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City Summary - Gilbert, Arizona
Located just 30 minutes from Phoenix, Gilbert, Arizona, serves as home to more than 217,000 residents. The majority of the population, about 70.2 percent, consists of white residents. The largest minority is Hispanic and Latinos, which comprise 15.2 percent of the total population. Germans are the largest ethic group with 21.4 percent of residents describing themselves as being in the nationality.

Gilbert has won multiple awards over the years for being a safe place to live with a thriving, active community. CQ Press reported the city as the 17th safest in the United States in 2010. That year, Gilbert also ranked as the 36th on the "Best Places to Live" ratings from CNN Money. "Bloomberg Businessweek" named all of Maricopa County, including Gilbert, as the best place to live in Arizona in 2011. Unlike some other Phoenix suburbs, Gilbert is affordable; its cost of living index is 93.8, well below the nationwide average of 100.0.

Most students in Gilbert attend one of Gilbert Public Schools' five high, seven middle or 28 elementary schools though a select number receive their education through the Chandler Unified School District, Mesa Public Schools, the Queen Creek Unified School District or the Higley Unified School District. Gilbert Public Schools' Highland High School received a bronze medal from the "Best High Schools in the United States" rankings from "U.S. News and World Report" in 2011. Education employs 8.5 percent of all residents in the city, making it Gilbert's largest industry.

Approximately 8.3 percent of the city's residents work in computer and electronics manufacturing, while another 7.3 percent are employed in finance and insurance. Health care serves as the fourth-largest industry in Gilbert with Mercy Gilbert Medical Center one of the largest employers in the city. Around 38 percent of Gilbert's residents commute at least 15 minutes outside of the city to work each day, but 97 percent of them work somewhere within Maricopa County. Bus service is available from Gilbert to Phoenix with plans to add rail service to the capital in the future.

Gilbert serves as home to five municipal pools, two nature reserves and more than 20 public parks. One of the parks, Cosmo Dog Park has previously been ranked among the "Best Dog Parks" in the United States by "Dog Fancy" magazine. The town has an active youth and adult sports program as well as activities for senior citizens. The city sponsors special events throughout the year, including an annual Halloween parade and music festival.
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