City/Town Snapshot: City of Goodyear

Seventy years ago this year, an area west of Phoenix became the Town of Goodyear, Arizona. In November 1946, the town had 151 homes, 250 apartments, a grocery store, drug store, barber shop, beauty shop, and service station.

Decades earlier during World War I, cotton - used to make rubber tires for airplanes - was in short supply because foreign sources were in war-torn countries or disease ridden. When the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company found that Arizona's climate and soil was similar to foreign sources for growing cotton, it sent junior executive Paul Litchfield in 1917 to purchase 16,000 acres for its Goodyear Farms.

World War II brought a recovery in the early 1940s when the Litchfield Naval Air Facility - today, it is Phoenix Goodyear Airport - employed as many as 7,500 people at one time. In the 1980s, the 10,000 acres that remained of the original Goodyear Farms located north of Interstate 10 was sold to SunCor, which developed much of the land into the Palm Valley master-planned community.

The town became a city in 1985.

Today, the City of Goodyear is repeatedly recognized as a top-notch community in Arizona, and the nation. In 2015, New York-based 24/7 ranked Goodyear 7th among the 50 Best U.S. Cities to Live in. The financial news company cited many reasons for the ranking, but in particular: low crime rates; employment growth; educational attainment; and housing affordability. Goodyear was the only Arizona city on the list.

Courtesy of Jill Richards Photography

Courtesy of Jill Richards Photography

Goodyear also has some of the most educated and high-earning residents in the Valley of the Sun. The average household earns roughly $71,000 annually - $20,000 higher than the median household income across Arizona; and nearly 70 percent of the population has some college education.

Courtesy of Jill Richards Photography

The amenities and high quality of life continue to attract more residents every year. In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Goodyear as the sixth fastest growing city (with a population of more than 50,000) in the country.

In just the past five years, the city's population has grown from 65,000 in 2010 to 75,000 in 2015!

And it's not just quantity… it's quality. According the recent citizen satisfaction survey conducted late last year, 97 percent of residents surveyed feel safe in their neighborhoods; 93 percent said Goodyear is a good or excellent place to live; and 91 percent would recommend living in Goodyear to family or friends.

Being a full-service community means Goodyear is providing everything its residents need; from parks, recreation and library, to fire, police, and water utilities. But Goodyear doesn't just provide these services - its officials are committed to providing the best services. According to the same survey, 93 percent of the responding residents rated the Fire Department services as good or excellent; and 89 percent feel safe overall.

Businesses too, are taking note. Some of the regional employers located in the city include Abrazo West Campus and Cancer Treatment Center of America hospitals; Amazon, REI, and Macy's fulfillment centers; Sub-Zero and Cookson manufacturing; and Michael Lewis Company.

The City of Goodyear might be 70 years old, but it is just getting started. The next time you are driving through, take a good look around - chances are, it will look very different.

League of Arizona Cities and Towns
1820 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ  85007
Phone: 602-258-5786
Fax: 602-253-3874

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