Gilbert has experienced outstanding growth in recent decades going from 5,717 in 1980 to 208,453 as of a 2010. This expansion has been primarily fueled by the growth of Greater Phoenix, which turned Gilbert into a thriving suburb. However, Gilbert has made efforts to bolster its own economy. Several high-tech, life science, healthcare and renewable energy companies have opened operations in Gilbert, making it a center for white-collar labor. Gilbert helps its growth by keeping local city licenses to a minimum. However, Maricopa County and the State of Arizona have substantial licensing requirements that can cause Gilbert businesses to face significant hurdles on their road to compliance.