Gilbert is an incorporated town in Maricopa County, Arizona, in the south-west region of the United States. The town was named after William Gilbert, who gave much of his land to the Arizona Eastern railway in 1902, allowing them to build the first rail line between Phoenix and Florence. Expats living in Gilbert can still explore much of the town’s history which has been well preserved. The Gilbert Heritage District has designated many areas of the town as being of historical interest, such as the first jailhouse, the giant water tower built in 1925, and the Gilbert Elementary School, which was constructed in 1913. Fishing is a popular leisure pursuit in Gilbert, and the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a popular location for keen fishermen, as well as being a great place for families to explore nature. A range of walking trails and camping areas can also be found there, so there is plenty for expatriates in Gilbert to explore.
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Gilbert has seen a huge population increase over the last three decades. In 1980, there were just 5,717 people living in Gilbert, when the area was predominantly agricultural. By 2010, there were over 200,000 living in Gilbert, making it the most highly populated town in the United States. Expats moving to Gilbert can expect to find growing expatriate communities, as the town continues to be one of the fastest growing in the region. It is also ranked very highly in terms of public safety – and is commonly known as ‘the safest municipality in Arizona’. There are many family-friendly parks and playgrounds; one of the most popular is Cosmo dog park, where dogs are allowed to swim freely in a large lake.
Historically, agriculture has been enormously important to the industry in the area – which was once known as the ‘hay shipping capital of the world’. The town has become much more economically diverse, however, particularly over the last thirty years. Gilbert Public Schools are now the largest employers in the area, followed closely by the Town of Gilbert public administration. Retailers such as Walmart, Costco and Fry’s Food and Drug also make up some of the biggest employers in the town. Expats from around the world live and work in Gilbert – you can find out more about living and working abroad in the Expat Magazine on our InterNations website. You can also join our friendly expat community online, where you can seek advice and guidance from other expatriates, living all around the world, including in the United States and maybe even Gilbert.