Maricopa is located about 20 miles south of Phoenix and about 20 miles northwest of Casa Grande adjacent to the Ak Chin Indian Community. Maricopa became a city in 2003 as it acknowledged the growth of its population. It grew from a population of 1,500 in 2000 to 5,000 in 2004. The count is not yet in, but it expected to reach 24,000 by the end of 2005. Maricopa is one of the most productive farm communities in the state. Cotton, grains, fruit , vegetables and beef thrive in this arid desert.