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State of Arizona

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Probably from the Pima or Papago Indian word arizonac, meaning "place of small springs."

NICKNAME: The Grand Canyon State.

CAPITAL: Phoenix.

ENTERED UNION: 14 February 1912 (48th).

SONG: "Arizona;" "Arizona March Song."

MOTTO: Ditat Deus (God enriches).

FLAG: A copper-colored five-pointed star symbolic of the state's copper resources rises from a blue field; six yellow and seven red segments radiating from the star cover the upper half.

OFFICIAL SEAL: Depicted on a shield are symbols of the state's economy and natural resources, including mountains, a rising sun, and a dam and reservoir in the background; irrigated farms and orchards in the middle distance; a quartz mill, a miner, and cattle in the foreground; and the state motto. The words "Great Seal of the State of Arizona 1912" surround the shield.

BIRD: Cactus wren.

FLOWER: Blossom of the saguaro cactus.

TREE: Palo verde.

LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Martin Luther King Jr./Civil Rights Day, 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln/Washington/Presidents' Day, 3rd Monday in February; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December.

TIME: 5 AM MST = noon GMT. Arizona does not observe daylight savings time.


Located in the Rocky Mountains region of the southwestern United States, Arizona ranks sixth in size among the 50 states.

The total area of Arizona is 114,000 sq mi (295,260 sq km), of which land takes up 113,508 sq mi (293,986 sq km) and inland water 492 sq mi (1,274 sq km). Arizona extends about 340 mi (547 km) e-w; the state's maximum n-s extension is 395 mi (636 km).

Arizona is bordered on the n by Utah and on the e by New Mexico (with the two borders joined at Four Corners, the only point in the United States common to four states); on the s by the Mexican state of Sonora; and on the w by the Mexican state of Baja California Norte, California, and Nevada (with most of the line formed by the Colorado River). The total boundary length of Arizona is 1,478 mi (2,379 km). The state's geographic center is in Yavapai County, 55 mi (89 km) ese of Prescott.


Arizona is a state of extraordinary topographic diversity and beauty. The Colorado Plateau, which covers two-fifths of the state in the north, is an arid upland region characterized by deep canyons, notably the Grand Canyon, a vast gorge more than 200 mi (320 km) long, up to 18 mi (29 km) wide, and more than 1 mi (1.6 km) deep. Also within this region are the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, as well as Humphreys Peak, the highest point in the state, at 12,633 ft (3,853 m). The mean elevation of the state is approximately 4,100 ft (1,251 m).

The Mogollon Rim separates the northern plateau from a central region of alternating basins and ranges with a general northwest-southeast direction. Ranges in the Mexican Highlands in the southeast include the Chiricahua, Dos Cabezas, and Pinaleno mountains. The Sonora Desert, in the southwest, contains the lowest point in the state, 70 ft (21 m) above sea level, on the Colorado River near Yuma.

The Colorado is the state's major river, flowing southwest from Glen Canyon Dam on the Utah border through the Grand Canyon and westward to Hoover Dam, then turning south to form the border with Nevada and California. Tributaries of the Colorado include the Little Colorado and Gila rivers. Arizona has few natural lakes, but there are several large artificial lakes formed by dams for flood control, irrigation, and power development. These include Lake Mead (shared with Nevada), formed by Hoover Dam; Lake Powell (shared with Utah); Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu (shared with California), formed by David Dam and Parker Dam, respectively; Roosevelt Lake, formed by Theodore Roosevelt Dam; and the San Carlos Lake, created by Coolidge Dam.


Arizona has a dry climate, with little rainfall. Temperatures vary greatly from place to place, season to season, and day to night. Average daily temperatures at Yuma, in the southwestern desert range from 48° to 69°f (8° to 20°c) in January, and from 81° to 107°f (27° to 41°c) in July. At Flagstaff, in the interior uplands, average daily January temperatures range from 15° to 42°f (9° to 5°c), and average daily July temperatures range from 50° to 82°f (10° to 27°c). The maximum recorded temperature was 128°f (53°c), registered at Lake Havasu City on 29 June 1994; the minimum, 40°f (40°c), was set at Hawley Lake on 7 January 1971.

The highest elevations of the state, running diagonally from the southeast to the northwest, receive between 25 and 30 in (63-76 cm) of precipitation a year, and the rest, for the most part, between 7 and 20 in (18-51 cm). Average annual precipitation at Phoenix is about 7.7 in (19 cm). The driest area is the extreme southwest, which receives less than 3 in (8 cm) a year. Snow, sometimes as much as 100 in (254 cm), falls on the highest peaks each winter but is rare in the southern and western lowlands.

The greatest amount of sunshine is registered in the southwest, with the proportion decreasing progressively toward the north-east; overall, the state receives more than 80% of possible sunshine, among the highest in the United States, and Phoenix's 86% is higher than that of any other major US city.


Generally categorized as desert, Arizona's terrain also includes mesa and mountains; consequently, the state has a wide diversity of vegetation. The desert is known for many varieties of cacti, from the saguaro, whose blossom is the state flower, to the cholla and widely utilized yucca. Desert flowers include the night-blooming cereus; among medicinal desert flora is the jojoba, also harvested for its oil-bearing seeds. Below the tree line (about 12,000 ft, or 3,658 m) the mountains are well timbered with varieties of spruce, fir, juniper, ponderosa pine, oak, and piñon. Rare plants, some of them endangered or threatened, include various cacti of commercial or souvenir value.

Arizona's fauna range from desert species of lizards and snakes to the deer, elk, and antelope of the northern highlands. Mountain lion, jaguar, coyote, and black and brown bears are found in the state, along with the badger, black-tailed jackrabbit, and gray fox. Small mammals include various cottontails, mice, and squirrels; prairie dog towns dot the northern regions. Rattlesnakes are abundant, and the desert is rife with reptiles such as the collared lizard and chuckwalla. Native birds include the thick-billed parrot, white pelican, and cactus wren (the state bird).

In April 2006, a total of 53 species occurring within the state were on the threatened and endangered species list of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These included 35 animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) and 18 plant species. Arizona counts the desert tortoise and lesser long-nosed bat among its threatened wildlife. Officially listed as endangered or threatened were the southern bald eagle, masked bobwhite (quail), Sonoran pronghorn, ocelot, jaguar, black-footed ferret, four species of chub, two species of gray wolf, woundfin, Apache trout, Gila topminnow, Gila trout, and southwestern willow flycatcher.


Aside from Phoenix, whose air quality is poorer than that of most other US cities, Arizona has long been noted for its clear air, open lands, and beautiful forests. The main environmental concern of the state is to protect these resources in the face of growing population, tourism, and industry.

State agencies with responsibility for the environment include the State Land Department, which oversees natural resource conservation and land management; the Game and Fish Commission, which administers state wildlife laws; the Department of Health Services, which supervises sewage disposal, water treatment, hazardous and solid waste treatment, and air pollution prevention programs; and the Department of Water Resources, formed in 1980, which is concerned with the development, management, use, and conservation of water. The Department of Water Resources created five zones to monitor water use by about 80% of the population (using about 75% of the state's water). The Rural Arizona Watershed Alliance, representing the remaining 20% of its population who reside in the rural areas making up 85% of Arizona's land mass, has been funded by the legislature since 1999/2000 to undertake statewide planning for water resource use and allocation. In 2005, federal EPA grants awarded to the state included $9.4 million for safe drinking water projects and a $7.3 million grant for water pollution control projects.

Legislation enacted in 1980 attempts to apportion water use among cities, mining, and agriculture, the last of which, through irrigation, accounts for the largest share of the state's annual water consumption. Less than 1% of Arizona's land is wetlands. In 2003, 48.2 million lb of toxic chemicals were released by the state. In 2003, the US EPA database listed 167 hazardous waste sites in Arizona, nine of which were on the National Priorities List as of 2006, including the Tucson International Airport area. In 2005, the EPA spent over $4.8 million through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state.


The state ranked 17th in population in the United States with an estimated total of 5,939,292 in 2005, an increase of 15.8% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Arizona's population grew from 3,665,228 to 5,130,632, the fifth-largest increase and second-largest percentage gain (40%) among the 50 states. The population is projected to reach 7.4 million by 2015 and 9.5 million by 2025.

Population density was 50.6 persons per sq mi in 2004. The median age was 34.1. Arizonans who were 65 years of age or older accounted for 12.7% of the population in 2004. Persons under 18 years old accounted for 26.9%.

Three out of four Arizonans live in urban areas. The largest metropolitan area is Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, with a 2004 estimated population of 3,715,360, and Tucson, with an estimated 907,059. The largest cities proper are Phoenix, with a 2004 estimated population of 1,418,041; Tucson, 512,023; Mesa, 437,454; Glendale, 235,591; and Chandler, 223,991. More than half the state's population resides in Maricopa County, which includes every leading city except Tucson. Phoenix was the nation's sixth-largest city in 2004.


Arizona has by far the nation's greatest expanse of American Indian lands: the state's 22 reservations have a combined area of 19.1 million acres (7.7 million hectares), 26% of the total state area. In 2000, Arizona had the nation's third-highest American Indian population, 255,879, or 5% of the state total population. The 5% figure was unchanged in 2004.

The largest single American Indian nation, the Navaho, with a population of 104,565 in 2000, is located primarily in the northeastern part of the state. The Navaho reservation, covering 14,221 sq mi (36,832 sq km) within Arizona, extends into Utah and New Mexico and comprises desert, mesa, and mountain terrain. Herders by tradition, the people are also famous for their crafts. The reservation's total American Indian population in 2000 was 173,631, up 21% from 143,405 in 1990. Especially since 1965, the Navaho have been active in economic development; reservation resources in uranium and coal have been leased to outside corporations, and loans from the US Department of Commerce have made possible roads, telephones, and other improvements. There are at least 12 and perhaps 17 other tribes (depending on definition). After the Navaho, the leading tribes are the Papago in the south, Apache in the east, and Hopi in the northeast. The Hopi reservation had a population of 6,946 in 2000.

The southern part of Arizona has most of the state's largest ethnic majority, a Hispanic and Latino population estimated at 1,295,617 in 2000, or 25.3% of the total population (up from the 1990 figure of 668,000, or 18% of the population). In 2004, the percentage of the population reporting Hispanic or Latino origin had risen to 28% of the total population. There are some old, long-settled Spanish villages, but the bulk of Hispanics (1,065,578) are of Mexican origin. Raul Castro, a Mexican-American, served as governor in 197577. There were an estimated 158,873 blacks as of 2000. In 2004, 3.5% of the population was black. Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, and other Asians made up 1.8% of the population in 2000; by 2004, that figure had risen to 2.1% of the total population. In 2004, 1.5% of the population reported origin of two or more races.


With the possible exception of the Navaho word hogan (earth-and-timber dwelling), the linguistic influence of Arizona's Papago, Pima, Apache, Navaho, and Hopi tribes is almost totally limited to some place-names: Arizona itself, Yuma, Havasu, Tucson, and Oraibi. American Indian loan-words spreading from Arizona derive from the Nahuatl speech of the Mexican Aztecsfor example, coyote, chili, mesquite, and tamale. Spanish, dominant in some sections, has provided English mustang, ranch, stampede, rodeo, marijuana, bonanza, canyon, mesa, patio, and fiesta.

English in the state represents a blend of North Midland and South Midland dialects without clear regional differences, although new meanings developed in the north and east for meadow and in the southern strip for swale as terms for flat mountain valleys. The recent population surge from eastern states has produced an urban blend with a strong northern flavor. In 2000, 3,523,487 Arizonans74.1% of all residents five years old and olderspoke only English at home, a decrease from the 79.2% reported in 1990.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "Other Native North American languages" includes Apache, Cherokee, Choctaw, Dakota, Keres, Pima, and Yupik.

Poupulation 5 years and over 4,752,724 100.0
  Speak only English 3,523,487 74.1
  Speak a language other than English 1,229,237 25.9
Speak a language other than English 1,229,237 25.9
  Spanish or Spanish Creole 927,395 19.5
  Navajo 89,951 1.9
  Other Native North American languages 30,109 0.6
  German 25,103 0.5
  Chinese 17,111 0.4
  French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 15,663 0.3
  Tagalog 10,049 0.2
  Vietnamese 9,999 0.2
  Italian 8,992 0.2
  Korean 7,689 0.2


The first religions of Arizona were the sacred beliefs and practices of the American Indians. Catholic missionaries began converting Arizona Indians (Franciscans among the Hopi, and Jesuits among the Pima) to the Christian faith in the late 17th century. By the late 18th century, the Franciscans were the main missionary force, and the Roman Catholic Church was firmly established. In 2004, the state had 906,692 Catholics in 161 parishes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) constitutes the second-largest Christian denomination, with a statewide membership of 346,677 in 701 congregations in 2006, up from 251,974 adherents in 643 congregations in 2000. Mormons were among the state's earliest Anglo settlers. Other major Christian denominations include the Southern Baptist Convention, which had 138,516 statewide adherents in 2000 and reported 3,155 newly baptized members in 2002. The Assemblies of God reported 82,802 members in 2000, while the United Methodist Church had 53,232. Also in 2000, Arizona's estimated Jewish population was 81,675. There were about 11,857 Muslims. There were also about 25 Buddhist and 9 Hindu congregations. About 60% of the population did not specify a religious affiliation.

The city of Sedona has become known for its community of believers in New Age religious movements.


Until the last decade of the 19th century, the principal reason for the development of transportation in Arizona was to open routes to California. The most famous early road was El Camino de Diablo (The Devil's Highway), opened by the missionary Eusebio Kino in 1699. The first wagon road across Arizona was the Gila Trail (Cooke's Wagon Road), opened in 1846 as a southern route to California: Beale's Road was inaugurated in 1857. Also in 1857, the first stagecoach began operations. Until the coming of the railroads in the 1880s, however, the bulk of territorial commerce was by water transport on the Colorado River. Railroad construction reached its peak in the 1920s and declined rapidly thereafter.

Railroad trackage totaled 1,836 rail mi (2,956 km) in 2003, with 10 railroads operating in the state. The state's two Class I railroads, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Union Pacific, controlled 1,261 rail miles in 2003. In that same year, the top rail commodities (by weight) originating from within the state were glass and stone products, while coal was the top rail commodity (by weight) terminating in the state. As of 2006, Amtrak provided limited passenger service through Flagstaff, Kingman, and other cities in the north, and through Tucson and Yuma on its southern route.

In 2004, the state had 58,112 mi (93,544 km) of public streets and roads. Interstate highways in Arizona totaled 1,168 mi (1,879 km). Of the approximately 3.944 million motor vehicles registered in 2004, there were some 2.038 million automobiles, 1.697 million trucks of all types, and around 1,000 buses. There were 3,783,927 licensed drivers in 2004.

In 2005, Arizona had a total of 299 public- and private-use aviation-related facilities. This included 190 airports, 108 heliports, and 1 STOLport (Short Take-Off and Landing). The state's leading air terminal was Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. In 2004, the airport had total passenger enplanements of 19,336,099, making it the seventh-busiest airport in the United States. Tucson International Airport was Arizona's second-largest airport, with 1,863,790 enplanements in that same year.


Evidence of a human presence in Arizona dates back more than 12,000 years. The first Arizonansthe off shoot of migrations across the Bering Straitwere large-game hunters: their remains have been found in the San Pedro Valley in the southeastern part of the state. By ad 500, their descendants had acquired a rudimentary agriculture from what is now Mexico and divided into several cultures. The Basket Makers (Anasazi) flourished in the northeastern part of the state; the Mogollon hunted and foraged in the eastern mountains; the Hokoham, highly sophisticated irrigators, built canals and villages in the central and southern valleys: and the Hakataya, a less-advanced river people, lived south and west of the Grand Canyon. For reasons unknowna devastating drought is the most likely explanationthese cultures were in decay and the population much reduced by the 14th century. Two centuries later, when the first Europeans arrived, most of the natives were living in simple shelters in fertile river valleys, dependent on hunting, gathering, and small-scale farming for subsistence. These Arizona Indians belonged to three linguistic families: Uto-Aztecan (Hopi, Paiute, Chemehuevi, Pima-Papago), Yuman (Yuma, Mohave, Cocopa, Maricopa, Yavapai, Walapai, Havasupai), and Athapaskan (Navaho-Apache). The Hopi were the oldest group, their roots reaching back to the Anasazi; the youngest were the Navaho-Apache, migrants from the Plains, who were not considered separate tribes until the early 18th century.

The Spanish presence in Arizona involved exploration, missionary work, and settlement. Between 1539 and 1605, four expeditions crossed the land, penetrating both the upland plateau and the lower desert in ill-fated attempts to find great riches. In their footsteps came Franciscans from the Rio Grande to work among the Hopi, and Jesuits from the south, led by Eusebio Kino in 1692, to proselytize among the Pima. Within a few years, Kino had established a major mission station at San Xavier del Bac, near present-day Tucson. In 1736, a rich silver discovery near the Pima village of Arizona, about 20 mi (32 km) southwest of present-day Nogales, drew Spanish prospectors and settlers northward. To control the restless Pima, Spain in 1752 placed a military outpost, or presidio, at Tubac on the Santa Cruz River north of Nogales. This was the first major European settlement in Arizona. The garrison was moved north to the new fort at Tucson, also on the Santa Cruz, in 1776. During these years, the Spaniards gave little attention to the Santa Cruz settlements, administered as part of the Mexican province of Sonora, regarding them merely as way stations for colonizing expeditions traveling overland to the highly desirable lands of California. The end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th were periods of relative peace on the frontier; mines were developed and ranches begun. Spaniards removed hostile Apache bands onto reservations and made an effort to open a road to Santa Fe.

When Mexico revolted against Spain in 1810, the Arizona settlements were little affected. Mexican authorities did not take control at Arizpe, the Sonoran capital, until 1823. Troubled times followed, characterized by economic stagnation, political chaos, and renewed war with the Apache. Sonora was divided into partidos (counties), and the towns on the Santa Cruz were designated as a separate partido, with the county seat at Tubac. The area north of the Gila River, inhabited only by American Indians, was vaguely claimed by New Mexico. With the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846, two US armies marched across the region: Col. Stephen W. Kearny followed the Gila across Arizona from New Mexico to California, and Lt. Col. Philip Cooke led a Mormon battalion westward through Tucson to California. The California Gold Rush of 1849 saw thousands of Americans pass along the Gila toward the new El Dorado. In 1850, most of present-day Arizona became part of the new US Territory of New Mexico; the southern strip was added by the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.

Three years later, the Sonora Exploring and Mining Co. organized a large party, led by Charles D. Poston, to open silver mines around Tubac. A boom followed, with Tubac becoming the largest settlement in the valley; the first newspaper, the Weekly Arizonian, was launched there in 1859. The great desire of California for transportation links with the rest of the Union prompted the federal government to chart roads and railroad routes across Arizona, erect forts there to protect Anglo travelers from the Arizona Indians, and open overland mail service. Dissatisfied with their representation at Santa Fe, the territorial capital, Arizona settlers joined those in southern New Mexico in 1860 in an abortive effort to create a new territorial entity. The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 saw the declaration of Arizona as Confederate territory and abandonment of the region by the Union troops. A small Confederate force entered Arizona in 1862 but was driven out by a volunteer Union army from California. On 24 February 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a measure creating the new Territory of Arizona. Prescott became the capital in 1864, Tucson in 1867, Prescott again in 1877, and finally Phoenix in 1889.

During the early years of territorial status, the development of rich gold mines along the lower Colorado River and in the interior mountains attracted both people and capital to Arizona, as did the discovery of silver bonanzas in Tombstone and other districts in the late 1870s. Additional military posts were constructed to protect mines, towns, and travelers. This activity, in turn, provided the basis for a fledgling cattle industry and irrigated farming. Phoenix, established in 1868, grew steadily as an agricultural center. The Southern Pacific Railroad, laying track eastward from California, reached Tucson in 1880, and the Atlantic and Pacific (later acquired by the Santa Fe), stretching west from Albuquerque through Flagstaff, opened service to California in 1883. By 1890, copper had replaced silver as the principal mineral extracted in Arizona. In the Phoenix area, large canal companies began wrestling with the problem of supplying water for commercial agriculture. This problem was resolved in 1917 with the opening of the Salt River Valley Project, a federal reclamation program that provided enormous agricultural potential.

As a creature of the Congress, Arizona Territory was presided over by a succession of governors, principally Republicans, appointed in Washington. In reaction, the populace was predominantly Democratic. Within the territory, a merchant-capitalist class, with strong ties to California, dominated local and territorial politics until it was replaced with a mining-railroad group whose influence continued well into the 20th century. A move for separate statehood began in the 1880s but did not receive serious attention in Congress for another two decades. In 1910, after Congress passed an enabling act that allowed Arizona to apply for statehood, a convention met at Phoenix and drafted a state constitution. On 14 February 1912, Arizona entered the Union as the 48th state.

During the first half of the 20th century, Arizona shook off its frontier past. World War I (191418) spurred the expansion of the copper industry, intensive agriculture, and livestock production. Goodyear Tire and Rubber established large farms in the Salt River Valley to raise pima cotton. The war boom also generated high prices, land speculation, and labor unrest; at Bisbee and Jerome, local authorities forcibly deported more than 1,000 striking miners during the summer of 1917. The 1920s brought depression: banks closed, mines shut down, and agricultural production declined. To revive the economy, local boosters pushed highway construction, tourism, and the resort business. Arizona also shared in the general distress caused by the Great Depression of the 1930s and received large amounts of federal aid for relief and recovery. A copper tariff encouraged the mining industry, additional irrigation projects were started, and public works were begun on Indian reservations, in parks and forests, and at education institutions. Prosperity returned during World War II (193945) as camps for military training, prisoners of war, and displaced Japanese Americans were built throughout the state. Meat, cotton, and copper markets flourished, and the construction of processing and assembly plants suggested a new direction for the state's economy.

Arizona emerged from World War II as a modern state. War industries spawned an expanding peacetime manufacturing boom that soon provided the principal source of income, followed by tourism, agriculture, and mining. During the 1950s, the political scene changed. Arizona Republicans captured the governorship, gained votes in the legislature, won congressional seats, and brought a viable two-party system to the state. The rise of Barry Goldwater of Phoenix to national prominence further encouraged Republican influence. Meanwhile, air conditioning improved the quality of life, prompting a significant migration to the state.

But prosperity did not reach into all sectors. While the state ranked as only the 19th poorest in the nation in 1990 (with a poverty rate of 13.7%), by 1998, it ranked sixth-poorest, with a poverty rate of 16.6%. Although the poverty rate in Arizona subsequently declined (to 13.9% in 2004), from 2000 to 2004 the Arizona poverty rate climbed two full percentage points, double the national average.

For many years Arizona had seen its water diverted to California. In 1985, however, the state acted to bring water from the Colorado River to its own citizens by building the Central Arizona Project (CAP). The CAP was a $3 billion network of canals, tunnels, dams and pumping stations which had the capacity to bring 2.8 million acre-feet of water a year from the Colorado River to Arizona's desert lands, cities, and farms. By 1994, however, many considered the project to be a failure, as little demand existed for the water it supplied. Farmers concluded that water-intensive crops such as cotton were not profitable, and Arizona residents complained that the water provided by the CAP was dirty and undrinkable.

Arizona politics in the recent past have been rocked by the discovery of corruption in high places. In 1988, Governor Evan Mecham was impeached on two charges of official misconduct. In 1989, Senators John McCain and Dennis DeConcini were indicted for interceding in 1987 with federal bank regulators on behalf of Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. Lincoln's president, Charles Keating Jr., had contributed large sums to the Senators' reelection campaigns. In 1990, Peter MacDonald, the leader of the Navajo Nation, was convicted in the Navajo Tribal Court of soliciting $400,000 in bribes and kickbacks from corporations and individuals who sought to conduct business with the tribe in the 1970s and 1980s. A year later, seven members of the Arizona state legislature were charged with bribery, money laundering, and filing false election claims, the result of a sting operation. The legislators were videotaped accepting thousands of dollars from a man posing as a gaming consultant in return for agreeing to legalize casino gambling.

The most recent in Arizona's series of political scandals was the investigation and 1996 indictment of Governor Fife Symington on 23 counts of fraud and extortion in connection with his business ventures before he became governor in 1991, and his filing of personal bankruptcy. The case went to trial in May 1997. Convicted of fraud, Symington was replaced by secretary of state Jane Hull, also a Republican. In 1998 gubernatorial elections, Hull was elected in her own right. Democrat Janet Napolitano was elected governor in 2002. In 2003, the Arizona Supreme Court decided to individually review the 27 death sentences imposed by judges rather than juries, which was a practice deemed unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.


The current constitution of Arizona, drafted in 1910 at the height of the Progressive era, contained reform provisions that were very advanced for the time; initiative, referendum, workers' compensation, short terms for elected officials, suffrage for women, and the barring of trusts and monopolies from the state. The constitution was adopted in 1911 and had been amended 136 times by January 2005.

Legislative authority is vested in a 30-member Senate and a 60-member House of Representatives. Legislative sessions are annual, begin in January, and must adjourn no later than the Saturday of the week during which the 100th day of the session falls. Special sessions, which are not limited in duration, may be called by petition of two-thirds of the membership of each house. All senators and representatives serve two-year terms and are chosen at the general election in November of each even-numbered year. A legislator must be a US citizen, at least 25 years old, an Arizona resident for at least three years, and a member of the district for at least a year. The legislative salary in 2004 was $24,000.

Chief executive officials elected statewide include the governor, secretary of state (the designated successor to the governor, as there is no lieutenant governor), treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction, all of whom serve four-year terms. The governor is limited to a maximum of two consecutive terms. The five members of the Corporation Commission, which regulates public services and utilities, are elected for a four-year term with the possibility of reelection to a second consecutive four-year term; the state mine inspector is elected for two years. Candidates for executive office must have been US citizens for at least 10 years, must be at least 25 years old, and must have been a citizen of Arizona for at least 5 years. As of December 2004, the governor's salary was $95,000.

Bills may originate in either house of the legislature and must be passed by both houses and approved by the governor in order to become law. A two-thirds vote of the elected members in each house is necessary to override the governor's veto. If the governor fails to sign or veto a bill, it becomes law after five days (Sundays excluded) or ten days after the legislature has adjourned. Under the initiative procedure, legislation and proposed constitutional amendments can be placed on the ballot by petition. The petition must be signed by 15% of total votes cast for all candidates for governor at the last election. Constitutional amendments proposed in the legislature are ratified by a majority vote of the electorate.

In order to vote in Arizona, a person must be 18 years old, a US citizen, a resident of the state for at least 29 days prior to the upcoming election. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incapacitated by the court.


Of Arizona's 17 territorial governors, all of whom were federally appointed, 14 were Republicans and 3 were Democrats. Statehood meant a prolonged period of Democratic dominance. From 1912 through 1950, the state had nine Democratic and three Republican governors; during that period, Republicans held the statehouse for only six years.

Republican Party fortunes improved dramatically after 1950, largely because of the rise to state and national prominence of a conservative Republican, Barry Goldwater, first elected to the US Senate in 1952. From 1951 to 1994, eight Republican governors led the state for a total of 26 years, and five Democratic governors for 18 years. Several Arizona Republicans were appointed to high office during the Richard Nixon years, and in 1973, another Republican, John J. Rhodes, became minority leader in the US House of Representatives. Democrat and former governor Bruce Babbitt was named secretary of the interior for the Bill Clinton administration in 1992.

In 1992, Bill Clinton ended 40 years of Republican presidential victories in Arizona, becoming the first Democratic winner since 1952, with 47% of the vote to Republican Bob Dole's 44% and Independent Ross Perot's 8%. In 2000, the pendulum swung back to the Republican side, with Republican George W. Bush winning 51% of the vote to Democrat Al Gore's 45% and the Green Party candidate Ralph Nader's 3%. In 2004, Bush won reelection, with 55% of the vote to Democrat John Kerry's 45%. In 2004 there were 2,643,000 registered voters. Of registered voters in 2001, 38% were Democratic, 43% Republican, and 19% unaffiliated or members of other parties. The state had 10 electoral votes in 2004, an increase over 8 in the 2000 presidential election.

Arizona Presidential Vote by Political Party, 19482004
*Won US presidential election.
1948 4 *Truman (D) 95,251 77,597 3,310
1952 4 *Eisenhower (R) 108,528 152,042
1956 4 *Eisenhower (R) 112,880 176,990
1960 4 Nixon (R) 176,781 221,241
1964 5 Goldwater (R) 237,753 242,535
1969 5 *Nixon (R) 170,514 266,721 46,573
1972 6 *Nixon (R) 198,540 402,812 21,208
1976 6 Ford (R) 295,602 418,642 7,647
1980 6 *Reagan (R) 246,843 529,688 18,784
1984 7 *Reagan (R) 333,854 681,416 10,585
1988 7 *Bush (R) 454,029 702,541 13,351
IND. (Perot)
1992 8 Bush (R) 543,086 572,086 353,741
1996 8 *Clinton (D) 653,288 622,073 112,072
2000 8 *Bush, G. W. (R) 685,341 781,652 45,645
2004 10 *Bush, G. W. (R) 893,524 1,104,294 11,856

Democrat Dennis DeConcini won reelection to the US Senate in 1988; he retired in 1994, and his seat was won by Republican Jon Kyl, who was reelected in 2000. Republican John McCain was reelected senator in 1992, 1998, and 2004; McCain ran for the presidency in 2000 but dropped his bid. Following the November 1994 election, Arizona's delegation of US Representatives went from three Democrats and three Republicans to one Democrat and five Republicans; in the 109th Congress (200506), Arizona's congressional delegation was made up of six Republicans and two Democrats in the House. Arizonans elected a Democrat, Janet Napolitano, as governor in 2002; she was the first female governor to be elected back-to-back behind another female governor, Jane Dee Hull. In 2005, Arizona's state legislature consisted of 18 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the Senate, and 39 Republicans and 21 Democrats in the state House. In 2003 there were 25 women serving in the state legislature.


Each of Arizona's 15 counties has a sheriff, county attorney, county recorder, treasurer, assessor, superintendent of schools, and three or five supervisors, each elected to a four-year term. Counties act as agents of the state.

Other local governmental units are cities, charter cities, and towns (communities with populations under 3,000). Towns generally follow the council-mayor form of government. All of Arizona's largest cities are charter cities. In 2005, there were 87 municipal governments and 305 special districts. The state had 410 school districts.

Each of the 21 Indian reservations in Arizona has a tribal coun-cil or board with members elected by the people.

In 2005, local government accounted for about 212,570 full-time (or equivalent) employment positions.


To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in Arizona operates under the authority of the governor; the emergency management director heads the Arizona Office of Homeland Security and is appointed by the governor.

The Arizona Department of Education regulates the school system. The Arizona Board of Regents governs the state's three public universities. A commission for postsecondary education provides students with financial aid, and school information. The Department of Transportation administers the state's highway and air-transport systems, among other functions. The Department of Financial Institutions supervises the financial institutions and enterprises of the state.

The Department of Health Services operates programs for environmental health, behavioral health (including alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and mental-illness treatment facilities), and family health services. The National Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, while prisons and rehabilitation programs are administered by the State Department of Corrections. The Department of Public Safety oversees the state highway patrol.

Natural resources are the responsibility of several agencies, including the Game and Fish Commission, Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Parks Board, and Department of Water Resources. The Department of Economic Security handles employment services and public-assistance programs.


The Supreme Court is the highest court in Arizona and has administrative responsibility over all other courts in the state. The five supreme court justices, appointed by the governor for staggered six-year terms, choose a chief justice and vice-chief justice to preside over the court.

The Court of Appeals, established in 1964, is organized in two geographical divisions which together have 22 judges. Appeals court judges are appointed for terms of six years.

The superior court is the general trial court of the state, and there must be at least one superior court judge in every Arizona county. In 1999, there were 136 superior court judges, plus 2 part-time judges, in the state's 15 counties. In counties with populations over 150,000, superior court judges are appointed by the governor; they hold office for terms ending 60 days following the next regular general election after expiration of a two-year term. Those seeking retention run at the next general election on a nonpartisan ballot. In counties with a population under 150,000, superior court judges are elected by nonpartisan ballot to four-year terms.

Counties are divided into precincts, each of which has a justice court. Every incorporated city and town has a police court. The jurisdiction of justice courts and police courts is limited to minor civil and criminal cases. Local judges are elected for terms of four years.

As of 31 December 2004, a total of 32,515 prisoners were held in Arizona's state and federal prisons, an increase (from 31,170) of 4.3% from the previous year. As of year-end 2004, a total of 2,765 inmates were female, up (from 2,656) 4.1% from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (one year or more), Arizona had an incarceration rate of 534 per 100,000 population in 2004.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Arizona in 2004 had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 504.1 reported incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 28,952 reported incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft; and motor vehicle theft) that same year totaled 306,747 reported incidents or 5,340.5 reported incidents per 100,000 people. Arizona has a death penalty, which can be carried out by lethal injection or lethal gas, depending upon the prisoner's request. However, if the inmate was sentenced prior to 15 November 1992, execution is by lethal gas. From 1976 through 5 May 2006 the state executed 22 persons. As of May 2006, the most recent had been in November 2000. As of 1 January 2006, there were 125 inmates on death row.

In 2003, Arizona spent $258,260,247 on homeland security, an average of $49 per state resident.


In 2004, 27,026 active-duty federal military personnel were stationed at five military installations in Arizona, with 5,319 National Guard, and 6,140 civilian employees in the state. Major military installations include the Army's Fort Huachuca at Sierra Vista, with the most military personnel in the state, 7,016. The Air Force's Williams base near Phoenix closed in 1993, but remaining are the Luke and Davis-Monthan bases, near Phoenix and Tucson, respectively. There is also the Marine Corps' Yuma Air Station. Defense Department expenditures in Arizona were approximately $11.0 billion in 2004, $8.4 billion for contracts (sixth in the nation), and about $2.6 billion for payroll, including retired military pay.

There were 555,223 veterans of US military service in Arizona as of 2003, of whom 84,587 served in World War II; 66,564 in the Korean conflict; 155,908 during the Vietnam era; and 83,907 in the Gulf War. On 10 September 1992, Nathan E. Cook, the last veteran of the Spanish-American War (18981902), died in Phoenix at the age of 106. In 2004, total Veterans Affairs expenditures amounted to $1.4 billion.

As of 31 October 2004, the Arizona Department of Public Safety employed 1,133 full-time sworn officers.


Arizona's first migrants were the ancient peoples who came from Asia across the Bering Strait more than 12,000 years ago. Hispanic settlers began arriving in the late 17th century. Anglo migration, especially from the South, became significant as the United States developed westward to California, and increased at an even faster rate with the building of the railroads during the 1880s. Migration has accelerated since World War II (193945), and Arizona showed a net gain of 519,000 in domestic migration and 96,000 in international migration from 1990 to 1998. Mexico is the main source of foreign immigrants. In the 1980s, half of Arizona's total population increase was from migration; about 530,000 persons moved there during that time. By 1998, Arizona's Hispanic pop-ulation numbered 963,000; those of Hispanic origin numbered 1,034,000. In 1998, 6,211 immigrants from foreign countries arrived in Arizona, of whom 3,209 were from Mexico. Arizona's total population increased 27.4% between 1990 and 1998. In the period 200005, net international migration was 168,078 and net internal migration was 408,160, for a net gain of 576,238 people.


Arizona is a signatory to a boundary agreement with California (1963) and Nevada; and to such interstate accords as the Colorado River Compact, Desert Pacific Economic Region Compact, Interstate Compact for Juveniles, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact, Upper Colorado River Basin Compact, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Wildlife Violator Compact, and Western Interstate corrections, nuclear, and education compacts.

The most important federal project in the state has been the Central Arizona Project, approved by Congress in 1968 and designed to divert water from the Colorado River to the Phoenix and Tucson areas for agriculture, energy, and other purposes. Federal grants totaled $6.617 billion in fiscal year 2005, an estimated $7.156 billion in fiscal year 2006, and an estimated $7.631 billion in fiscal year 2007.


Mining and cattle-raising were the principal economic activities in Arizona during the territorial period. With the introduction of irrigation in the early 1900s, farming assumed a greater importance. Improvements in transportation later in the 20th century led to the development of manufacturing and tourism.

Arizona's economy compiled an impressive growth record during the 1970s and early 1980s. Between 1973 and 1983, the state population increased by 39% (fourth in the United States). Nonfarm wage and salary employment grew by 49% (fifth in the United States), and total personal income by 218% (sixth in the United States). Overexpansion brought a slowdown in the late 1980s, and in the national recession of 1991, Arizona's annual job creation rate dropped from 3% to 0. However, economic recovery was rapid and Arizona's annual job creation rate rose to a peak of about 8% in 1994 and continued above 4% until the recession of 2001, when job growth turned negative, and only grew 0.2% in 2002. In addition to substantial layoffs in the manufacturing, transportation and utilities, and finance, insurance, and real estate sectors, the state budget crunch prompted scheduled layoffs in the government for fiscal 2004. Total assets in Arizona's financial institutions, which had grown from $38.8 billion in September 1998 to $65.3 billion by September 2001 (+68.3%), fell to $46.8 billion (28.3%) as of September 2002.

In 2004, state gross product (GSP) totaled $199.953 billion, of which the real estate sector accounted for the largest single portion at $26.327, or 13% of GSP. This was followed by manufacturing, at $23.55 billion (11.7% of GSP); healthcare services, at $13.382 billion (6.7% of GSP); and construction, at $12.273 billion (6% of GSP). Small businesses account for a large portion of Arizona's employed workforce. In 2004, of the 110,153 businesses with employees, 97.2% of that total, or 107,018, consisted of small businesses. For that same year, a total of 12,421 new businesses were formed, down 6.8% from 2003. Business terminations totaled 17,553 in 2004, up 13.3% from the previous year, although business bankruptcies fell 31.5% to 480 in that year. Personal bankruptcy filing rates in 2005 ranked the state around the middle nationally. In that year, the personal bankruptcy filing rate (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) came to 570 filings per 100,000 people, putting the state 23rd.


In 2005 Arizona had a gross state product (GSP) of $216 billion, which accounted for 1.7% of the nation's gross domestic product and placed the state at number 22 in highest GSP among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004 Arizona had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $28,658. This ranked 39th in the United States and was 87% of the national average of $33,050. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was 4.1%. Arizona had a total personal income (TPI) of $164,495,305,000, which ranked 22nd in the United States and reflected an increase of 8.4% from 2003. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of TPI was 7.3%. Earnings of persons employed in Arizona increased from $114,663,260,000 in 2003 to $125,262,159,000 in 2004, an increase of 9.2%. The 200304 national change was 6.3%.

The US Census Bureau reports that the three-year average median household income for 200204 in 2004 dollars was $42,590, compared to a national average of $44,473. During the same period an estimated 13.8% of the population was below the poverty line, as compared to 12.4% nationwide.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006 the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in Arizona numbered 2,948,600, with approximately 127,600 workers unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 4.3%, compared to the national average of 4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period placed nonfarm employment at 2,612,600. Since the beginning of the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in Arizona was 11.5% in February 1983. The historical low was 3.9% in December 2000. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 8.1% of the labor force was employed in construction; 7.0% in manufacturing; 19.4% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 6.8% in financial activities; 15.0% in professional and business services; 10.8% in education and health services; 10.2% in leisure and hospitality services; and 15.5% in government.

Organized labor has a long history in Arizona. A local of the Western Federation of Miners was founded in 1896, and labor was a powerful force at the constitutional convention in 1910. Nevertheless, the state's workforce is much less organized than that of the nation as a whole.

The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2005, a total of 145,000 of Arizona's 2,366,000 employed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. This represented 6.1% of those so employed, down from 6.3% in 2004 and well below the national average of 12%. Overall in 2005, a total of 181,000 workers (7.7%) in Arizona were covered by a union or employee association contract, which includes those workers who reported no union affiliation. Arizona is one of 22 states with a right-to-work law.

As of 1 March 2006, Arizona did not have a state-mandated minimum wage law, leaving employees in that state covered under federal minimum wage statutes. In 2004, women in the state accounted for nearly 45% of the employed civilian labor force.


Arizona's agricultural output (including livestock products) was valued at $3.18 billion in 2005 (29th in the United States). Cash receipts from crops alone amounted to $1.7 billion.

In 2004, there were about 10,200 farms covering 24.7 million acres (10.7 million hectares), or about 39% of the state's total area, but only 1,961,000 acres (389,000 hectares), or 1.3% of the state, were actually farmed for crops. Arizona's farmed cropland is intensely cultivated and highly productive. In 2004, Arizona was second among all states in cotton yield per acre (1,371 lb per acre). About 95% of all farmland is dependent on irrigation provided by dams and water projects.

Cotton is the leading cash crop in Arizona. In 2004 the state produced 680,000 bales of Upland cotton on 238,000 acres (96,000 hectares), with a total value of $163,200,000. Arizona also produced 6,000 bales of American-Pima cotton on 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares) valued at $2,857,000. Vegetables, especially head lettuce, accounted for a value of $858,010,000 in 2004. Hay is also an important item; total hay production was 2,119,000 tons in 2004, for a value of $208,269,000. Other crops are wheat, sorghum, barley, grapes, and citrus fruits.


The total inventory of cattle and calves was an estimated 910,000 in 2005, with a value of $928.2 million. In 2005, the state had an estimated 100,000 sheep and lambs. In 2004, the state had 136,000 hogs and pigs valued at $14.9 million.

A total of 3.5 billion lb (1.6 billion kg) of milk was produced in 2003.


Arizona has no commercial fishing. Sports fishing, however, is popular with residents and tourists. In 2004, the state had about 361,958 licensed sport fishermen. The Alchesay and the Williams Creek National Fish Hatcheries, located on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in east central Arizona, have played a leading role in the recovery of the threatened Apache trout. Rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout are raised for stocking, primarily on American Indian lands in Arizona, western New Mexico, and southern Colorado. The coldwater Willow Beach National Hatchery, located downriver from Hoover Dam on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, raises rainbow trout. Approximately 750,000 trout are stocked annually in the Colorado River. The Pinetop Fish Health Center is a federally sponsored research and technology center.


The lumber industry in Arizona began during the 19th century, when the building of the transcontinental railroad created a demand for railroad ties. Production of lumber from Arizona's forests remained strong until the 1990s, when the primary emphasis shifted to conservation and recreation. Lumber production in 2004 was 65 million board feet.

The main forest regions stretch from the northwest to the southeast, through the center of the state. Altogether, in 2003 there were 19,427,000 acres (7,862,000 hectares) of forestland in Arizona, over 25% of the state's area and 2.6% of total US forestland. Commercial timberland accounted for only 3,527,000 acres (1,427,000 hectares). National forests covered 11,891,000 acres (4,812,000 hectares) as of 2003. Lumber production remains an important emphasis on the Kaibab, Coconino, and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, and on the Hualapai, Navajo, Ft. Apache, and San Carlos Apache Indian Reservations. The Rodeo-Chediski fire in 2002 burned over 400,000 acres (162,000 hectares).


Arizona ranked third in nonfuel mineral production by value in 2004. According to the US Geological Survey, nonfuel mineral production in Arizona during 2004 was valued at $3.3 billion, up almost 53% from the 2003s total of $2.18 billion, and up 11.8% from 2002 to 2003. Copper represented about 64% of the nonfuel mineral production by value in 2004, followed by construction sand and gravel, molybdenum concentrates, portland cement, crushed stone, and lime. The sharp increases in nonfuel mineral output by value mostly reflected increasing prices for copper and molybdenum, and to a lesser extent increases in construction sand and gravel, portland cement, and crushed stone. Copper output by volume in 2004, actually fell by around 2.5%, and molybdenum concentrate production increased only 2% that same year, although by value, output was over three times that of 2003.

Production and values in 2004 for the principal minerals are as follows: copper, 723,000 metric tons ($2.13 billion); construction sand and gravel, 79.6 million metric tons ($430 million); and crushed stone, 11.1 million metric tons ($57.2 million).

Arizona continued to lead the country in copper and molybdenum concentrate production in 2004, producing over 62% of all copper mined and produced in the United States. Arizona also ranked second in gemstones (by value); third in perlite, and in construction sand and gravel. The state ranked seventh in silver output and tenth in gold production.

Population growth and freeway construction projects in metropolitan Phoenix have contributed to Arizona's ranking as the nation's third-largest producer of sand and gravel.


As of 2003, Arizona had 45 electrical power service providers, of which 28 were publicly owned and 9 were cooperatives. Of the remainder, three were federally operated, while five were investor owned. As of that same year there were over 2.422 million retail customers. Of that total, over 1,381,302 received their power from the state's five investor-owned service providers. Cooperatives accounted for 148,880 customers, while publicly owned providers had 872,381 customers.

Total net summer generating capability by the state's electrical generating plants in 2003 stood at 25.510 million kW, with total production that same year at 94.396 billion kWh. Of the total amount generated, 85.1% came from electric utilities, with the remainder from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. The largest portion of all electric pow-er generated, 38.091 billion kWh (40.4%), came from coal-fired plants, with nuclear fueled plants in second place, at 28.851 billion kWh (30.3%).

As of 2006, Arizona had one nuclear power-generating plant, the three unit Palo Verde facility near Wintersburg in Maricopa County.

Arizona's fossil-fuel potential remains largely undeveloped, though oil and natural-gas exploration began in the 1980s. As of 2004, the state had proven crude oil reserves of less than 1% of all US reserves, while output that same year averaged 142 barrels per day, most of which came from so-called "stripper wells," wells that produce under 10 barrels per day. Including federal off shore domains, Arizona that year ranked 31st (30th excluding federal off shore) among the 31 producing states. In 2004 the state had 18 producing oil wells and accounted for less than 1% of all US production. As of 2005, there were no refineries in Arizona.

In 2004, Arizona had six producing natural gas and gas condensate wells. In that same year, marketed gas production (all gas produced excluding gas used for repressuring, vented and flared, and nonhydrocarbon gases removed) totaled 331 million cu ft (9.4 million cu m). There is no data on the state's proven reserves of natural gas.

Arizona in 2004, had two producing coal mines, both of which were surface operations. Coal production that year totaled 12,731,000 short tons, up from 12,059,000 short tons in 2003.

Energy resource development in the state is encouraged by the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and Department of Water Resources.


Manufacturing, which has grown rapidly since World War II (193945), became the state's leading economic activity in the 1970s. Factors contributing to this growth included a favorable tax structure, available labor, plentiful electric power, and low land costs. The major manufacturing centers are the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

According to the US Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, Arizona's manufacturing sector covered some 17 product subsectors. The shipment value of all products manufactured in the state that same year was $41.644 billion. Of that total, the manufacturing of computer and electric products accounted for the largest portion, at $11.587 billion. It was followed by the manufacture of transportation equipment at $9.437 billion, fabricated metal products at $3.208 billion, and food manufacturing at $3.146 billion.

In 2004, a total of 158,004 people in Arizona were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 95,923 were production workers. In terms of total employment, the transportation equipment manufacturing sector accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees at 30,334, with 12,981 actual production workers. It was followed by computer and electronic product manufacturing, with 27,129 employees (12,357 actual production workers); fabricated metal product manufacturing at 17,218 employees (12,230 actual production workers); wood product manufacturing with 10,508 employees (7,809 actual production workers); and food manufacturing at 9,386 employees (6,824 actual production workers).

ASM data for 2004 showed that Arizona's manufacturing sector paid $7.240 billion in wages. Of that amount, the transportation equipment manufacturing sector accounted for the largest portion at $1.994 billion. It was followed by computer and electronic product manufacturing at $880.272 million and fabricated metal product manufacturing at $688.006 million.

Principal manufacturers of electronic and technology-intensive equipment in Arizona include: Motorola, Allied Signal Aerospace, Honeywell, Hughes Missile Systems Co., and Intel. Intel expanded its operations in Arizona with the construction of a $1.3 billion plant in 1994. While high-tech manufacturing actually declined in Arizona in 1998 and early 1999, in part because of the Asian financial crisis, the state's low-tech manufacturing improved.


According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, Arizona's wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $60.9 billion from 6,651 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 4,154 establishments, followed by nondurable goods wholesalers at 1,950, and electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 547 establishments. Sales data for durable and nondurable goods wholesalers, as well as for electronic markets, agents, and brokers, was unavailable. Most wholesale establishments were concentrated in Maricopa and Pima counties.

In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, Arizona was listed as having 17,238 retail establishments, with sales of $56.4 billion. The leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were: miscellaneous store retailers (2,463); clothing and clothing accessories stores (2,426); motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers (1,966); and gasoline stations (1,866). In terms of sales, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts stores accounted for the largest share of retail sales, at $16.05 billion, followed by food and beverage stores at $8.1 billion; gasoline stations at $4.9 billion; and building material/garden equipment and supplies dealers at $3.7 billion. A total of 268,584 people were employed by the retail sector in Arizona that year.

Exporters located in Arizona exported $14.9 billion in merchandise during 2005.


Consumer protection in Arizona is the responsibility of the Public Advocacy Division of the state's Office of the Attorney General. Under the state's Consumer Fraud Act, the Arizona attorney general has primary enforcement powers regarding consumer protection, although enforcement may be delegated to County Attorneys. In addition, private citizens, under the Consumer Fraud Act, may also initiate legal action within one year from the date, from which the claim arises.

When dealing with consumer protection issues, the state's attorney general can initiate civil (but not criminal) proceedings, and is responsible for the administration of consumer protection and education programs and the handling of consumer complaints. However, the Attorney General's Office cannot represent the state before state regulatory agencies and has limited subpoena powers that can only be used in antitrust actions. In those actions, the attorney general can act on behalf of those consumers who are incapable of acting on their own; can initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts; can initiate criminal proceedings; and can represent counties, cities, and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under state or federal law.

The Attorney General's Office has locations in Phoenix and Tucson. County Attorney's Offices are located in the cities of Clifton, Flagstaff, Florence, Globe, Holbrook, Kingman, Nogales, Parker, Prescott, Safford, St. Johns, and Yuma.


As of June 2005, Arizona had 51 insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, along with 28 state-chartered and 35 federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding the CUs, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale market area had 65 financial institutions in 2004, followed by Tucson at 21, Prescott at 12, Yuma at 9, and Flagstaff at 8. As of June 2005, CUs accounted for 12.8% of all assets held by all financial institutions in the state, or some $10.841 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the remaining 87.2% or $74.020 billion in assets held.

Arizona has a high percentage of new banking institutions. As of the fourth quarter of 2005, 11 were less than 3 years old. For the same period, the median net interest margin (the difference between the lower rates offered to savers and the higher rates charged on loans) was 5.38%. The state's median annualized return on average assets (ROA) ratio (the measure of earnings in relation to all resources) was 1.19%.

State-chartered financial institutions in Arizona are regulated by the Department of Banking. Nationally or federally chartered financial institutions either are under the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (banks), the Office of Thrift Supervision, or the National Credit Union Administration. Federally regulated institutions in Arizona include the Bank of America, Bank One, Wells Fargo Bank, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, and Arizona Federal Credit Union.


In 2004 there were 1.79 million individual life insurance policies in force with a total value of $203.9 billion; total value for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit) was $309 billion. The average coverage amount was $113,800 per policy holder. Death benefits paid that year totaled $874 million.

As of 2003, there were 50 property and casualty and 262 life and health insurance companies incorporated or organized in the state. Direct premiums for property and casualty insurance amounted to $7.5 billion in 2004. That year, there were 29,078 flood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value of $4.97 billion.

In 2004, 48% of state residents held employment-based health insurance policies, 6% held individual policies, and 27% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 17% of residents were uninsured. In 2003, employee contributions for employment-based health coverage averaged at 18% for single coverage and 30% for family coverage. For family coverage, an average employee contribution rate of 30% was one of the highest in the country. Arizona does not offer extended health benefits in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), a health insurance extension program for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.

In 2003, there were over 3.3 million auto insurance policies in effect for private passenger cars. Required minimum coverage includes bodily injury liability of up to $25,000 per individual and $30,000 for all persons injured, as well as property damage liability of $10,000. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was $920.38.

The Department of Insurance regulates the state's insurance industry and examines and licenses agents, and brokers.


The Arizona Stock Exchange (AZX), originally established by Steve Wunsch in 1990 as the Wunsch Auction System, was an electronic call market that traded equity securities, including many Arizona-based companies. However, the AZX closed in 2001 due to lack of volume.

In 2005, there were 2,590 personal financial advisers employed in the state. In 2004, there were over 133 publicly traded companies within the state, with over 45 NASDAQ companies, 17 NYSE listings, and 7 AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had four Fortune 500 companies; Avnet (Phoenix) ranked first in the state and 212th in the nation with revenues of over $11 billion, followed by Phelps Dodge (Phoenix), Allied Waste Industries (Scottsdale), and US Airways Group (Tempe), all of which are NYSE companies. PetSmart (Phoenix), a NASDAQ listing, made the Fortune 1,000 list, at 518th in the nation.


The governor's budgets are prepared in the Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting (OSPB). During the 1990's, Arizona moved from an annual to a biennial budget format. Agency requests are submitted to the OSPB by September 1, and agency hearings are held in November and December. The governor's budget is submitted in January and the legislature is expected to pass the budget in the period January to April. With rebounding tourism dollars, cost cutting, and strong population increases Arizona's fiscal picture has improved. Fiscal year 2006 general funds were estimated at nearly $9.3 billion for resources and $8.2 billion for expenditures. In fiscal year 2004, federal government grants to Arizona were $8.3 billion. For fiscal year 2007, federal funding for border station improvements was authorized, as was increased funding for research on water purification technology under the Water 2025 program.


In 2005, Arizona collected $11,008 million in tax revenues, or $1,854 per capita, which placed it 40th among the 50 states in per capita tax burden. The national average was $2,192 per capita. Property taxes accounted for 3.4% of the total; sales taxes, 47.3%; selective sales taxes, 13.5%; individual income taxes, 25.9%; corporate income taxes, 6.4%; and other taxes 3.5%.

As of 1 January 2006, Arizona had five individual income tax brackets ranging from 2.87% to 5.04%. The state taxes corporations at a flat rate of 6.968%.

In 2004, state and local property taxes amounted to $4,867,990,000, or $848 per capita. The per capita amount ranks the state 35th highest nationally. Local governments collected $4,521,563,000 of the total and the state government, $346,427,000.

Arizona taxes retail sales at a rate of 5.60%. In addition to the state tax, local taxes on retail sales can reach as high as 4.50%, making for a potential total tax on retail sales of 10.10%. Food purchased for consumption off-premises is tax exempt. The tax on cigarettes is 118 cents per pack, which ranks 16th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Arizona taxes gasoline at 18 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.

According to the Tax Foundation, for every federal tax dollar sent to Washington in 2004, Arizona citizens received $1.30 in federal spending.

ArizonaState Government Finances
(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)
Abbreviations and symbols: - zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available; (X) not applicable.
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Division, 2004 Survey of State Government Finances, January 2006.
Total Revenue 23,753,397 4,138.22
  General revenue 18,949,181 3,301.25
   Intergovernmental revenue 6,987,389 1,217.32
   Taxes 9,606,318 1,673.57
     General sales 4,719,642 822.24
     Selective sales 1,351,095 235.38
     License taxes 289,803 50.49
     Individual income tax 2,315,865 403.46
     Corporate income tax 525,650 91.58
     Other taxes 404,263 70.43
   Current charges 1,169,721 203.78
   Miscellaneous general revenue 1,185,753 206.58
  Utility revenue 25,446 4.43
  Liquor store revenue - -
  Insurance trust revenue 4,778,770 832.54
Total expenditure 21,748,803 3,788.99
  Intergovernmental expenditure 7,544,080 1,314.30
  Direct expenditure 14,204,723 2,474.69
    Current operation 9,930,123 1,729.99
    Capital outlay 1,460,258 254.40
    Insurance benefits and repayments 2,179,136 379.64
    Assistance and subsidies 394,561 68.74
    Interest on debt 240,645 41.92
Exhibit: Salaries and wages 2,627,433 457.74
Total expenditure 21,748,803 3,788.99
  General expenditure 19,541,494 3,404.44
   Intergovernmental expenditure 7,544,080 1,314.30
   Direct expenditure 11,997,414 2,090.14
  General expenditures, by function:
   Education 7,149,182 1,245.50
   Public welfare 5,162,214 899.34
   Hospitals 59,012 10.28
   Health 1,133,082 197.40
   Highways 1,891,625 329.55
   Police protection 188,754 32.88
   Correction 790,485 137.72
   Natural resources 238,297 41.52
   Parks and recreation 167,668 29.21
   Government administration 484,420 84.39
   Interest on general debt 237,435 41.36
   Other and unallocable 2,039,320 355.28
  Utility expenditure 28,173 4.91
  Liquor store expenditure - -
  Insurance trust expenditure 2,179,136 379.64
Debt at end of fiscal year 6,773,923 1,180.13
Cash and security holdings 38,840,515 6,766.64


The Department of Commerce has primary responsibility for attracting business and industry to Arizona, aiding existing business and industry, and assisting companies engaged in international trade. Its programs emphasize job opportunities, energy conservation, support of small businesses, and development of the film industry. The Commerce and Economic Development Commission (CEDC), a six-member agency chaired by the director of the Department of Commerce, was established in 1989 as the state economic policy and planning board. Its budget is provided by two scratch games in the Arizona lottery. Economic development programs supported at least in part by the state include the Arizona Enterprise Zone (EZ) Program, which offers tax reductions and exemptions for investment in areas where poverty and/or unemployment are high; the Military Reuse Zone (MRZ) program, established 1992, which offers incentives for investments to retool military installations for civilian use; the Tucson Empowerment Zone Tax Incentive Plan, a $17 billion tax incentive program designed after Tucson won designation by the federal government as an empowerment zone; the Arizona Job Training Program, which designs job training programs; the Economic Strengths Program (ESP), which provides grants for road construction; Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA); the Waste Reduction Initiative Through Education (WRITE); the Private Activity Bonds (PAB) Program, which in 1986 replaced the Industrial Development Bond Program, and which offers finance in favorable terms for the construction of industrial and manufacturing facilities, student loans, housing, private utility projects, and some municipal projects; the Lease Excise Tax Program, which offered tax abatements to businesses that lease, rather than own, city property; and the IT Training Tax Credit, which offered training for up to 20 employees in information technology (IT) skills. As of 2006, the state had also designated seven Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs), which were accorded treatment as territory outside of the state's tax jurisdiction. Other tax incentives offered by Arizona include a 10% Pollution Control Tax credit on real and personal property used to control pollution; a schedule of tax credits for research and development expenditures; and accelerated depreciation for capital investments.


The infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 6.9 per 1,000 live births. The birth rate in 2003 was 16.3 per 1,000 population, the third-highest in the nation (following Utah and Texas). The abortion rate stood at 16.5 per 1,000 women in 2000. In 2003, about 76.6% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. In 2004, approximately 79% of children received routine immunizations before the age of three.

The crude death rate in 2003 was 7.8 deaths per 1,000 population. As of 2002, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000 resident population) were: heart disease, 198.9; cancer, 171.5; cerebrovascular diseases, 46.5; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 47.2; and diabetes, 22.6. The mortality rate from HIV infection was 3 per 100,000 population. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate was at about 9.8 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 54.1% of the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2004, about 18.5% of state residents were smokers.

In 2003, Arizona had 61 community hospitals with about 10,800 beds. There were about 603,000 patient admissions that year and 6.7 million outpatient visits. The average daily inpatient census was about 7,300 patients. The average cost per day for hospital care was $1,570. Also in 2003, there were about 135 certified nursing facilities in the state, with 16,451 beds and an overall occupancy rate of about 80.5%. In 2004, it was estimated that about 68.6% of all state residents had received some type of dental care within the year. Arizona had 225 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2004 and 522 nurses per 100,000 in 2005. In 2004, there was a total of 2,976 dentists in the state.

About 27% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare programs in 2004. Approximately 17% of the state population was uninsured in 2004. In 2003, state healthcare expenditures totaled $5.5 million.


In 2004, about 96,000 people received unemployment benefits with the average weekly unemployment benefit at $177. In fiscal year 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the food stamp program included about 550,291 persons (220,498 households); the average monthly benefit was about $95.98 per person. That year, the total benefits paid through the state for the food stamp program was about $633.8 million.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system of federal welfare assistance that officially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each state. Arizona's TANF program is called EMPOWER (Employing and Moving People Off Welfare and Encouraging Responsibility). In 2004, the state program had 115,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on the TANF program totaled $175 million in fiscal year 2003.

In December 2004, Social Security benefits were paid to 888,460 Arizona residents. This number included 578.590 retired workers, 76,490 widows and widowers, 114,250 disabled workers, 49,760 spouses, and 69,370 children. Social Security beneficiaries represented 15.5% of the total state population and 86.3% of the state's population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average monthly payment of $973; widows and widowers, $930; disabled workers, $924; and spouses, $482. Payments for children of retired workers averaged $467 per month; children of deceased workers, $605; and children of disabled workers, $262. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments in December 2004 went to 94,400 Arizona residents, averaging $406 a month. An additional $23,000 in state-administered supplemental payments was distributed to 457 residents.


In 2004, there were an estimated 2,458,231 housing units, of which 2,131,534 were occupied. In the same year, 68.7% of all housing units were owner-occupied. It was estimated that about 101,678 units statewide were without telephone service, 14,897 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 11,543 lacked complete kitchen facilities. About 59% of all units were single-family detached homes; about 13.2% were mobile homes. The average household had 2.64 members.

From 1980 to 1990, the housing boom in Arizona caused the number of housing units to increase by 55%. About 27.6% of all housing structures in Arizona were built in 1995 or later. In 2004, the median value of a home was $145,741. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,130; the median cost monthly cost for renters was $691. Approximately 90,600 new units were authorized in 2004. In September 2005, the state was awarded grants of over $2 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for rural housing and economic development programs. For 2006, HUD allocated to the state over $12.1 million in community development block grants.


In 2004, 84.4% of Arizonans 25 years old and over were high school graduates. Some 28% had obtained a bachelor's degree or higher.

The first public school in the state opened in 1871 at Tucson, with 1 teacher and 138 students. In the fall of 2002, total enrollment in public schools was 938,000. Of these, 660,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 277,000 attended high school. Approximately 49.2% of the students were white, 4.8% were black, 37.2% were Hispanic, 2.2% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 6.6% were American Indian/Alaskan Native. Total enrollment was estimated at 949,000 in fall 2003 and expected to be 1,074,000 by fall 2014, an increase of 14.5% during the period 200214. There were 46,366 students enrolled in 292 private schools in fall 2003. Expenditures for public education in 2003/04 were estimated at $6.7 billion or $6,036 per student, the third-lowest among the 50 states. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. The resulting report, The Nation's Report Card, stated that in 2005 eighth graders in Arizona scored 274 out of 500 in mathematics compared with the national average of 278.

As of fall 2002, there were 401,605 students enrolled in college or graduate school; minority students comprised 28.8% of total postsecondary enrollment. As of 2005, Arizona had 74 degree-granting institutions. The leading public higher educational institutions, the University of Arizona at Tucson and Arizona State University (originally named the Arizona Territorial Normal School) at Tempe, were both established in 1885. Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management, a private institution, is located in Glendale.


The Arizona Commission on the Arts was established as a permanent state agency in 1967. The Arizona Humanities Council was established in 1973. In 2005, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded 18 grants totaling $977,400 to Arizona arts organizations; the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded 11 grants totaling $1,241,940. State arts programs are also supported by the Arizona Arts Endowment Fund (also called Arizona ArtShare), which was established in 1996. Arizona is also a member state of the Western States Art Federation (WESTAF).

Arizona has traditionally been a center for American Indian folk arts and crafts. The Arizona State Museum (Tucson), Colorado River Indian Tribes Museum (Parker), Heard Museum of Anthropology and Primitive Art (Phoenix), Mohave Museum of History and Arts (Kingman), Navajo Tribal Museum (Window Rock), and Pueblo Grande Museum (Phoenix) all display Indian creations, both historic and contemporary. Modern Arizona artists are featured at the Tucson Museum of Art and the Yuma Art Center.

Musical and dramatic performances are presented in Phoenix, Tucson, Scottsdale, and other major cities. One of Arizona's oldest arts organization and one of the longest-running theaters nationwide, the Phoenix Theatre celebrated its 85th season in 2005. Ballet Arizona, based in Phoenix, celebrated 20 years of performance during its 2005/06 season. The Arizona Opera Company and the Arizona Theatre Company perform both in Tucson and Phoenix. As of 2006, there were two major orchestras, the Phoenix Symphony, founded in 1947, and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1928, one of the oldest symphonies in the Southwest. The annual Grand Canyon Music Festival (est. 1984) features the finest in both classical and folk music.


For the fiscal year ending in June 2001, Arizona had 35 public library systems, with a total of 176 libraries, of which 148 were branches. Also that year, the system had a combined book and serial publications stock of 8,760,000 volumes, and a total circulation of 33,066,000. The system also had 364,000 audio and 484,000 video items, 38,000 electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks), and 15 bookmobiles. Principal public libraries included the Phoenix Public Library and the State Library and Department of Archives in Phoenix, and the Arizona Historical Society Library in Tucson. The largest university libraries are located at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Total operating income for the public library system amounted to $118,286,000 in fiscal year 2001, including $682,000 in federal grants and $652,000 in state grants.

Arizona has more than 120 museums and historic sites. Attractions in Tucson include the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona Museum of Art, Arizona Historical Society, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Flandreau Planetarium, and Gene C. Reid Zoological Park. Phoenix has the Heard Museum (anthropology and primitive art), Arizona Mineral Resources Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Zoo, Pueblo Grande Museum, and Desert Botanical Garden. The Museum of Northern Arizona and Lowell Observatory are in Flagstaff. Kitt Peak National Observatory is in Tucson.

Archaeological and historical sites include the cliff dwellings at the Canyon de Chelly, Casa Grande Ruins, Montezuma Castle, Tonto, and Tuzigoot national monuments; the town of Tombstone, the site of the famous O. K. Corral gunfight in the early 1880s; and the restored mission church at Tumacacori National Monument and San Xavier del Bac Church near Tucson.


Over 91.8% of housing units had telephones in 2004. In addition, by June of that same year there were 3,079,657 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 64.3% of Arizona households had a computer and 55.2% had Internet access. By June 2005, there were 860,082 high-speed lines in Arizona, 783,322 residential and 76,760 for business. A total of 131,164 Internet domain names had been registered in Arizona as of 2000.

There were 70 major radio stations broadcasting in Arizona in 2005 (15 AM and 55 FM). The state also had 15 major television stations in 2005. In 1999, 59% of Phoenix's 1,390,750 television households received cable.


The Weekly Arizonian, started in 1859, was the first newspaper in the state. The Daily Arizona Miner, the state's first daily, was founded at Prescott in 1866. In 2004, The Arizona Republic was the 15th largest newspaper in the country, based on daily circulation rates. As of 2005 there were 10 morning dailies and 6 evening dailies; 11 dailies had Sunday editions.

The following table shows 2005 circulations for leading dailies:

Phoenix Arizona Republic (m,S) 413,268 530,751
Tucson Arizona Daily Star (m,S) 100,824 161,957
Citizen (e) 30,090

In 2005, there were 68 weekly publications in Arizona, including 29 paid weeklies, 27 free weeklies, and 12 combined weeklies. The total circulation of paid weeklies (180,610) and free weeklies (531,432) is 712,042. Tucson's Shopper, with a circulation of 328,149, ranked 20th in the nation among publications of its type.

Among the most notable magazines and periodicals published in Arizona were Phoenix Magazine, Phoenix Living, and Arizona Living, devoted to the local and regional life-style; American West, dedicated to the Western heritage; Arizona and the West, published quarterly by the University of Arizona Library in Tucson; and Arizona Highways, a beautifully illustrated monthly published by the Department of Transportation in Phoenix.


In 2006, there were over 2,880 nonprofit organizations registered within the state, of which about 2,069 were registered as charitable, educational, or religious organizations. Among the organizations headquartered in Arizona are the National Foundation for Asthma (Tucson), the American Bicycle Association (Chandler), the American Federation of Astrologers (Tempe), the American Rock Art Research Association (Tucson), the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Tucson), the Western National Parks Association (Tucson), the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America (Phoenix), Safari Club International (Tucson), and the United States Handball Association (Tucson). The national Fisher-Price Collector's Club is based in Mesa.

The National Native American Cooperative in Tucson and the Association of American Cultures serves local and national members who strive to preserve and promote interest in native arts and cultures. The desert Bluegrass Association is another regional arts association. The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix presents tours of the gardens and a museum as well as offering seminars on the flora of arid lands. Offices for the Messianic Jewish Movement International are based in Chandler.


Tourism and travel is a leading industry in Arizona. In 2004, tourism and travel accounted for more than $13.76 billion in direct sales. There were 27.8 million domestic visitors and 900,000 from overseas.

There are 22 national parks and monuments located entirely within Arizona. By far the most popular is Grand Canyon National Park. Petrified Forest National Park and Saguaro National Monument are also popular national parks. There are also 14 state parks that regularly attract over a million visitors per year.

Arizona offers excellent camping on both public and private land, and there are many farm vacation sites and dude ranches, particularly in the Tucson and Wickenburg areas. Popular for sightseeing and shopping are the state's American Indian reservations, particularly those of the Navaho and Hopi. Boating and fishing on Lake Mead, Lake Powell, Lake Mohave, Lake Havasu (people can revisit the original London Bridge), the Colorado River, and the Salt River lakes are also attractions. The Hoover Dam is located on the Arizona-Nevada border. The red rock country of Sedona is a popular destination. The nearby city of Jerome is a real ghost town. Winter visitors can ski and enjoy other winter sports in Flagstaff in an area called the Snow Bowl. Biosphere 2 in Oracle is another popular tourist attraction. Tourists interested in architecture can visit Frank Lloyd Wright's workshop, Taliesin West, in Carefree. In the late winter and early spring, many Major League Baseball teams conduct their spring training at camps in Arizona. Visitors can watch practice games and visit with the players. For auto racing fans, NASCAR also has a big presence in Arizona.


There are five major professional teams in Arizona, all in Phoenix: the Cardinals of the National Football League, the Suns of the National Basketball Association, the Coyotes of the National Hockey League, the Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. The Diamondbacks captured the World Series in 2001. There is a minor league hockey team, also in Phoenix. Several Major League Baseball teams hold spring training in Arizona, and there is a minor league team in Tucson, as well as several rookie league teams throughout the state. There is horse racing at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, and dog racing at Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma. Auto racing is held at Manzanita Raceway and International Raceway, in Phoenix. Phoenix International Raceway also hosts NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series events. Both Phoenix and Tucson have hosted tournaments on the Professional Golfers Association's nationwide tour.

The first organized rodeo that awarded prizes and charged admission was held in Prescott on 4 July 1988, and rodeos continue to be held throughout the state.

Both Arizona State and the University of Arizona joined the Pacific 10 Conference in 1978. The Sun Devils won the Rose Bowl in their first appearance in 1987, and also appeared in 1997. The Wildcats captured National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I baseball championships in 1975, 1980, and 1986, and the NCAA Division I men's basketball championship in 1997. The men's basketball team at the University of Arizona has reached the NCAA Tournament for 22 consecutive years. The Sun Devils won the baseball championship in 1981. College football's Fiesta Bowl is held annually at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, the home stadium for the Arizona State football team.

Other annual sporting events include the Thunderbird Balloon Classic in Scottsdale in November.


Although Arizona entered the Union relatively late (1912), many of it citizens have achieved national prominence, especially since World War II (193945). William H. Rehnquist (b.Wisconsin, 19242005) was appointed associate justice of the US Supreme Court in 1971 and chief justice in 1986; in 1981 Sandra Day O'Connor (b.Texas, 1930) became the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Arizona natives who became federal officeholders include Lewis Douglas (18941974), a representative who served as director of the budget in 193334 and ambassador to the Court of St. James's from 1947 to 1950; Stewart L. Udall (b.1920), secretary of the interior, 196169; and Richard B. Kleindienst (19232000), attorney general, 197273, who resigned during the Watergate scandal. Another native son was Carl T. Hayden (18771972), who served in the US House of Representatives from statehood in 1912 until 1927 and in the US Senate from 1927 to 1969, thereby setting a record for congressional tenure. Barry Goldwater (190998), son of a pioneer family, was elected to the US Senate in 1952, won the Republican presidential nomination in 1964, and returned to the Senate in 1968. His Republican colleague, John J. Rhodes (b.Kansas, 19162003), served in the US House of Representatives for 30 years and was House minority leader from 1973 to 1980. Raul H. Castro (b.Mexico, 1916), a native of Sonora, came to the United States in 1926, was naturalized, served as Arizona governor from 1975 to 1977, and has held several ambassadorships to Latin America. Morris K. Udall (192298), first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1960, contended for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976.

Prominent state officeholders include General John C. Frémont (b.Georgia, 181390), who was territorial governor of Arizona from 1878 to 1883, and George W. P. Hunt (18591934), who presided over the state constitutional convention in 1910 and was elected governor seven times during the early decades of statehood. Eusebio Kino (b.Italy, 1645?1711) was a pioneer Jesuit who introduced missions and European civilization to Arizona. Also important to the state's history and development were Charles D. Poston (18251902), who in the late 1850s promoted settlement and separate territorial status for Arizona; Chiricahua Apache leaders Cochise (1812?74) and Geronimo (18291909), who, resisting the forced resettlement of their people by the US government, launched a series of raids that occupied the Army in the Southwest for over two decades; Wyatt Earp (b.Illinois, 18481929), legendary lawman of Tombstone during the early 1880s; John C. Greenway (18721926), copper magnate and town builder who was a nominee on the Democratic ticket in 1924 for US vice president; and Frank Luke Jr. (18971918), a World War I flying ace who was the first American airman to receive the Medal of Honor.

Distinguished professional people associated with Arizona have included James Douglas (b.Canada, 18371918), metallurgist and developer of the Bisbee copper district; Percival Lowell (b.Massachusetts, 18551916), who built the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff; and Andrew Ellicott Douglass (b.Vermont, 18671962), astronomer, university president, and inventor of dendrochronology, the science of dating events and environmental variations through the study of tree rings and aged wood. Cesar Chavez (192793) was president of the United Farm Workers of America.

Writers whose names have been associated with Arizona include novelist Harold Bell Wright (b.New York, 18721944), who lived for an extended period in Tucson; Zane Grey (b.Ohio, 18751939), who wrote many of his Western adventure stories in his summer home near Payson; and Joseph Wood Krutch (b.Tennessee, 18931970), an essayist and naturalist who spent his last two decades in Arizona. Well-known performing artists from Arizona include singers Marty Robbins (192570), and Linda Ronstadt (b.1946). Joan Ganz Cooney (b.1929), president of the Children's Television Workshop, was one of the creators of the award-winning children's program, Sesame Street.


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ARIZONA. Situated on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, the forty-eighth state covers 113,956 square miles of arid terrain divided into three geographical provinces. The Colorado Plateau province, bounded by Utah to the north and the Mogollon Rim to the south, is a scenic combination of extensive forests, open grasslands, spiraling mesas, and stunning canyons, including the Grand Canyon. Streams crisscrossing the eroded country feed into the Little Colorado River, which flows northeast to the Colorado River. Cutting diagonally from the White Mountains in the northeast to the Sierra Estrella range in the central southwest is the Central Mountain province, characterized by elongated mountains that join the Sonora Desert province, which stretches southward to the Mexican border. Both of the southern provinces claim watersheds that drain into the Gila River, which flows westward to the Colorado River.

Indigenous Roots

Evidence indicates human habitation of the region at approximately twelve thousand years ago, with the ancient Anasazi Indians occupying the Plateau region above the Rim and the more technologically advanced Hohokam residing in the Gila Valley, where they engineered an extensive system of canal networks that ultimately attracted the attention of Jack Swilling, who founded the capital city of Phoenix in 1867.

By the time of the official Spanish Entrada in 1540, the majority of the native population was living in essentially four areas: the Moqui or present-day Hopi (possibly descendants of the Anasazi) and the Navajo resided north of the Little Colorado; the Walapai, Havasupai, Mohave, and Yuma nations along the Colorado River; the Yavapai and Apache in the central and eastern mountains; and the Pima and Papago (possible descendants of the Hohokam) located in the central river valleys.

Spanish and Mexican Era (1539–1846)

A rumor floating around European cities about seven Catholic fathers founding seven golden cities spurred Spanish interest in the region, particularly in the aftermath of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's colorful report on his trek from Florida to northern Sonora. In 1539, Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza dispatched Fray Marcos de Niza (Franciscan) and Esteban, a Moorish slave who had accompanied Cabeza de Vaca, to investigate the allegations. Following the course of the San Pedro River through eastern Arizona, the party eventually reached the Zuni villages in western New Mexico. After Esteban was slain by the natives, Fray Marcos returned to Mexico City, where he filed a report that led to the formation of a larger mission launched the following year and led by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, who captured the Zuni pueblos, then sent exploration parties westward to the Moqui villages and canyon country. Hernando de Alarcón simultaneously sailed up the Colorado River with Coronado's supply ships and explored the regions around present-day Yuma.

By 1690, Father Eusebio Kino and other Jesuit missionaries had introduced Christianity and cattle raising to the Piman-speaking people, conducted extensive explorations of the Santa Cruz and San Pedro Valleys, and followed the Gila River to its juncture with the Colorado. The Jesuits planted three missions: San Xavier del Bac (1700), San Cayetano del Tumacacori (1701), and San Gabriel de Guevavi (1701).

Arizona was popularly accorded its name following a silver strike known as Real de Arizonac on a ranchero near present-day Nogales in 1736. The discovery evoked controversy when its founders failed to report it to the Crown. Rumors spread that the Jesuits were behind the secrecy, setting in motion a list of conflicts that would lead Charles III to expel the order from the Spanish Empire entirely in 1767, following the Pima Revolt of 1751, which led to the founding of a presidio at Tubac as a means of quelling future uprisings. The first European American women arrived the following year, in 1752.

When Spanish ventures in southern Arizona fell under the threat of Apache attack, Charles III authorized the military to achieve by force what the missionaries had failed to accomplish with the Bible. Hugo O'Conor, an Irish mercenary under services to the Spanish Crown, was appointed Commandant-Inspector for the interior regions. In 1776, he relocated the Tubac presidio farther north on the Santa Cruz River, opposite the Pima village of Tucson.

Even that radical measure proved of little consequence in curbing Apache raids until Bernardo de Galvez became Viceroy of New Spain in 1786. Aware that the Apache were infinitely better schooled in the art of desert warfare than Spanish soldiers, he ordered that the raiders be persuaded to settle near the presidio, where they could be systematically debauched with alcohol.

In the midst of the newfound calm, the first cries for Mexican independence echoed across the south. The struggle, which lasted from 1810 to 1821, had virtually no impact on Arizona, since no resident participated in the fighting nor did the battlefields extend into the northern regions.

As a means of replenishing war-depleted coffers, the Mexican government opened the Santa Fe Trade in 1822. The first set of arrivals were mountain men and trappers like James Ohio Pattie, Jedediah S. Smith, William Sherley "Old Bill" Williams, Paulino Weaver, and others. Along with mapping most of the rivers, they systematically destroyed the ecological balance by their callous decimation of the beaver population.

The Mexico City government's hold over the area was so precarious that Colonel Stephen W. Kearny took Santa Fe on 18 August 1846 without firing a shot, before crossing Arizona en route to Mexico. The Mormon Battalion played a critical role in isolating locations for settlements that Salt Lake City planted across the northern regions, through the White Mountains and as far south as Gilbert. When the new civil government was established, Arizona was opaquely made part of the New Mexico Territory. Those areas south of the Gila River were acquired through the 1853 Gadsden Purchase.

Geographical proximity to California goldfields brought an estimated 60,000 hopefuls across Arizona during the next decade, many of whom retraced their steps after gold was discovered at the confluence of the Sacramento Wash and Colorado River in 1857. The previous year, the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company had reopened a number of old silver mines near Tubac. Miners and the entrepreneurs who came to mine them sparked a population increase that led to the founding of ferry services along the Colorado River and mercantile houses in most large settlements.

Beginning in 1856, residents began to petition Congress for a separate Arizona Territory under the rationale that the Santa Fe government was incapable of efficiently administering the western region. Four years of rejection led delegates from thirteen Arizona and New Mexico towns to form the Provisional Territory of Arizona. When the Southern states left the Union in 1861, a group of Southern sympathizers met at Mesilla and pledged loyalty to the Confederate States of America. Union forces arrived the following year and recaptured the area after minor clashes at Stanwix Station and Picacho Pass, the two westernmost battles of the Civil War (1861–1865). On 24 February 1863, President Abraham Lincoln affixed his signature to the Organic Act, which officially proclaimed the Territory of Arizona, with a north-south boundary line of 109degrees latitude, as opposed to the east-west line of 34 degrees longitude stipulated in the original documents.

The Territory of Arizona (1863–1912)

Mining, military, railroad building, and agricultural activities dominated the economic landscape during the early decades of the territorial era. Rich gold and silver discoveries, including the legendary silver bonanza at Tombstone in 1877, drew eastern investors to the area, a trend that found renewed vigor when the discovery of electricity gave new value to copper during the 1870s.

By 1880, copper was king, with mines operating at Ray, Clifton-Morenci, Jerome, Globe-Miami, Ajo, and Bisbee. Copper companies such as Phelps Dodge and the Arizona Copper Company built towns, short-line railroads, and a modern business and banking network, and they claimed political dominance in the legislature, which shifted locations with the territorial capital from Prescott (1865–1866) to Tucson (1867–1888) and back to Prescott (1888), before the capital was permanently located in Phoenix in 1889.

The threat of Navajo and Apache raiders led to the building of an excess of two dozen camps, forts, and supply depots by 1870. In 1863, renowned Colonel Kit Carson led a contingent of U.S. soldiers and Ute warriors on a mission to round up the Navajo. In the grim finale, approximately 8,000 Navajo were forced to take the Long Walk to the Bosque Redondo Reservation in New Mexico. When they were finally allowed to return to Arizona in 1868, little headway had been made toward curbing the Apache, whose resistance continued until the Chiricahua were forcibly relocated to Florida in 1886.

Completion of the first transcontinental railroad occurred when the Southern Pacific reached Tucson in 1880, sparking a decade of railroad building that facilitated troops, mail, and the agricultural activities taking place in the Salt River Valley. Cattle ranching and citrus were nascent industries destined to assume dominance, particularly after the completion of the Roosevelt Dam in 1911 granted Salt River Valley Ranches a stable source of water.

People kept pace with the promise, including a steady stream of health seekers, which led to the founding of tent cites that transformed into hospitals and fancy resorts in both Tucson and Phoenix.

Population increases put new fire to the growing movement for statehood. In 1902, the statehood issue was debated in Congress. An enabling act passed in 1910, leading to a convention in Phoenix that drafted a constitution and submitted it to Washington. After a recall provision was eliminated, President William H. Taft signed Arizona into the union on 14 February 1912.

Since Statehood

As the last contiguous state, Arizona was uniquely poised by both geography and social temperament to evolve into its current status as a classroom for the cyber-age. By 1912, years of isolation and perceived federal indifference had given way to an insular form of capitalism kept honest by low-density settlement patterns and paperless business transactions sealed by a handshake. Moneymaking enjoyed the reverence of a secular religion, with chance, change, and experimentation its primary tenets. Because the majority of local leaders were either first-generation heirs to pioneer fortunes built subsequent to the California Gold Rush or recent affluent arrivals seeking relief from various respiratory ailments, the rights of the individual most often took precedence over the general welfare, reducing social reform efforts to little more than a dull roar throughout most of the century.

When it became a state, Arizona's growth pattern essentially mirrored that of the nation, albeit with the deviance common to the built-in perks and special privilege explicit in solicited development. Land was plentiful, taxes were low, labor cheap, crime virtually nonexistent, and governmental restraint on free enterprise minimal and never vigorously enforced. Local boosters touted potential and investors took notice, heralding a new era of prosperity that ranked Arizona ninth in the nation in per capita motor vehicle ownership by 1921, a consumer preference that proved critical to the development of a thoroughly modern road system by decade's end. These same years witnessed the introduction of air-cooled commercial buildings in both Phoenix and Tucson, adding a definitive brick to boosters' arguments that desert living was tantamount to "paradise on earth."

Although Arizona's prosperity was primarily based on copper, cotton, cattle, and citrus, tourism was fast adding a fifth arm to the economic equation, particularly after the advent of five-star resorts such as the $2 million Arizona Biltmore, which was opened in Phoenix in 1929 by a team of investors, including chewing gum magnet William Wrigley Jr., who built an opulent mansion adjacent to the hotel. Louis Swift, Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., and other industrial giants soon followed suit, earning the capital city prestigious renown as the fashionable place for the wealthy to winter.

The new arrivals brought with them the political conservatism of their Midwestern roots, complete with the self-help doctrine that holds charitable giving a matter of private conscience rather than legal statute. Poverty, dislocation, and disease were remedied by private contributions and formal fundraising events, typically hosted by a prominent individual with a broad network of affluent friends. The success of these venues limited tax-based relief for human tragedies to the Insane Asylum of Arizona, which was informally renamed the Arizona State Hospital in 1922.

The Great Depression brought the winds of change and a new system of social recompense that never fell easy on the minds of leaders attuned to the notion of unfettered free enterprise and individual responsibility. Although the suffering was acute and widespread in rural areas, urban centers were immune to the hardships until 1932, when a downturn in world copper prices led to layoffs and mine closures. Out-of-work miners descended on Phoenix and Tucson, quickly outstripping charitable resources to the point that both cities vigorously petitioned for federal funds from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation during the final hours of the Herbert Hoover administration.

During the New Deal, over forty Civilian Conservation Corps camps were built in Arizona, opening the floodgates to massive federal spending regionwide during the years surrounding World War II (1939–1945). Motorola, AiResearch, and other semiconductor concerns sprang up, giving a boost to both aviation and population, as well as raising issues about the color line separation historically practiced in Arizona up to that time. Federal dollars meant federal rules, including ending segregation in the military and public schools. Renowned pilot Lincoln Ragsdale, one of the original Tuskegee airmen, was charged with integrating Luke Air Force Base in the aftermath of World War II. A fully integrated school system was not realized statewide until the mid-1960s. Housing integration was an even more exacting fight, with over 90 percent of the state's minority residents living in neighborhoods drawn along racial line as late as 1962. Three years later, Arizona passed its first civil rights law, but de facto segregation on the basis of economics continues.

Gender was less of an issue than race in determining social status, but antiquated notions of the "weaker sex" led to certain disparities in the body politic. For example, when Eva Dugan was tried, convicted, and sentenced to hang for the murder of a local farmer in 1926, a public outcry of special circumstance arose on the basis of gender. When the only woman to be hanged in Arizona received her punishment on 21 February 1930, misadjusted balance weights resulted in her decapitation as she dropped through the trap, launching a new round of arguments that prompted Arizona voters to select the lethal gas chamber as the official means of execution in 1933. That same year, the state sent its first woman to the national Congress, Isabella Selmes Greenway of Tucson, a childhood friend and bridesmaid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Democratic Party enjoyed nearly complete dominance statewide until the "free people, free speech, free enterprise" philosophies of Phoenix businessman Barry M. Goldwater gave rise to a renegade/conservative movement determined to quell the perceived excesses of the liberal temper of the times. Following Goldwater's election to the U.S. Senate in 1952, the Republican Party supplanted its Democratic rivals everywhere except southern Arizona, which has steadfastly remained the most liberal section of the state.

Throughout most of the twentieth century, Arizona enjoyed the prestige of two of the most powerful voices in the national Congress: Democratic Senator Carl Hayden and Republican Barry M. Goldwater, the first Arizonan to run for the office of President of the United States. The state claimed additional accolades when President Richard Nixon appointed Phoenix attorney William H. Rehnquist to the United States Supreme Court. President Ronald Reagan appointed him Chief Justice in 1986. Reagan also appointed the august body's first female jurist, Arizonan Sandra Day O'Connor, in 1981.

Politics were turbulent during the final half of the twentieth century. In 1988, Governor Evan Mecham was impeached and found guilty of two of the three counts cited in the original indictment. Secretary of State Rose Mofford was appointed Arizona's first female governor. On 7 September 1997, Governor Fife Symington resigned in the wake of fraud charges stemming from his years as a developer. He was subsequently tried, convicted on seven felony counts, and ordered to pay back his investors. On 9 September 1997, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor swore in Jane Hull as governor. She was elected to the office in her own right during the November elections, wherein Arizona made history by being the first state in the nation to elect women to the top five posts in state government.

Arizona's population of a half million in 1940 increased tenfold by 2000, earning the state two additional seats in the House of Representatives. Of the 5,130,632 residents listed in the 2000 federal census, 63.8 percent were of European American descent, 25.3 percent cited their heritage as Hispanic or Latino, 3.1 percent as African American, 5.0 percent as American Indian or Alaskan Native, 1.8 percent as Asian, and 0.1 percent as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, with the remainder claiming no specific heritage. The average household enjoyed an annual income of $34,751, with an estimated 15.5 percent of Arizona residents living beneath the federal poverty line. Of that number, 23.4 percent are children living in single-parent households. Roughly 68 percent of the population owns their own home, as opposed to 66.2 percent nationwide.

Approximately 85 percent of Arizona residents live in Maricopa County, with an estimated 1,500 new residents arriving daily. Growth has left Tucson with a ground-water shortage problem and raised environmental concerns statewide. During the 1990s alone, the gross state product jutted from $66 million in 1990 to over $140 million at the end of the century. Roughly 13.2 percent of resident firms are minority owned, with another 27 percent owned by women, a figure that is a full percentage point higher than the national average. In 2002, the Phoenix metropolitan area was ranked as the top manufacturing urban complex in the nation.

Less than 18 percent of Arizona land is in private hands, leaving vast stretches of wilderness available for recreation. The Grand Canyon alone boasts an estimated 10 million tourists annually. Every sport from skydiving to golf is available in the state. Residents share the victory and defeats of three major league teams: the Phoenix Suns, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Arizona Diamondbacks (who won the 2001 World Series), as well as enjoy a broad slate of cultural activities and state-of-theart institutions, including three state universities and numerous private colleges and specialty schools. Along with horse and dog racing, legalized gambling is available in one of the many Indian casinos that have sprung up over the past two decades.

Modern Arizona is best likened to the rest of the United States and several foreign countries combined. Less than a third of the residents are Arizona born, with the average tenure of white-collar executives less than four years. The majority of the latter transfer to the area to work in the highly mobile computer chip industry, a vital lynchpin in the state's economy since the 1980s. The lion's share of new arrivals continue to be lured to the area by climate, spectacular scenery, and the economic potential intrinsic to a high-growth setting, despite the fact that Arizona ranks in the bottom third of the nation with regard to tax dollars allocated for indigent care, mental health, and other social welfare programs.

The quality of public education is an ongoing concern without easy remedy. In 1998, the Arizona legislature allocated roughly $400 million in state funding to construct, equip, and maintain public schools at state-established minimum standards, leaving districts the option of passing capital overrides to pay for projects and facilities not included in the original plan. Recent trends toward vouchers have spurred a new round of debate similar to those occurring in other parts of the nation relative to the face and future of tax-supported education in the twenty-first century.


"Arizona Land Ownership Status," adapted from Circular No. 2, Revised June 1995, by Ken A. Phillips, Chief Engineer, Salt River Project.

Department of Economic Security, Arizona State Data Center, 2001.

Faulk, Odie B. Arizona: A Short History. Norman: The University of Oklahoma Press, 1970.

Iverson, Peter. Barry Goldwater: Native Arizonan. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.

Luckingham, Bradford. Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1989.

Sheridan, Thomas E. Los Tucsonenses: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854–1941. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1986.

Sonnichsen, C. L. Tucson: The Life and Times of an American City. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982.

U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Arizona, 2000.

Wagoner, Jay J. Early Arizona: Prehistory to Civil War. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1975.

———. Arizona Territory, 1863–1912: A Political History. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1970.

Walker, Henry P., and Don Bufkin. Historical Atlas of Arizona. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979.

Evelyn S.Cooper

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Arizona (âr´əzō´nə), state in the SW United States. It is bordered by Utah (N), New Mexico (E), Mexico (S), and, largely across the Colorado River, Nevada and California (W); it touches Colorado (NE) in the Four Corners region.

Facts and Figures

Area, 113,909 sq mi (295,024 sq km). Pop. (2010) 6,392,017, a 24.6% increase since the 2000 census. Capital and largest city, Phoenix. Statehood, Feb. 14, 1912 (48th state). Highest pt., Humphreys Peak, 12,633 ft (3,853 m); lowest pt., Colorado River, 70 ft (21 m). Nickname, Grand Canyon State, Copper State. Motto,Ditat Deus [God Enriches]. State bird, cactus wren. State flower, blossom of the saguaro cactus. State tree, paloverde. Abbr., Ariz.; AZ


Northern Arizona lies on the Colorado Plateau, an area of dry plains more than 4,000 ft (1,220 m) high, with deep canyons, including the famous Grand Canyon carved by the Colorado River. Along the Little Colorado River, which runs northwest through the plateau to join the Colorado, are the Painted Desert, where erosion has left colorful layers of sediment exposed, and the Petrified Forest National Park, one of the world's most extensive areas of petrified wood. South of the Grand Canyon are the San Francisco Peaks, including Humphreys Peak, the highest point (12,655 ft/3,857 m) in the state. The southern edge of the Colorado Plateau is marked by an escarpment called Mogollon Rim.

The southern half of the state has desert basins broken up by mountains with rocky peaks and extending NW to SE across central Arizona. To the south, the Gila River, a major tributary of the Colorado, flows west across the entire state. This area has desert plains separated by mountain chains running north and south; in the west the plains fall to the relatively low altitude of c.140 ft (43 m) in the region around Yuma.

Although some mountain peaks receive an annual rainfall of more than 30 in. (76 cm), precipitation in most of the state is low, and much of Arizona's history has been shaped by the inadequate water supply. Since the early 20th cent., massive irrigation projects have been built in Arizona's valleys. Roosevelt, Horse Mesa, Mormon Flat, and Stewart Mountain dams, with reservoirs and storage lakes, irrigate the Salt River valley. The Gillespie Dam on the Gila River helps irrigate the Yuma vicinity. The Coolidge Dam, with its San Carlos reservoir, serves the area near Casa Grande in the southeast. W Arizona is irrigated by Colorado River dams, which also serve California. These include Hoover, Glen Canyon, Davis, Parker, Imperial, and Laguna dams. At the Parker dam, the Central Arizona Project diverts water via canal to Phoenix, the state's capital and largest city, and Tucson, the second largest city. Arizona also obtains water from groundwater pumping stations.


The state's principal crops are cotton, lettuce, cauliflowers, broccoli, and sorghum. Cattle, calves, and dairy goods are, however, the most valuable Arizona farm products. Manufacturing is the leading economic activity, with electronics, printing and publishing, processed foods, and aerospace and transportation leading sectors. High-technology research and development, communications, and service industries are also important, as are construction (the state is rapidly growing) and tourism. Military facilities contributing to Arizona's economy include Fort Huachuca, Luke and Davis-Monthan air force bases, and the Yuma Proving Grounds. Testing and training with military aircraft and desert storage of commercial and military planes are both major undertakings.

Arizona abounds in minerals. Copper is the state's most valuable mineral; Arizona leads the nation in production. Other leading resources are molybdenum, sand, gravel, and cement.

The mountains in the north and central regions have 3,180,000 acres (1,286,900 hectares) of commercial forests, chiefly ponderosa pines and other firs, which support lumber and building-materials industries. The U.S. government owns about 95% of the commercial forests in the state. National and state forests attract millions of tourists yearly. Tourism centers in the N on the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, meteor craters, ancient Native American ruins, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations that cover nearly all of the state's northeast quadrant. SE Arizona's warm, dry climate and Spanish colonial ruins also attract a large tourist trade, as do golf courses and other leisure facilities.


Between 1940 and 1960, Arizona's population increased more than 100%, and since then growth has continued. By the 2000 census the cumulative increase since 1940 amounted to more than 1000%, and Arizona was ranked among the fastest growing states in the nation. The mountainous north, however, has not shared the population growth of the southern sections of the state. Over 80% of the people are Caucasian and nearly 20% are Hispanic.

There were 203,527 Native Americans in Arizona in 1990 (or almost 6% of the people), the third highest such population in the United States. In addition to the Navajo, they include Mohave, Apache, Hopi, Paiute, Tohono O'Odham, Pima, Maricopa, Yavapaí, Hualapai, and Havasupai. Agriculture is the basis of their economy, but lack of water makes farming difficult; there is much poverty. The production of handicrafts, including leather goods, woven items, pottery, and the famous silver and turquoise jewelry of the Navajo; tourism; and mineral leases have also brought income to the tribes.

Government, Politics, and Education

The state's constitution provides for an elected governor and bicameral legislature, with a 30-member senate and a 60-member house of representatives. The governor and members of the legislature serve two-year terms. The state elects two senators and nine representatives to the U.S. Congress and has 11 electoral votes.

Republicans have dominated the politics of Arizona since the 1960s. In the late 1980s and 90s, political scandals tainted Arizona's governors. In 1988, Governor Evan Mecham, charged with obstructing justice and financial improprieties, was impeached and removed from office. J. Fife Symington 3d, another Republican, won election in 1991 and was reelected in 1994; in 1997, convicted on fraud charges, he too resigned. Republican secretary of state Jane Dee Hull succeeded Symington and won election on her own in 1998. In 2002, Democrat Janet Napolitano was elected to succeed Hull. She was reelected in 2006, but resigned in 2009 to become Homeland Security secretary. Arizona's secretary of state, Jan Brewer, a Republican, succeeded her, and was elected to the office in 2010; Doug Ducey, also a Republican, was elected in 2014.

Arizona's educational institutions include the Univ. of Arizona, at Tucson; Arizona State Univ., at Tempe; Northern Arizona Univ., at Flagstaff; and several private institutions.


Early History

Little is known of the earliest indigenous cultures in Arizona, but they probably lived in the region as early as 25,000 BC A later culture, the Hohokam (AD 500–1450), were pit dwellers who constructed extensive irrigation systems. The Pueblo flourished in Arizona between the 11th and 14th cent. and built many of the elaborate cliff dwellings that still stand. The Apache and Navajo came to the area in c.1300 from Canada.

Spanish Exploration and Mexican Control

Probably the first Spanish explorer to enter Arizona (c.1536) was Cabeza de Vaca. Franciscan friar Marcos de Niza reached the state in 1539; he was followed by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, who led an expedition from Mexico in 1540 in search of the seven legendary cities of gold, reaching as far as the Grand Canyon. Despite extensive exploration, the region was neglected by the Spanish in favor of the more fruitful area of New Mexico. Father Eusebio Kino, a Jesuit, founded the missions of Guevavi (1692) and Tumacacori (1696), near Nogales, and San Xavier del Bac (1700), near Tucson. The Spanish Empire, however, expelled the Jesuits in 1767, and those in Arizona subsequently lost their control over the indigenous people.

The Arizona region came under Mexican control following the Mexican war of independence from Spain (1810–21). In the early 1800s, U.S. mountain men, trappers and traders such as Kit Carson, trapped beaver in the area, but otherwise there were few settlers.

U.S. Acquisition and the Discovery of Minerals

In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), ending the Mexican War (1846–48), Mexico relinquished control of the area N of the Gila River to the United States. This area became part of the U.S. Territory of New Mexico in 1850. The United States, wishing to build a railroad through the area S of the Gila River, bought the area between the river and the S boundary of Arizona from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase (1853).

Arizona's minerals, valued even by prehistoric miners, attracted most of the early explorers, and although the area remained a relatively obscure section of the Territory of New Mexico, mining continued sporadically. Small numbers of prospectors, crossing Arizona to join the California gold rush (1849), found gold, silver, and a neglected metal—copper.

In 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, conventions held at Tucson and Mesilla declared the area part of the Confederacy. In the only engagement fought in the Arizona area, a small group of Confederate pickets held off Union cavalry NW of Tucson in the skirmish known as the battle of Picacho Pass.

Territorial Status and Statehood

In 1863, Arizona was organized as a separate territory, with its first, temporary capital at Fort Whipple. Prescott became the capital in 1865. Charles D. Poston, who had worked to achieve Arizona's new status, was elected as the territory's first delegate to the U.S. Congress. The capital was moved to Tucson in 1867, back to Prescott in 1877, and finally to Phoenix in 1889.

The region had been held precariously by U.S. soldiers during the intermittent warfare (1861–86) with the Apaches, who were led by Cochise and later Geronimo. General George Crook waged a successful campaign against the Apaches in 1882–85, and in 1886 Geronimo finally surrendered to federal troops. When Confederate troops were routed and Union soldiers went east to fight in the Civil War, settlement was abandoned. It was resumed after the war and encouraged by the Homestead Act (1862), the Desert Land Act (1877), and the Carey Land Act (1894)—all of which turned land over to settlers and required them to develop it.

In the 1870s mining flourished, and by the following decade the Copper Queen Company at Bisbee was exploiting one of the area's largest copper deposits. In 1877 silver was discovered at Tombstone, setting off a boom that drew throngs of prospectors to Arizona but lasted less than 10 years. Tombstone also became famous for its lawlessness; Wyatt Earp and his brothers gained their reputations during the famous gunfight (1881) at the O. K. Corral. By 1880 the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads both extended into Arizona. Ranching began to thrive and sheep raising grew from solely a Navajo occupation to a major enterprise among white settlers. After 1897, the U.S. Forestry Bureau issued grazing permits to protect public land from depletion.

In 1912, Arizona, still a frontier territory, attained statehood. Its constitution created a storm, with such "radical" political features as initiative, referendum, and judicial recall. Only after recall had been deleted did President Taft sign the statehood bill. Once admitted to the Union, Arizona restored the recall provision.

Modern Development

Irrigation, spurred by the Desert Land Act and by Mormon immigration, promoted farming in the southern part of the territory. By 1900, diverted streams were irrigating 200,000 acres (80,940 hectares). With the opening of the Roosevelt Dam (1911), a federally financed project, massive irrigation projects transformed Arizona's valleys. Although Arizona's mines were not unionized until the mid-1930s, strikes occurred at the copper mines of Clifton and Morenci in 1915 and at the Bisbee mines in 1917.

During World War II, defense industries were established in Arizona. Manufacturing, notably electronic industries, continued to develop after the war, especially around Phoenix and Tucson; in the 1960s, manufacturing achieved economic supremacy over mining and agriculture in Arizona. During the 1970s and 80s the state experienced phenomenal economic growth as it and other Sun Belt states attracted high-technology industries with enormous growth potential.

Arizona has contributed several major figures to national politics. Among them, Senator Barry M. Goldwater, the unsuccessful 1964 Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency, was long the standard bearer for American conservatism. Democrat Stewart L. Udall served as secretary of the interior under presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

With the development of irrigation and hydroelectric projects along the Colorado River and its tributaries, water rights became a subject of litigation between Arizona and California. In 1963 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arizona had rights to a share of the water from the Colorado's main stream and sole water rights over tributaries within Arizona. In 1968, Congress authorized the Central Arizona Project, a 335-mi (539-km) canal system to divert water from the Colorado River to the booming metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson. The canal, which uses dams, tunnels, and pumps to raise the water 1,247 ft (380 m) to the desert plain, was opposed by environmentalists, who feared it would damage desert ecosystems. Construction was completed in 1991, at a cost of over $3.5 billion.

In 1992 a six-year political controversy ended when Arizona voters approved a proposal to observe an annual state holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. The state again became a focus of national (and international) controversy in 2010 when it enacted a law requiring local law officers to check the status of someone stopped for an offense if the person is believed to an illegal alien; although that aspect of the law was upheld in 2012 by the U.S. Supreme Court, other aspects were struck down.


See E. H. Peplow, Jr., History of Arizona (3 vol., 1958); Univ. of Arizona Faculty, Arizona: Its People and Resources (rev. 2d ed. 1972); M. R. Comeaux, Arizona: A Geography (1982); T. Miller, ed., Arizona: The Land and Its People (1986); J. E. Officer, Hispanic Arizona (1987); M. Trimble, Arizona: A Cavalcade of History (1989).

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Arizona is known to most people in the United States as a haven for vacationers and retirees. With its hot, arid climate and scenic wonders, it offers many advantages to those seeking unusual terrain or refuge from northern winters. The state, however, is much more than just a refuge. For over a hundred years it has been an important source of livestock and minerals. Moreover, after waters from its rivers were diverted into the rest of the state, Arizona has emerged as an important producer of manufactured goods and farm crops.

The first Spanish explorers in Arizona found a number of Native American tribes subsisting on hunting, gathering, and limited farming. Four Spanish expeditions set out between 1539 and 1605 across the upland plateau and lower desert in failed attempts to find riches. Franciscan friars also came to proselytize among the Hopi and Pima Indians, establishing a large mission at the site of present-day Tucson. The first important European settlement was a military outpost at Tubac, north of Nogales; this outpost was moved to Tucson in 1776. The Spaniards treated most of the outposts in the territory as merely way stations to California, thought to be a more desirable area for colonization.

When war started between Mexico and the United States in 1846, over the U.S. annexation of Texas, Col. Stephen W. Kearny and Lt. Philip Cooke led troops across Arizona on their way to California. With the defeat of Mexico in the Mexican War (18461848) most of present-day Arizona became part of the United States as part of the Mexican Cession. Thousands of U.S. citizens passed through the region during the California Gold Rush of 1849. In 1850 Arizona was formally organized as part of the territory of New Mexico, with a southern strip added by the terms of the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.

By the early 1860s the federal government was planning road and railroad routes through Arizona in an effort to provide better links to California. The Army put up forts to protect travelers from the Indians, and the government established overland mail service. Citizens of Arizona unsuccessfully tried to join with southern New Mexico in a new territory when they became dissatisfied with their territorial government at Santa Fe. The region was declared part of the Confederacy during the American Civil War (18611865), but Union troops occupied the region. The U.S. Congress declared Arizona an official territory in 1863.

Gold and silver mining were the mainstays of Arizona's economy during the 1850s and 1860s. Jackson Snively first discovered gold on the Gila River, 20 miles above the Colorado. Those who rushed in to pan for gold earned as much as $125 a day for their efforts, and Gila City soon became a boom town with gambling halls, saloons, and temporary dwellings for the prospectors. Gold mines were also established along the Colorado and in the interior mountains, and silver was discovered in Tombstone and other districts.

As military posts sprung up to protect the influx of people and the towns they created, the cattle industry benefited from the increased demand for beef. Irrigated farming developed and Phoenix became an agricultural center. Cattle ranching continued to expand in the 1870s after the Apache Indian threat subsided. At first driven in from Texas and Mexico to supply the armies that protected Arizona, cattle soon became a major source of income. Along with lumbering and mining, cattle ranching flourished when the Southern Pacific Railroad reached Tucson in 1880; the Atlantic and Pacific (later merged with the Santa Fe) offered service to California through Flagstaff in 1883. Copper mining became more profitable than silver mining by the 1890s.

During the late nineteenth century political power responded to the needs of the merchants and capitalists with strong ties to California and the East, such as the mining and railroad interests, by calling for statehood for Arizona. The movement for statehood was slow to attract interest on the federal level but in 1912 Arizona finally became the 48th state.

During World War I (19141918) the copper industry continued to grow. Problems with the lack of water were partially solved in 1917 when the Salt River Valley Project was opened, providing enough water for agricultural development in central Arizona. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company soon established large farms in the Salt River Valley to produce pima cotton. Labor unrest followed much of this expansion. More than one thousand striking miners were deported from the cities of Bisbee and Jerome in 1917. In the 1920s a general depression closed banks, discouraged agriculture, and shut down mines. Local promoters tried to bring relief by encouraging highway building and tourist resorts.

In the 1930s Arizona suffered from the Great Depression (19291939), as did the rest of the country. A copper tariff brought some relief to the mining industry and federal relief and recovery funds also helped through the initiation of irrigation and public works projects. During World War II (19391945) recovery occurred rapidly as camps were built in the state for military troops, prisoners of war, and displaced Japanese Americans. The meat, cotton, and copper industries thrived, and many processing and assembly plants were built in the state.

Following the war Arizona developed a truly modern economy. Wartime production was replaced by peacetime manufacturing, which soon became the major source of income in the state, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. The state made itself attractive to industry with a favorable tax structure, plenty of electric power, an available labor pool, and low land costs. The advent of air conditioning also made business and living more bearable in Arizona's torrid heat.

Like the rest of the southwest "sun belt" states, Arizona grew phenomenally during the 1970s and 1980s, increasing in population by 39 percent between 1973 and 1983. During the same period total employment grew by 49 percent and personal income by 218 percent. The most prosperous areas were the populous Maricopa and Pima counties, with a far lower income level in most other counties. This distribution of wealth in large part overlapped the ethnic composition of the state, with much of Arizona's large Mexican American population among the poorest citizens of the state. Despite this fact, Arizona politics were traditionally conservative, a political characteristic reinforced by the presence of many retirees. Statewide in 1995, only about eight percent of its workers belonged to labor unions.

The problem of water supply continued to plague Arizona in the late twentieth century. To address this issue, in 1985 the Central Arizona Project (CAP) was built, diverting water from the Colorado River to the rest of the state. This project included a $3 billion dollar network of canals, tunnels, dams, and pumping stations. CAP was controversial; many felt that the water supply exceeded demand and that the water was of poor quality.

Modern Arizona's major products include electronic components, non-electrical machinery, copper, cattle, and cotton. Some of the important electronics and technology-related industries in the state include Motorola, Allied Signal Aerospace, Honeywell, Hughes Missile Systems, and Intel. Next to the technology industry, the state's biggest employer is tourism. Twenty-two national parks and monuments are located within the state, the most popular of which is Grand Canyon National Park. Lake Mead and other lakes created during water reclamation projects attract vacationers, as do Indian reservations and dude ranches. In 1996 the state ranked 36th among the 50 states in per capita personal income.

See also: Mexican Cession, Sun Belt


Council of State Governments. The Book of the States, 19941995 Edition, Vol. 30. Lexington, KY: Council of State Governments, 1994.

Fireman, Bert M. Arizona: Historic Land. New York: Knopf, 1982.

Peck, Anne Merriman. The March of Arizona History. Tucson, AZ: Arizona Silhouettes, 1962.

Powell, Lawrence C. Arizona: A Bicentennial History. New York: Norton, 1976.

Sheridan, Thomas E. Arizona: A History. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1995.

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Flagstaff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Mesa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Phoenix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Scottsdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Tucson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

The State in Brief

Nickname: Grand Canyon State Motto: Ditat Deus (God enriches)

Flower: Blossom of the saguaro cactus Bird: Cactus wren

Area: 113,635 square miles (2000; U.S. rank: 6th)

Elevation: Ranges from 100 feet to 12,670 feet above sea level

Climate: Dry and sunny, but heavy snows in the high central area

Admitted to Union: February 14, 1912

Capital: Phoenix

Head Official: Governor Janet Napolitano (D) (until 2007)


1980: 2,718,000

1990: 3,750,000

2000: 5,130,632

2004 estimate: 5,743,834

Percent change, 19902000: 40.0%

U.S. rank in 2004: 18th

Percent of residents born in state: 34.7% (2000)

Density: 45.2 people per square mile (2000)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 348,467

Racial and Ethnic Characteristics (2000)

White: 3,873,611

Black or African American: 158,873

American Indian and Alaska Native: 255,879

Asian: 92,236

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 6,733

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 1,295,617

Other: 596,774

Age Characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 382,386

Population 5 to 19 years old: 1,135,802

Percent of population 65 years and over: 13.0%

Median age: 34.2 years (2000)

Vital Statistics

Total number of births (2003): 90,931

Total number of deaths (2003): 43,346 (infant deaths, 591)

AIDS cases reported through 2003: 4,127


Major industries: Services, trade, manufacturing, agriculture

Unemployment rate: 4.2% (January 2005)

Per capita income: $26,931 (2003; U.S. rank: 39th)

Median household income: $42,062 (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Percentage of persons below poverty level: 13.9% (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Income tax rate: ranges from 2.87% to 5.04%

Sales tax rate: 5.6% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)

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Arizona State in the sw USA, bordering on Mexico; the capital is Phoenix, other cities include Tucson and Mesa. After the end of the Mexican War (1848), Mexico ceded most of the present state to the USA, and it became the 48th state of the Union in 1912. The Colorado Plateau occupies the n part of the state, and is cut by many steep canyons, notably the Grand Canyon, through which the Colorado River flows. Arizona's mineral resources, grazing and farmland have long been mainstays of the economy. Mining and agriculture are still important, but since the 1950s manufacturing has been the most profitable sector. The state has many scenic attractions (including the Petrified Forest, Fort Apache, and the reconstructed London Bridge at Lake Havasu). Tourism is now a major source of income. It also has the largest Native American population of any US state (255,879 in 2000), with Indian reservations comprising 28% of the land area. Between 1950 and 1970 Arizona's population more than doubled; in the 1970s its annual growth rate was more than 35%, and it grew a further 41% between 1980 and 1982. Area: 295,025sq km (113,909sq mi). Pop. (2000) 5,130,632.

Statehood :

February 14, 1912

Nickname :

The Grand Canyon State

State bird :

Cactus wren

State flower :

Saguaro (giant cactus)

State tree :


State motto :

God enriches

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Arizonabelladonna, Connor, donna, goner, gonna, honour (US honor), Maradona, Mashona, O'Connor, Shona, wanna •corner, fauna, forewarner, Lorna, Morna, mourner, sauna, scorner, suborner, warner •softener • Faulkner •downer, uptowner •sundowner •Arizona, Barcelona, boner, condoner, corona, Cremona, Desdemona, donor, Fiona, groaner, Iona, Jonah, kroner, Leona, loaner, loner, moaner, Mona, owner, Pamplona, persona, postponer, Ramona, stoner, toner, Valona, Verona, Winona •landowner • homeowner • shipowner •coiner, joiner, purloiner •crooner, harpooner, lacuna, lacunar, lampooner, Luna, lunar, mizuna, Oona, oppugner, Poona, pruner, puna, schooner, spooner, Tristan da Cunha, tuna, tuner, Una, vicuña, yokozuna •honeymooner • Sunna • Brookner •koruna

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