According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 153.5 square miles (397.5 km²), of which 153.5 square miles (397.5 km²) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) is water. It is located 4,623 feet above sea level.
Also indicated in the CER 2008 Economic Outlook publication, the Arizona DEC estimates the Sierra Vista Area size is approximately 72,000, which includes outlying areas of Sierra Vista Southeast Census Designated Place (CDP), Huachuca City, Tombstone, Whetstone, and surrounding areas. The population of the Sierra Vista Area is estimated to reach nearly 100,000 by 2028.
According to Census 2000 figures, the Sierra Vista population is comprised of 14,196 households, and 9,993 families residing in the city. The population density was 246.1 people per square mile (95.0/km²). There were 15,685 housing units at an average density of 102.2/sq mi (39.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.34% White, 10.89% Black or African American, 3.57% Asian, 0.83% Native American and 0.46% Pacific Islander. 6.05% of the population is from other races, and 4.86% from two or more races. 15.8% of the population is Hispanic or Latino.
There were 14,196 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 13.0% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 100.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $38,427, and the median income for a family was $44,077. Males had a median income of $30,053 versus $23,805 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,436. About 8.0% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.8% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of Census 2000, of the population (37,775) 25 years and older 91.5 percent had at least a high school diploma or equivalent and an estimated 25.7 percent held a bachelors degree or higher. The CER indicates that there has been an increasing trend for residents to attain a bachelor's degree or higher making the local area competitive in today's technological working environment. The estimated population of resident's educated at a post-secondary level (some college credit or more) in Sierra Vista is estimated to be higher than county, state, and national averages.
Sierra Vista was incorporated in 1956, and has a population over 40,000 today. The city is the economic and commercial center of Cochise County, and northern Sonora, Mexico. Sierra Vista annexed Fort Huachuca, a U.S. military base, one of the largest employers in Arizona, and the adjacent community, in 1971. The Mall at Sierra Vista is located in Sierra Vista. Growth is an issue in Sierra Vista due to a dispute about the quantity of the underground reservoirs of water, and the effects of growth on the nearby San Pedro River.
Mountains surround Sierra Vista. Miller Peak (9,440 feet or 2,877 meters) is the highest point. Mule, Dragoon, Whetstone Mountain, and Huachuca Mountain are visible from town. The Gray Hawk Nature Center offering nature education programs and housing live reptile and invertebrate exhibits is located nearby on the San Pedro River.
The first McDonald's Drive-Thru opened here in January 24, 1975. It was designed to feed the large numbers of soldiers at the fort quickly. That restuarant was demolished in May 1999, and replaced with a new McDonald's.
There is and has been an outbreak of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Myelocytic Leukemia and the rare cancer Rhabdomyosarcoma in Sierra Vista. Since 1995, 18 children have been diagnosed and three have died. Several children and adults not included in Arizona's official childhood Leukemia statistics and thus not included in the official cluster have also died.
The fact that Leukemias are occuring in a cluster in Sierra Vista that are at least 3 times the normal rate suggests an environmental cause. This cancer cluster was confirmed by the Arizona Department of Health Services and reported to the National Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta in 2001.
Three other military towns, Fallon, Nevada, Elk Grove, California and Hoisington, Kansas have also reported Leukemias in clusters.
Government agencies including the State Health Department and the Center for Disease Control have repeatedly declined to investigate in depth, and have often seemed reluctant to discuss the cluster--or even to acknowledge its existence. In fact, it has been making the Sierra Vista leukemia cluster vanish into clouds of case exclusions, insufficient testing and bio-sampling and probability calculations.
Families Against Cancer and Toxics at : http://familiesagainstcancer.org/. This organization formed in Southern Arizona in 2003 when parents of children with cancer gathered to encourage investigation into the possible childhood Leukemia cluster in Sierra Vista, Arizona.