and the average precipitation rarely tops 1 inch per month. January sees an average of 1.01 inches, March sees 1.19 and August sees 1.14.
Chandler Population and Demographics
In 2016, Chandler had a population of 247,477 and ranked 84 on the list of the most-populated cities in the United States, and the fourth-largest city by population in Arizona. By comparison, Orlando ranked 73 and had just more than 277,000 residents that year. Phoenix, which had more than 1.65 million residents, ranked fifth and was the largest city in Phoenix. Tucson and Mesa each had close to 500,000 residents in 2016 and ranked second and third in Phoenix, respectively.
Between 1990 and 2000, Chandler’s population soared. It was the seventh-fastest-growing city in the United States among those with at least 100,000 residents.
A little more than half — 50.2 percent — of the population in Chandler was female in 2016, and the median resident age was 35.2 years old. The estimated median household income was a little more than $75,000, and per capita income was a little more than $35,000.
As of April of 2018, there were nearly 105,000 housing units in Chandler. The city’s population is nearly 74 percent white and 22 percent Hispanic or Latino, which is higher than the national average for cities, in part due to Chandler’s proximity to Mexico. A little more than 8 percent of the population is of Asian or Pacific Island ethnicity, and nearly 5 percent is African American.
The largest percentage of the population, nearly 30 percent, is between 35 and 54 years old. Around 28 percent is between ages 15 and 34.
What to Do in Chandler
Chandler is known for its annual Ostrich Festival. Due to the city’s agricultural history, a lot of the industry was based around cotton, corn and alfalfa, and much of the economy in the early 1900s relied on ostrich farms. This aspect of Chandler’s history dissipated with the rise of the automobile, but the Ostrich Festival is a way to remember the city’s heritage.
The Chandler Center of the Arts is a 1,500-seat performing arts venue located in downtown. The Arizona Railway Museum is another popular attraction in Chandler. The museum was founded in 1983 as a non-profit organization and is dedicated to the railroads in Arizona and southwestern United States. Two of the items on display inside the museum are the “Southern Pacific Railroad Locomotive No. SP 2562” and the “Railroad Steam Wrecking Crane and Tool Car.” Both attractions are in the National Register of Historic Places.
In the future, Chandler will have a 70,000-square-foot Holocaust and Tolerance Museum. That will add to the long list of attractions for tourists and residents to enjoy, including:
- Chandler Bike Park at Espee Park
- Chandler Community Center
- Chandler Fashion Center Mall
- Bounce-A-Rama arcade zone
- Burst of Butterflies Pottery Painting and Art Studio
- Chandler Fashion Center Mall
- Chandler Solar SYstem Walk at Veterans Oasis Park
- Desert Oasis Aquatic Center
Due to the city’s innovative approach at recreation, Chandler was named a Playful City USA in 2017, the 11th consecutive year receiving this distinction.
Because of Chandler’s proximity to other major cities, there is a lot to do outside of the city limits. Nearby Phoenix also includes many attractions and professional and semi-pro sports teams, including:
- The Arizona Cardinals (NFL)
- Arizona Coyotes (NHL)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)
- Phoenix Suns (NBA)
- Arizona Rattlers Arena Football (AFL)
Government, Crime and Education in Chandler
Chandler’s government includes a mayor, vice mayor and five council members. The mayor and council members are elected by the city’s residents, but the vice mayor is chosen by the council. As of 2018, the mayor is Jay Tibshraeny, who has held this position since 2011. He was a former member of the Arizona State Senate and previously served as Chandler’s mayor from 1994 through 2002.
The Chandler Unified School District covers most of the city’s education service. Loop 101 divides the city in thirds, and the beltway forms a half circle connecting Phoenix and most of the surrounding cities and towns. The area in Chandler that is west of Loop 101 is served by the Kyrene Elementary School District and the Tempe Union High School District. The area east of Loop 101 and north of Warner Road falls within the Mesa Public Schools District. Chandler’s San Vincente neighborhood is part of the Gilbert Public Schools District.
The city includes a two-year college, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, that has a student population of around 13,000. The college is located in Chandler but close to the Gilbert city line, which borders Chandler to the east. Other higher-education offerings include Western international University, a private institution, and the Apollo Group subsidiary University of Phoenix, which is well-known as an international online education option. International Baptist College is located in Chandler and Arizona State University is in downtown Tempe, just 14 miles from Chandler. Chandler University opened in 2011 as the newest college in the city.
Chandler was considered safer than only 22 percent of U.S. cities in 2016. Still, the city is safer than the entire state of Arizona, which has a violent crime rate of 4.7 compared to Chandler’s 2.25. The national violent crime rate is 4. In 2016, the city had four murders 124 rapes, 157 robberies and 273 assaults. There also is information on drug and alcohol addiction in Chandler, including the number of prescription opioid-related fatalities and locations for recovery meetings.
For property crime, Chandler’s rate was 24.86, just below the national median of 25 and well below Arizona’s 29.78 rate. However, the compact size of the city in correlation to the number of crimes is what makes most cities in the United States safer. There were 104 crimes per square mile in Chandler in 2016. By comparison, Arizona’s average was 31 crimes per square mile and the national average was 31.9 crimes per square mile.
Despite this statistic, the chances of being a victim of a crime in Chandler remain low. The city’s rising population and blossoming technology industry has made it an appealing destination for tourists and prospective residents. Located just a few miles from other cities, including Phoenix, the city of Chandler is one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States, both in population and culture.