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The metropolitan area is the 11th largest by population in the United States, with approximately 4.73 million people as of 2017 Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community with the original settler's crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton, citrus, and hay.
Cotton, cattle, citrus, climate, and copper were known locally as the "Five C's" anchoring Phoenix's economy.
These remained the driving forces of the city until after World War II, when high-tech companies began to move into the valley and air conditioning made Phoenix's hot summers more bearable.
They created roughly 135 miles (217 kilometers) of irrigation canals, making the desert land arable, and paths of these canals were used for the Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct.
Fremont signed the bill on February 25, 1881, officially incorporating Phoenix as a city with a population of around 2,500.