Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state in the Southwestern region of the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...
. It is also usually considered part of the
Mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a hill, typically rising at least ...
states. It is the 6th largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the region with
Utah Utah ( , ) is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in N ...
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West region of the United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the weste ...

, and
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Albuquerque metropolitan area, Greater Albuquerque , Official ...
; its other neighboring states are
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Ne ...
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...
to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest. Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912. Historically part of the territory of '' Alta California'' in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848. The southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase. Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees; the Colorado Plateau; mountain ranges (such as the San Francisco Peaks, San Francisco Mountains); as well as large, deep canyons, with much more moderate summer temperatures and significant winter snowfalls. There are skiing, ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff, Arizona, Flagstaff, Alpine, Arizona, Alpine, and Tucson, Arizona, Tucson. In addition to the internationally known Grand Canyon National Park, which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, world's seven natural wonders, there are several U.S. National Forest, national forests, National parks (United States), national parks, and National parks (United States), national monuments. Since the 1950s, Arizona's population and economy have grown dramatically because of migration into the state, and now the state is a major hub of the Sun Belt. Cities such as Phoenix and Tucson have developed large, sprawling suburban areas. Many large companies, such as PetSmart and CircleK, have headquarters in the state, and Arizona is home to major universities, including the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Traditionally, the state is politically known for national conservative figures such as Barry Goldwater and John McCain, though it voted Democratic in the 1996 presidential race and in the 2020 presidential and senatorial elections. Arizona is home to a diverse population. About one-quarter of the state is made up of List of Indian reservations in Arizona, Indian reservations that serve as the home of Indigenous peoples of Arizona#Tribal entities in Arizona, 27 federally recognized Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, the largest in the state and the United States, with more than 300,000 citizens. Since the 1980s, the proportion of Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanics in the state's population has grown significantly owing to migration from Mexico. The state also has a substantial The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon population.


The state's name appears to originate from an earlier Spanish name, , derived from the O'odham name , meaning "small spring", which initially applied only to an area near the silver mining camp of Planchas de Plata, Sonora. To the European settlers, their pronunciation sounded like ''Arissona''. The area is still known as in the O'odham language. Another possible origin is the Basque language, Basque phrase ("the good oak"), as there were numerous Basque sheepherders in the area. A native Mexican of Basque heritage established the (village) of Arizona between 1734 and 1736 in the current Mexican state of Sonora, which became notable after a significant discovery of silver there, . The misconception that the state's name originated from the supposedly Spanish language, Spanish term ("Arid Zone") is considered a case of folk etymology.


For thousands of years before the modern era, Arizona was home to many Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Native American tribes. Hohokam, Mogollon culture, Mogollon, and Ancestral Puebloans, Ancestral Puebloan cultures were among those that flourished throughout the state. Many of their pueblos, cliffside dwellings, rock paintings and other prehistoric treasures have survived and attract thousands of tourists each year. In 1539, Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan, became the first European to contact Native Americans. He explored parts of the present state and made contact with Native Americans in the United States, native inhabitants, probably the Sobaipuri. The expedition of Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, Coronado entered the area in 1540–1542 during its search for Quivira and Cíbola, Cíbola. Few Spanish settlers migrated to Arizona. One of the first settlers in Arizona was José Romo de Vivar.Martínez Laínez, Fernando and Canales Torres, Carlos. Banderas lejanas: La exploración, conquista y defensa por parte de España del Territorio de los actuales Estados Unidos (in Spanish: Far flags. The exploration, conquest and defense by Spain of the Territory of the present United States). Page 145-46. Fourth edition: September 2009. Eusebio Kino, Father Kino was the next European in the region. A member of the Society of Jesus ("Jesuits"), he led the development of a chain of missions in the region. He converted many of the Indians to Christianity in the Pimería Alta (now southern Arizona and northern Sonora) in the 1690s and early 18th century. Spain founded ''presidios'' ("fortified towns") at Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. When Mexico achieved its independence from the Kingdom of Spain and its Spanish Empire in 1821, what is now Arizona became part of its Territory of ''Nueva California'', ("New California"), also known as '' Alta California'' ("Upper California"). Descendants of ethnic Spanish and mestizo settlers from the colonial years still lived in the area at the time of the arrival of later European-American migrants from the United States. During the Mexican–American War (1847–1848), the United States Army, U.S. Army occupied the national capital of Mexico City and pursued its claim to much of northern Mexico, including what later became Territory of Arizona (United States), Arizona Territory in 1863 and later the State of Arizona in 1912. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) specified that, in addition to language and cultural rights of the existing inhabitants of former Mexican citizens being considered as inviolable, the sum of $15million in compensation () be paid to the Republic of Mexico. In 1853, the U.S. acquired the land south below the Gila River from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase along the southern border area as encompassing the best future southern route for a transcontinental railway. What is now known as the state of Arizona was initially administered by the United States government as part of the Territory of New Mexico until the southern part of that region seceded from the Union (American Civil War), Union to form the Confederate Arizona, Territory of Arizona. This newly established territory was formally organized by the federal government of the Confederate States of America, Confederate States on Saturday, January 18, 1862, when President of the Confederate States of America, President Jefferson Davis approved and signed ''An Act to Organize the Territory of Arizona'', marking the first official use of the name "Territory of Arizona". The Southern territory supplied the Confederate government with men, horses, and equipment. Formed in 1862, Company A, Arizona Rangers, Arizona scout companies served with the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Arizona has the westernmost military engagement on record during the Civil War with the Battle of Picacho Pass (1862). The Federal government declared a new U.S. Arizona Territory, consisting of the western half of earlier New Mexico Territory, in Washington, D.C., on February 24, 1863. These new boundaries would later form the basis of the state. The first territorial capital, Prescott, was founded in 1864 following a gold rush to central Arizona. The capital was later Arizona Territory capitals, moved to Tucson, back to Prescott, and then to its final location in Phoenix in a series of controversial moves as different regions of the territory gained and lost political influence with the growth and development of the territory. Although names including "Gadsonia", "Pimeria", "Montezuma" and "Arizuma" had been considered for the territory, when 16th President Abraham Lincoln signed the final bill, it read "Arizona", and that name was adopted. (Montezuma (mythology), Montezuma was not derived from the Aztec emperor, but was the sacred name of a divine hero to the Pima people of the Gila River Valley. It was probably considered—and rejected—for its sentimental value before Congress settled on the name "Arizona".) Brigham Young, patriarchal leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City in
Utah Utah ( , ) is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in N ...
, sent Mormons to Arizona in the mid- to late 19th century. They founded Mesa, Arizona, Mesa, Snowflake, Arizona, Snowflake, Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, Heber, Safford, Arizona, Safford, and other towns. They also settled in the Phoenix Valley (or "Valley of the Sun"), Tempe, Arizona, Tempe, Prescott, Arizona, Prescott, and other areas. The Mormons settled what became northern Arizona and northern New Mexico. At the time these areas were in a part of the former New Mexico Territory. During the nineteenth century, a series of gold and silver rushes occurred in the territory, the best known being the 1870s stampede to the silver bonanzas of Tombstone, Arizona in southeast Arizona, also known for its legendary outlaws and lawmen. By the late 1880s, copper production eclipsed the precious metals with the rise of copper camps like Bisbee, Arizona and Jerome, Arizona. The boom and bust economy of mining also left hundreds of ghost towns across the territory, but copper mining continued to prosper with the territory producing more copper than any other state by 1907, which earned Arizona the nickname "the Copper State" at the time of statehood. During the first years of statehood the industry experienced growing pains and labor disputes with the Bisbee Deportation of 1917 the result of a copper miners' strike. The state continues to produce half of the nation's newly mined copper.

20th century to present

During the Mexican Revolution from 1910 to 1920, several battles were fought in the Mexican towns just across the border from Arizona settlements. Throughout the revolution, many Arizonans enlisted in one of the several armies fighting in Mexico. Only two significant engagements took place on U.S. soil between U.S. and Mexican forces: Pancho Villa's 1916 Columbus Raid in New Mexico, and the Battle of Ambos Nogales in 1918 in Arizona. The Mexicans won the first battle and the Americans won the latter. After Mexican federal troops fired on U.S. soldiers, the American garrison launched an assault into Nogales, Sonora, Nogales, Mexico. The Mexicans eventually surrendered after both sides sustained heavy casualties. A few months earlier, just west of Nogales, an Indian War battle had occurred, considered the last engagement in the American Indian Wars, which lasted from 1775 to 1918. U.S. soldiers stationed on the border confronted Yaqui Indians who were using Arizona as a base to raid the nearby Mexican settlements, as part of their wars against Mexico. Arizona became a U.S. state on February 14, 1912. Arizona was the List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union, 48th state admitted to the U.S. and the last of the Contiguous United States, contiguous states to be admitted. Cotton farming and copper mining, two of Arizona's most important statewide industries, suffered heavily during the Great Depression. But during the 1920s and even the 1930s, tourism began to develop as the important Arizonan industry it is today. Dude ranches, such as the K L Bar and Remuda in Wickenburg, along with the Flying V and Tanque Verde in Tucson, gave tourists the chance to take part in the flavor and activities of the "Old West". Several upscale hotels and resorts opened during this period, some of which are still top tourist draws. They include the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in central Phoenix (opened 1929) and the Wigwam Resort on the west side of the Phoenix area (opened 1936). Arizona was the site of German prisoner of war camps during World WarII and Internment of Japanese Americans, Japanese American internment camps. Because of wartime fears of a Japanese invasion of the West Coast of the United States, U.S. West Coast (which in fact materialized in the Aleutian Islands Campaign in June 1942), the government authorized the removal of all Japanese American residents from all the Territory of Alaska, Alaska Territory and
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...
, the western halves of Washington (state), Washington and Oregon, and Southern Arizona. From 1942 to 1945, they were forced to reside in internment camps built in the interior of the country. Many lost their homes and businesses. The camps were abolished after World WarII. The Phoenix-area German P.O.W. site was purchased after the war by the Maytag family (of major home appliance fame). It was developed as the site of the Phoenix Zoo. A Japanese-American internment camp was on Mount Lemmon, just outside the state's southeastern city of Tucson. Another POW camp was near the Gila River in eastern Yuma County, Arizona, Yuma County. Arizona was also home to the Steele Indian School Park, Phoenix Indian School, one of several federal Indian boarding schools designed to assimilate Native American children into mainstream European-American culture. Children were often enrolled in these schools against the wishes of their parents and families. Attempts to suppress native identities included forcing the children to cut their hair, to take and use English names, to speak only English, and to practice Christianity rather than their native religions. Numerous Native Americans from Arizona fought for the United States during World WarII. Their experiences resulted in a rising activism in the postwar years to achieve better treatment and civil rights after their return to the state. After Maricopa County did not allow them to register to vote, in 1948 veteran Frank Harrison and Harry Austin, of the Mojave-Apache Tribe at Fort McDowell Indian Reservation, brought a legal suit, ''Harrison and Austin v. Laveen'', to challenge this exclusion. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in their favor.''Harrison v. Laveen'', July 1948
, Arizona Supreme Court
Arizona's population grew tremendously with residential and business development after World WarII, aided by the widespread use of air conditioning, which made the intensely hot summers more comfortable. According to the ''Arizona Blue Book'' (published by the Arizona Secretary of State's office each year), the state population in 1910 was 294,353. By 1970, it was 1,752,122. The percentage growth each decade averaged about 20% in the earlier decades, and about 60% each decade thereafter. In the 1960s, retirement communities were developed. These age-restricted subdivisions catered exclusively to the needs of senior citizens and attracted many retirees who wanted to escape the harsh winters of the Midwest and the Northeastern United States, Northeast. Sun City, Arizona, Sun City, established by developer Del Webb and opened in 1960, was one of the first such communities. Green Valley, Arizona, Green Valley, south of Tucson, was another such community, designed as a retirement subdivision for Arizona's teachers. Many senior citizens from across the U.S. and Canada come to Arizona each winter and stay only during the winter months; they are referred to as Snowbird (people), snowbirds. In March 2000, Arizona was the site of the first legally binding election ever held over the internet to nominate a candidate for public office. In the 2000 Arizona Democratic Primary, under worldwide attention, Al Gore defeated Bill Bradley. Voter turnout in this state primary increased more than 500% over the 1996 primary. In the 21st century, Arizona has frequently garnered national attention for its efforts to quell illegal immigration into the state. In 2004, voters passed 2004 Arizona Proposition 200, Proposition 200, requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote. The Supreme Court of the United States struck this restriction down in 2013. In 2010, Arizona enacted Arizona SB 1070, SB 1070 which required all immigrants to carry immigration papers at all times, but the Supreme Court also invalidated parts of this law in ''Arizona v. United States'' in 2012. On January 8, 2011, a 2011 Tucson shooting, gunman shot congresswoman Gabby Giffords and 18 others at a gathering in Tucson. Giffords was critically wounded. The incident sparked national attention regarding incendiary political rhetoric. Three ships named USS Arizona, USS ''Arizona'' have been christened in honor of the state, although only USS Arizona (BB-39), USS ''Arizona'' (BB-39) was so named after statehood was achieved.

Geography and geology

Arizona is in the Southwestern United States as one of the states. Arizona is the sixth List of U.S. states and territories by area, largest state by area, ranked after
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Albuquerque metropolitan area, Greater Albuquerque , Official ...
and before
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Ne ...
. Of the state's , approximately 15% is privately owned. The remaining area is public forest and park land, Arizona State Trust Land, state trust land and Native American reservations. There are 24 National Park Service maintained sites in Arizona, including the three national parks of Grand Canyon National Park, Saguaro National Park, and the Petrified Forest National Park. Arizona is well known for its desert Basin and Range Province, Basin and Range region in the state's southern portions, which is rich in a landscape of xerophyte plants such as the cactus. This region's topography was shaped by prehistoric volcanism, followed by the cooling-off and related subsidence. Its climate has exceptionally hot summers and mild winters. The state is less well known for its pine-covered north-central portion of the high country of the Colorado Plateau (see Arizona Mountains forests). Like other states of the Southwestern United States, Southwest United States, Arizona is marked by high mountains, the Colorado plateau, and mesas. Despite the state's aridity, 27% of Arizona is forest, a percentage comparable to modern-day Romania or Greece. The world's largest stand of ponderosa pine trees is in Arizona. The Mogollon Rim, a escarpment, cuts across the state's central section and marks the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. In 2002, this was an area of the Rodeo–Chediski Fire, the worst fire in state history until 2011. Located in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a colorful, deep, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River (U.S.), Colorado River. The canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and is largely contained in the Grand Canyon National Park—one of the first national parks in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of designating the Grand Canyon area as a National Park, often visiting to hunt cougar, mountain lion and enjoy the scenery. The canyon was created by the Colorado River cutting a channel over millions of years, and is about long, ranges in width from and attains a depth of more than . Nearly twobillion years of the Earth's history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut through layer after layer of sediment as the Colorado Plateau uplifted. Arizona is home to one of the most well-preserved meteorite impact sites in the world. Created around 50,000 years ago, the Barringer Meteorite Crater (better known simply as "Meteor Crater") is a gigantic hole in the middle of the high plains of the Colorado Plateau, about west of Winslow, Arizona, Winslow. A rim of smashed and jumbled boulders, some of them the size of small houses, rises above the level of the surrounding plain. The crater itself is nearly a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide and deep. Arizona is one of two U.S. states (Hawaii being the other) that do not observe Daylight Saving Time. (The large Navajo Nation in the state's northeastern region ''does''.)


Generally, Arizona is at low risk of earthquakes, except for the southwestern portion which is at moderate risk due to its proximity to southern California. On the other hand, northern Arizona is at moderate risk due to numerous faults in the area. The regions near and west of Phoenix have the lowest risk. The earliest Arizona earthquakes were recorded at Fort Yuma, on the
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...
side of the Colorado River. They were centered near the Imperial Valley, or Mexico, back in the 1800s. Residents in Douglas, Arizona, Douglas felt the 1887 Sonora earthquake with its epicenter to the south in the Mexican state of Sonora. The first damaging earthquake known to be centered within Arizona occurred on January 25, 1906, also including a series of other earthquakes centered near Socorro, New Mexico. The shock was violent in Flagstaff, Arizona, Flagstaff. In September 1910, a series of 52 earthquakes caused a construction crew near Flagstaff to leave the area. In 1912, the year Arizona achieved statehood, on August 18, an earthquake caused a 50-mile crack in the San Francisco Peaks, San Francisco Range. In early January 1935, the state experienced a series of earthquakes, in the Yuma, Arizona, Yuma area and near the Grand Canyon. Arizona experienced its largest earthquake in 1959, with a tremor of a magnitude 5.6. It was centered near Fredonia, Arizona, Fredonia, in the state's northwest near the border with
Utah Utah ( , ) is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in N ...
. The tremor was felt across the border in
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Ne ...
and Utah.

Adjacent states

Utah Utah ( , ) is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in N ...
(north) *
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West region of the United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the weste ...

(northeast) *
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Ne ...
(northwest) * Sonora, Sonora, Mexico (south) * Baja California, Baja California, Mexico (southwest) *
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Albuquerque metropolitan area, Greater Albuquerque , Official ...
(east) *
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...


Due to its large area and variations in elevation, the state has a wide variety of localized climate conditions. In the lower elevations, the climate is primarily desert, with mild winters and extremely hot summers. Typically, from late fall to early spring, the weather is mild, averaging a minimum of . November through February are the coldest months, with temperatures typically ranging from , with occasional frosts. About midway through February, the temperatures start to rise, with warm days, and cool, breezy nights. The summer months of June through September bring a dry heat from , with occasional high temperatures exceeding having been observed in the desert area. Arizona's all-time record high is recorded at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Lake Havasu City on June 29, 1994, and July 5, 2007; the all-time record low of was recorded at Hawley Lake, Arizona, Hawley Lake on January 7, 1971. Due to the primarily dry climate, large diurnal temperature variations occur in less-developed areas of the desert above . The swings can be as large as 83°F (46°C) in the summer months. In the state's urban centers, the effects of urban heat island, local warming result in much higher measured night-time lows than in the recent past. Arizona has an average annual rainfall of , which comes during two rainy seasons, with cold fronts coming from the Pacific Ocean during the winter and a North American Monsoon, monsoon in the summer. The monsoon season occurs toward the end of summer. In July or August, the dewpoint rises dramatically for a brief period. During this time, the air contains large amounts of water vapor. Dewpoints as high as 81°F (27°C) have been recorded during the Phoenix monsoon season. This hot moisture brings lightning, thunderstorms, wind, and torrential, if usually brief, downpours. These downpours often cause flash floods, which can turn deadly. In an attempt to deter drivers from crossing flooding streams, the Arizona Legislature enacted the Stupid Motorist Law. It is rare for tornadoes or List of Arizona hurricanes, hurricanes to occur in Arizona. Arizona's northern third is a plateau at significantly higher altitudes than the lower desert, and has an appreciably cooler climate, with cold winters and mild summers, though the climate remains semiarid to arid. Extremely cold temperatures are not unknown; cold air systems from the northern states and Canada occasionally push into the state, bringing temperatures below to the state's northern parts. Indicative of the variation in climate, Arizona is the state which has both the metropolitan area with the most days over ( Phoenix), and the metropolitan area in the lower 48 states with the most days with a low temperature below freezing (Flagstaff, Arizona, Flagstaff).


The United States Census Bureau estimates Arizona's population was 7,278,717 on July 1, 2019, a 13.87% increase since the 2010 United States Census. Arizona remained sparsely settled for most of the 19th century. The 1860 census reported the population of "Arizona County" to be 6,482, of whom 4,040 were listed as "Indians", 21 as "free colored", and 2,421 as "white". Arizona's continued population growth puts an enormous stress on the state's water supply. , 61.3% of Arizona's children under age one belonged to racial groups of color. The population of metropolitan Phoenix increased by 45.3% from 1991 through 2001, helping to make Arizona the second fastest-growing state in the U.S. in the 1990s (the fastest was
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Ne ...
). , the population of the Phoenix area is estimated to be over 4.9million. According to the 2010 United States Census, Arizona had a population of 6,392,017. In 2010, Illegal immigration, illegal immigrants constituted an estimated 7.9% of the population. This was the second highest percentage of any state in the U.S. Arizona has banned Sanctuary city, sanctuary cities. Metropolitan Phoenix (4.7million) and Tucson (1.0million) are home to about five-sixths of Arizona's people (as of the 2010 census). Metro Phoenix alone accounts for two-thirds of the state's population.

Race and ethnicity

In 1980, the Census Bureau reported Arizona's population as 16.2% Hispanic, 5.6% Native American, and 74.5% non-Hispanic white. In 2010, the racial makeup of the state was: * 73.0% White American, White * 4.6% Native Americans in the United States, Native American and Alaska Native * 4.1% Black or African American * 2.8% Asian American, Asian * 0.2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander * 11.9% from some other race * 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 29.6% of the state's population. Non-Hispanic whites formed 57.8% of the total population. Arizona's five largest ancestry groups, , were: # Mexican American, Mexican (27.4%); # German American, German (16.0%); # Irish American, Irish (10.8%); # English Americans, English (10.1%); # Italian American, Italian (4.6%).


, 72.9% (4,215,749) of Arizona residents age five and older spoke only English language, English at home, while 20.8% (1,202,638) spoke Spanish language, Spanish, 1.5% (85,602) Navajo language, Navajo, 0.4% (22,592) German language, German, 0.4% (22,426) Chinese language, Chinese (which includes Standard Chinese, Mandarin), 0.3% (19,015) Tagalog language, Tagalog, 0.3% (17,603) Vietnamese language, Vietnamese, 0.3% (15,707) Indigenous languages of North America, Other North American Indigenous Languages (especially indigenous languages of Arizona), and French language, French was spoken as a main language by 0.3% (15,062) of the population over the age of five. In total, 27.1% (1,567,548) of Arizona's population age five and older spoke a mother language other than English. Arizona is home to the largest number of speakers of Indigenous languages of the Americas, Native American languages in the 48 contiguous states, as more than 85,000 individuals reported speaking Navajo language, Navajo,2005 American Community Survey. Retrieved fro
the data of the MLA
, July 13, 2010
and 10,403 people reported Western Apache language, Apache, as a language spoken at home in 2005. Arizona's Apache County, Arizona, Apache County has the highest concentration of speakers of Native American Indian languages in the United States.

Cities and towns

Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona, Maricopa County, is Arizona's capital and largest city. Other prominent cities in the Phoenix metro area include Mesa, Arizona, Mesa (Arizona's third largest city), Chandler, Arizona, Chandler (Arizona's fourth largest city), Glendale, Arizona, Glendale, Peoria, Arizona, Peoria, Buckeye, Arizona, Buckeye, Sun City, Arizona, Sun City, Sun City West, Arizona, Sun City West, Fountain Hills, Arizona, Fountain Hills, Surprise, Arizona, Surprise, Gilbert, Arizona, Gilbert, El Mirage, Arizona, El Mirage, Avondale, Arizona, Avondale, Tempe, Arizona, Tempe, Tolleson, Arizona, Tolleson and Scottsdale, Arizona, Scottsdale, with a total metropolitan population of just over 4.7million. The average high temperature in July, , is one of the highest of any metropolitan area in the United States, offset by an average January high temperature of , the basis of its winter appeal. Tucson, Arizona, Tucson, with a metro population of just over onemillion, is the state's second-largest city. Located in Pima County, Arizona, Pima County, approximately southeast of Phoenix, it was incorporated in 1877, making it the oldest incorporated city in Arizona. It is home to the University of Arizona. Major incorporated suburbs of Tucson include Oro Valley, Arizona, Oro Valley and Marana, Arizona, Marana northwest of the city, Sahuarita, Arizona, Sahuarita south of the city, and South Tucson, Arizona, South Tucson in an enclave south of downtown. It has an average July temperature of 100°F (38°C) and winter temperatures averaging 65°F (18°C). Saguaro National Park, just west of the city in the Tucson Mountains, is the site of the world's largest collection of Saguaro cacti. The Prescott, Arizona, Prescott metropolitan area includes the cities of Prescott, Cottonwood, Arizona, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Arizona, Camp Verde and many other towns in the of Yavapai County area. With 212,635 residents, this cluster of towns is the state's third largest metropolitan area. The city of Prescott (population 41,528) lies approximately northwest of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Situated in pine tree forests at an elevation of about , Prescott enjoys a much cooler climate than Phoenix, with average summer highs around and winter temperatures averaging . Yuma, Arizona, Yuma is the center of the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Arizona. Located in Yuma County, Arizona, Yuma County, it is near the borders of California and Mexico. It is one of the hottest cities in the United States, with an average July high of . (The same month's average in Death Valley is .) The city features sunny days about 90% of the year. The Yuma Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 160,000. Yuma attracts many winter visitors from all over the United States. Flagstaff, Arizona, Flagstaff, in Coconino County, Arizona, Coconino County, is the largest city in northern Arizona, and is at an elevation of nearly . With its large Ponderosa pine forests, snowy winter weather and picturesque mountains, it is a stark contrast to the desert regions typically associated with Arizona. It is sited at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountain range in the state of Arizona, which contains Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona at . Flagstaff has a strong tourism sector, due to its proximity to numerous tourist attractions including: Grand Canyon National Park, Sedona, Arizona, Sedona, and Oak Creek Canyon. Historic U.S. Route 66 is the main east–west street in the town. The Flagstaff metropolitan area is home to 134,421 residents and the main campus of Northern Arizona University. Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Lake Havasu City, in Mohave County, Arizona, Mohave County, known as "Arizona's playground", was developed on the Colorado River and is named after Lake Havasu. Lake Havasu City has a population of about 53,000 people. It is famous for huge spring break parties, sunsets and the London Bridge, relocated from London, England. Lake Havasu City was founded by real estate developer Robert P. McCulloch in 1963. It has two colleges, Mohave Community College and ASU Colleges in Lake Havasu City.


In 2010, the Association of Religion Data Archives reported that the three largest denominational groups in Arizona were the Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and non-denominational Evangelical Protestants. The Catholic Church has the highest number of adherents in Arizona (at 930,001), followed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 410,263 members reported and then non-denominational Evangelical Protestants, reporting 281,105 adherents. The religious body with the largest number of congregations is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (with 836 congregations) followed by the Southern Baptist Convention (with 323 congregations). According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, the fifteen largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 and 2000 were: Hinduism became the largest non-Christian religion (when combining all denominations) in 2010 with more than 32,000 adherents, followed by Judaism with more than 20,000 and Buddhism with more than 19,000.


The 2011 total gross state product was $259billion. This figure gives Arizona a larger economy than such countries as Ireland, Finland, and New Zealand. The composition of the state's economy is moderately diverse; although health care, transportation and the government remain the largest sectors. The state's per capita income is $40,828, ranking 39th in the U.S. The state had a median household income of $50,448, making it 22nd in the country and just below the U.S. national mean. Early in its history, Arizona's economy relied on the "five C's": copper (see ''Copper mining in Arizona''), cotton, cattle, citrus, and climate (tourism). Copper is still extensively mined from many expansive open-pit and underground mines, accounting for two-thirds of the nation's output.


* Total employment (2016): 2,379,409 * Total employer establishments (2016): 139,134 The state government is Arizona's largest employer, while Banner Health is the state's largest private employer, with more than 39,000 employees (2016). , the state's unemployment rate was 5.9%. The largest employment sectors in Arizona are (August 2020, Nonfarm Employment):

Largest employers

According to ''The Arizona Republic'', the largest private employers in the state were:


Tax is collected by the Arizona Department of Revenue. Arizona collects personal income taxes in five brackets: 2.59%, 2.88%, 3.36%, 4.24% and 4.54%. The state transaction privilege tax is 5.6%; however, county and municipal sales taxes generally add an additional 2%. In 2020, Arizona voters approved Proposition 208 to create an additional income tax bracket of 8% for incomes over $250,000 (single filers) and $500,000 (joint filers). The Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit challenging it, but it was rejected by Maricopa County Arizona Superior Court judge John Hannah Jr. The state rate on transient lodging (hotel/motel) is 7.27%. The state of Arizona does not levy a state tax on food for home consumption or on drugs prescribed by a licensed physician or dentist. However, some cities in Arizona do levy a tax on food for home consumption. All fifteen Arizona counties levy a tax. Incorporated municipalities also levy transaction privilege taxes which, with the exception of their hotel/motel tax, are generally in the range of 1-to-3%. These added assessments could push the combined sales tax rate to as high as 10.7%.



Interstate highways

, , , , , ,

U.S. routes

, , , , , , , , , , , , , Main Interstate routes include I-17, and I-19 traveling north-south, I-8, I-10, and I-40, traveling east–west, and a short stretch of I-15 traveling northeast-southwest through the extreme northwestern corner of the state. In addition, the various urban areas are served by complex networks of List of Arizona State Routes, state routes and highways, such as the Arizona State Route 101, Loop 101, which is part of Phoenix's vast Metropolitan Phoenix Freeways, freeway system.

Public transportation, Amtrak, and intercity bus

The Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas are served by public bus transit systems. Yuma and Flagstaff also have public bus systems. Greyhound Lines serves Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Yuma, and several smaller communities statewide. A light rail system, called Valley Metro Rail, was completed in December 2008; it connects Central Phoenix with the nearby cities of Mesa and Tempe. In Tucson, the Sun Link streetcar system travels through the downtown area, connecting the main University of Arizona campus with Mercado San Agustin on the western edge of downtown Tucson. Sun Link, loosely based on the Portland Streetcar, launched in July 2014. Amtrak ''Southwest Chief'' route serves the northern part of the state, stopping at Winslow (Amtrak station), Winslow, Flagstaff (Amtrak station), Flagstaff, Williams Junction (Amtrak station), Williams and Kingman (Amtrak station), Kingman. The ''Texas Eagle'' and ''Sunset Limited'' routes serve South-Central Arizona, stopping at Tucson (Amtrak station), Tucson, Maricopa (Amtrak station), Maricopa, Yuma (Amtrak station), Yuma and Benson (Amtrak station), Benson. Phoenix lost Amtrak service in 1996 with the discontinuation of the ''Desert Wind'', and now an Amtrak bus runs between Phoenix and the station in Maricopa.


Airports with regularly scheduled commercial flights include: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX, ICAO: KPHX) in Phoenix (the state's largest airport and the major international airport); Tucson International Airport (IATA: TUS, ICAO: KTUS) in Tucson; Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA, ICAO: KIWA) in Mesa; Yuma International Airport (IATA: NYL, ICAO: KNYL) in Yuma; Prescott Municipal Airport (PRC) in Prescott; Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (IATA: FLG, ICAO: KFLG) in Flagstaff, and Grand Canyon National Park Airport (IATA: GCN, ICAO: KGCN, FAA: GCN), a small, but busy, single-runway facility providing tourist flights, mostly from Las Vegas. Phoenix Sky Harbor is the world's 7th busiest airport in terms of aircraft movements and 17th for passenger traffic. Other significant airports without regularly scheduled commercial flights include Scottsdale Municipal Airport (IATA: SCF, ICAO: KSDL) in Scottsdale, and Deer Valley Airport (IATA: DVT, ICAO: KDVT, FAA: DVT) home to two flight training academies and the nation's busiest general aviation airport.

Law and government

Capitol complex

The capital of Arizona is Phoenix. The original Arizona State Capitol, Capitol building, with its distinctive copper dome, was dedicated in 1901 (construction was completed for $136,000 in 1900) when the area was a territory. Phoenix became the official state capital with Arizona's admission to the union in 1912. The Arizona House of Representatives, House of Representatives and Arizona Senate, Senate buildings were dedicated in 1960, and an Executive Office Building was dedicated in 1974 (the ninth floor of this building is where the Office of the Governor is located). The original Capitol building was converted into a museum. The Capitol complex is fronted and highlighted by the richly landscaped Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, named after Wesley Bolin, a governor who died in office in the 1970s. The site also includes many monuments and memorials, including the anchor and signal mast from the USS Arizona (BB-39), USS ''Arizona'' (one of the U.S. Navy ships Attack on Pearl Harbor, sunk in Pearl Harbor) and a granite version of the Ten Commandments.

State legislative branch

The Arizona Legislature is bicameral (like the legislature of every other state except Nebraska) and consists of a thirty-member Arizona Senate, Senate and a 60-member Arizona House of Representatives, House of Representatives. Each of the thirty legislative districts has one senator and two representatives. Legislators are elected for two-year terms. Each Legislature covers a two-year period. The first session following the general election is known as the first regular session, and the session convening in the second year is known as the second regular session. Each regular session begins on the second Monday in January and adjourns ''sine die'' (terminates for the year) no later than Saturday of the week in which the 100th day from the beginning of the regular session falls. The President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, by rule, may extend the session up to seven additional days. Thereafter, the session can be extended only by a majority vote of members present of each house. The majority party is the United States Republican Party, Republican Party, which has held power in both houses since 1993. The United States Democratic Party, Democratic Party picked up several legislative seats in recent elections, bringing both chambers one seat away from being equally divided as of 2021. Arizona state senators and representatives are elected for two-year terms and are limited to four consecutive terms in a chamber, though there is no limit on the total number of terms. When a lawmaker is term-limited from office, it is common for him or her to run for election in the other chamber. The fiscal year 2006–07 general fund budget, approved by the Arizona Legislature in June 2006, was slightly less than $10billion. Besides the money spent on state agencies, it also included more than $500million in income and property tax cuts, pay raises for government employees, and additional funding for the K–12 education system.

State executive branch

Arizona's executive branch is headed by a Governor of Arizona, governor, who is elected to a four-year term. The governor may serve any number of terms, though no more than two in a row. Arizona is one of the few states that has no governor's mansion. During their term, the governors reside within their private residence, with executive offices housed in the executive tower at the state capitol. The governor of Arizona is Doug Ducey (R). Governor Jan Brewer assumed office in 2009 after Janet Napolitano had her nomination by Barack Obama for United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Secretary of Homeland Security confirmed by the United States Senate. Arizona has had four female governors, more than any other state. Other elected executive officials include the Secretary of State (U.S. state government), Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Arizona Attorney General, State Attorney General, state education agency, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Arizona State Mine Inspector, State Mine Inspector and a five-member Arizona Corporation Commission, Corporation Commission. All elected officials hold a term of four years, and are limited to two consecutive terms (except the office of the State Mine Inspector, which is limited to four terms). Arizona is one of five states that do not have a Lieutenant governor (United States)#Arizona, lieutenant governor. The elected secretary of state is first in line to succeed the governor in the event of death, disability, resignation, or removal from office. If appointed, the Secretary of State is not eligible and the next governor is selected from the next eligible official in the line of succession, including the attorney general, state treasurer and superintendent of public instruction. Since 1977, four secretaries of state and one attorney general have succeeded to Arizona's governorship.

State judicial branch

The Arizona Supreme Court is the highest court in Arizona, consisting of a chief justice, a vice chief justice, and five associate justices. Justices are appointed by the governor from a list recommended by a bipartisan commission and must be sustained in office by election after the first two years following their appointment. Subsequent sustaining elections occur every six years. The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction in death penalty cases, but nearly all other appellate cases go through the Arizona Court of Appeals first. The court has original jurisdiction in a few other circumstances, as outlined in the state constitution. The court may declare laws unconstitutional if seated ''en banc''. The court meets in the Arizona Supreme Court Building at the capitol complex (at the southern end of Wesley Bolin Plaza). The Arizona Court of Appeals, subdivided into two divisions, is the intermediate court in the state. Division One is based in Phoenix, consists of sixteen judges, and has jurisdiction in the Western and Northern regions of the state, along with the greater Phoenix area. Division Two is based in Tucson, consists of six judges, and has jurisdiction over the Southern regions of the state, including the Tucson area. Judges are selected in a method similar to the one used for state supreme court justices. Each county of Arizona has a Arizona Superior Court, superior court, the size and organization of which are varied and generally depend on the size of the particular county.


Arizona is divided into 15 ''County (United States), counties'', ranging in size from to .

Federal representation

Arizona's two United States Senators are Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Mark Kelly (D). Kelly succeeded Martha McSally who was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey following the resignation of Jon Kyl who himself was appointed by Ducey after the death of John McCain in late 2018. As of the start of the 115th United States Congress, 115th Congress, Arizona's representatives in the United States House of Representatives are Tom O'Halleran (D-1), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-2), Raul Grijalva (D-3), Paul Gosar (R-4), Andy Biggs (R-5), David Schweikert (R-6), Ruben Gallego (D-7), Debbie Lesko (R-8), and Greg Stanton (D-9). Arizona gained a ninth seat in the House of Representatives due to redistricting based on 2010 United States Census, Census 2010.

Political culture

From statehood through the late 1940s, Arizona was primarily dominated by the United States Democratic Party, Democratic Party. During this time, the Democratic candidate for the presidency carried the state each election, the only exceptions being the elections of 1920 United States presidential election, 1920, 1924 United States presidential election, 1924 and 1928 United States presidential election, 1928—all three were national Republican Party (United States), Republican landslides. In 1924, Congress had passed a law granting citizenship and suffrage to all Native Americans, some of whom had previously been excluded as members of tribes on reservations. Legal interpretations of Arizona's constitution prohibited Native Americans living on reservations from voting, classifying them as being under "guardianship". This interpretation was overturned as being incorrect and unconstitutional in 1948 by the Arizona Supreme Court, following a suit by World WarII Indian veterans Frank Harrison (soldier), Frank Harrison and Harry Austin, both of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. The landmark case is ''Harrison and Austin v. Laveen''. After the men were refused the opportunity to register in Maricopa County, they filed suit against the registrar. The National Congress of American Indians, the United States Department of Justice, Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the American Civil Liberties Union all filed ''amicus curiae'' (friends of the court) briefs in the case. The State Supreme Court established the rights of Native Americans to vote in the state; at the time, they comprised about 11% of the population. That year, a similar provision was overturned in New Mexico when challenged by another Indian veteran in court. These were the only two states that had continued to prohibit Native Americans from voting.Dr. Dean Chavers, "History of Indian voting rights and why it's important"
, ''Indian Country Today'', October 29, 2012; accessed July 17, 2016. See ''Trujillo v. Garley'' (1948)
From the 1952 United States presidential election, election of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 until 2020, the majority of state voters favored Republicans in presidential elections. Arizona voted Republican in every presidential election from 1952 to 1992, with Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan winning the state by particularly large margins. During this forty-year span, it was the only state not to be carried by a Democrat at least once. Democrat Lyndon Johnson, in 1964 United States presidential election, 1964, lost the state by fewer than 5,000 votes to Arizona Senator and native Barry Goldwater. (This was the most closely contested state in what was otherwise a landslide victory for Johnson that year.) Democrat Bill Clinton ended this streak in 1996 United States presidential election, 1996, when he won Arizona by a little over two percentage points (Clinton had previously come within less than two percent of winning Arizona's electoral votes in 1992 United States presidential election, 1992). From 2000 until 2016, the majority of the state continued to support Republican presidential candidates by solid margins. In the 2020 United States presidential election, Joe Biden again broke the streak by becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Arizona since 1996. Since the late 20th century, the Republican Party has also dominated Arizona politics in general. The fast-growing Phoenix and Tucson suburbs became increasingly friendly to Republicans from the 1950s onward. During this time, many "Pinto Democrats", or conservative Democrats from rural areas, became increasingly willing to support Republicans at the state and national level. While the state normally supports Republicans at the federal level, Democrats are often competitive in statewide elections. Two of the last six governors have been Democrats. On March 4, 2008, Senator John McCain effectively clinched the Republican nomination for 2008, becoming the first major party presidential nominee from the state since Barry Goldwater in 1964. Arizona politics are dominated by a longstanding rivalry between its two largest counties, Maricopa County, Maricopa and Pima County, Pima—home to Phoenix and Tucson, respectively. The two counties have almost 75 percent of the state's population and cast almost 80 percent of the state's vote. They also elect a substantial majority of the state legislature. Maricopa County is home to almost 60 percent of the state's population, and most of the state's elected officials live there. Before Joe Biden won Maricopa County in 2020, it had voted Republican in every presidential election since 1948. This includes the 1964 United States presidential election, 1964 run of native son Barry Goldwater; he would not have carried his home state without his 20,000-vote margin in Maricopa County. Similarly, while McCain won Arizona by eight percentage points in 2008, aided by his 130,000-vote margin in Maricopa County. In contrast, Pima County, home to Tucson, and most of southern Arizona have historically voted more Democratic. While Tucson's suburbs lean Republican, they hold to a somewhat more moderate brand of Republicanism than is common in the Phoenix area. Arizona rejected a Arizona Proposition 107 (2006), same-sex marriage ban in a referendum as part of the 2006 elections. Arizona was the first state in the nation to do so. Recognition of same-sex unions in Arizona, Same-sex marriage was not recognized in Arizona, but this amendment would have denied any legal or financial benefits to unmarried homosexual or heterosexual couples. In 2008, Arizona voters passed Arizona Proposition 102 (2008), Proposition 102, an amendment to the state constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. It passed by a more narrow majority than similar votes in a number of other states. In 2010, Arizona passed Arizona SB 1070, SB 1070, called the toughest Illegal immigration to the United States, illegal immigration legislation in the nation. A fierce debate erupted between supporters and detractors of the law. The United States Supreme Court struck down portions of the Arizona law, which required all immigrants to carry immigration papers at all times, in ''Arizona v. United States''. The 2018 West Virginia teachers' strike, West Virginia teachers' strike in 2018 inspired 2018–19 education workers' strikes in the United States, teachers in other states, including 2018 Arizona teachers' strike, Arizona, to take similar action.

Same-sex marriage and civil unions

In 2006, Arizona became the first state in the United States to reject a proposition, Arizona Proposition 107 (2006), Prop 107, that would have banned same-sex marriage and civil unions. However, in 2008, Arizona voters approved of Prop 102, a constitutional amendment that prohibited same-sex marriage but not other unions. Prior to same-sex marriage being legal, the Bisbee, Arizona, City of Bisbee became the first jurisdiction in Arizona to approve of civil unions. The state's Attorney General at the time, Tom Horne, threatened to sue, but rescinded the threat once Bisbee amended the ordinance; Bisbee approved of civil unions in 2013. The municipalities of Clarkdale, Arizona, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Arizona, Cottonwood, Jerome, Arizona, Jerome, Sedona, Arizona, Sedona, and Tucson, Arizona, Tucson also passed civil unions. A November 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found 44% of Arizona voters supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 45% opposed it and 12% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found 72% of respondents supported legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 40% supporting same-sex marriage, 32% supporting civil unions, 27% opposing all legal recognition and 1% not sure. Arizona Proposition 102, known by its supporters as the Marriage Protection Amendment, appeared as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Arizona, where it was approved: 56.2%–43%. It amended the Arizona Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. On October 17, 2014, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced his office would no longer object to same-sex marriage, in response to a U.S. District Court Ruling on Arizona Proposition 102. On that day, each county's Clerk of the Superior Court began to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and Arizona became the 31st state to legalize same-sex marriage.


Elementary and secondary education

Public schools in Arizona are separated into about 220 local school districts which operate independently, but are governed in most cases by elected county school superintendents; these are in turn overseen by the Arizona State Board of Education and the Arizona Department of Education. A state Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Superintendent of Public Instruction (elected in partisan elections every even-numbered year when there is not a presidential election, for a four-year term). In 2005, a School District Redistricting Commission was established with the goal of combining and consolidating many of these districts.

Higher education

Arizona is served by three public universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University. These schools are governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. Private higher education in Arizona is dominated by a large number of for-profit and "chain" (multi-site) universities. Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott and Prescott College are Arizona's only non-profit four-year private colleges. Arizona has a wide network of two-year vocational schools and community colleges. These colleges were governed historically by a separate statewide board of directors but, in 2002, the state legislature transferred almost all oversight authority to individual community college districts. The Maricopa County Community College District includes 11 community colleges throughout Maricopa County and is one of the largest in the nation.

Public universities in Arizona

* Arizona State University, (Arizona State Sun Devils, Sun Devils) Tempe/Phoenix/Mesa/Glendale/Lake Havasu * Northern Arizona University, (NAU Lumberjacks, Lumberjacks) Flagstaff/Yuma/Prescott * University of Arizona, (Arizona Wildcats, Wildcats) Tucson/Sierra Vista, Doctor of Medicine, MD college in downtown Phoenix and UA Agricultural Center in Yuma/Maricopa

Private colleges and universities in Arizona

* American Indian College * Carrington College (US), Carrington College * Arizona Christian University * The Art Center Design College, Art Center College of Design * The Art Institute of Tucson, Art Institute of Tucson * The Art Institute of Phoenix, Art Institute of Phoenix * A.T. Still University * Brookline College * Brown Mackie College * Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University * Grand Canyon University * International Baptist College * Midwestern University * Northcentral University * Ottawa University * University of Phoenix * Penn Foster College * Prescott College * Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine * Thunderbird School of Global Management * University of Advancing Technology * Western Governors University * Western International University * Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences

Community colleges

* Arizona Western College * Central Arizona College * Cochise College * Coconino Community College * Diné College * Eastern Arizona College * Chandler-Gilbert Community College * Estrella Mountain Community College * GateWay Community College * Glendale Community College (AZ), Glendale Community College * Maricopa County Community College District * Mesa Community College * Mohave Community College * Northland Pioneer College * Paradise Valley Community College * Phoenix College * Pima Community College * Rio Salado Community College * Scottsdale Community College * South Mountain Community College * Yavapai College

Art and culture

Visual arts and museums

Phoenix Art Museum, on the historic Central Avenue Corridor in Phoenix, is the Southwest's largest collection of visual art from across the world. The museum displays international exhibitions alongside the museum's collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. With a community education mandate since 1951, Phoenix Art Museum holds a year-round program of festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs. The museum also has PhxArtKids, an interactive space for children; photography exhibitions through the museum's partnership with the Center for Creative Photography; the landscaped Sculpture Garden and dining at Arcadia Farms. Arizona is a recognized center of Native American art, with a number of galleries showcasing historical and contemporary works. The Heard Museum, also in Phoenix, is a major repository of Native American art. Some of the signature exhibits include a full Navajo hogan, the Mareen Allen Nichols Collection containing 260 pieces of contemporary jewelry, the Barry Goldwater Collection of 437 historic Hopi kachina dolls, and an exhibit on the 19th-century boarding school experiences of Native Americans. The Heard Museum has about 250,000 visitors a year. Sedona, Arizona, Sedona, Jerome, Arizona, Jerome, and Tubac, Arizona, Tubac are known as budding artist colonies, and small arts scenes exist in the larger cities and near the state universities.


Several major Hollywood films, such as ''Billy Jack'', ''U Turn (1997 film), U Turn'', ''Waiting to Exhale'', ''Just One of the Guys'', ''Can't Buy Me Love (film), Can't Buy Me Love'', ''Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure'', ''The Scorpion King'', ''The Banger Sisters'', ''Used Cars'', and ''Raising Arizona'' have been made there (as have many Western (genre), Westerns). The 1993 science fiction movie ''Fire in the Sky'', based on a reported alien abduction in the town of Snowflake, Arizona, Snowflake, was set in Snowflake. It was filmed in the Oregon towns of Oakland, Oregon, Oakland, Roseburg, Oregon, Roseburg, and Sutherlin, Oregon, Sutherlin. The 1974 film ''Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore'', for which Ellen Burstyn won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and also starring Kris Kristofferson, was set in Tucson. The climax of the 1977 Clint Eastwood film ''The Gauntlet (film), The Gauntlet'' takes place in downtown Phoenix. The final segments of the 1984 film ''Starman (film), Starman'' take place at Meteor Crater outside Winslow, Arizona, Winslow. The Jeff Foxworthy comedy documentary movie ''Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie, Blue Collar Comedy Tour'' was filmed almost entirely at the Dodge Theatre. Some of Alfred Hitchcock's classic film ''Psycho (1960 film), Psycho'' was shot in Phoenix, the ostensible home town of the main character. Some of the television shows filmed or set in Arizona include ''The New Dick Van Dyke Show'', ''Medium (TV Series), Medium'', ''Alice (American TV series), Alice'', ''The First 48'', ''Insomniac with Dave Attell'', ''Cops (TV series), Cops'', and ''America's Most Wanted''. The TV sitcom ''Alice (American TV series), Alice'', which was based on the movie was set in Phoenix. ''Twilight (2008 film), Twilight'' had passages set in Phoenix at the beginning and the end of the film.


Arizona is prominently featured in the lyrics of many Country and Western songs, such as Jamie O'Neal's hit ballad "There Is No Arizona". George Strait's "Oceanfront Property" uses "ocean front property in Arizona" as a metaphor for a sucker proposition. The line "see you down in Arizona Bay" is used in a Tool (band), Tool song in reference to the possibility (expressed as a ''hope'' by comedian Bill Hicks) that Southern California will one day fall into the ocean. Glen Campbell, a notable resident, popularized the song "By The Time I Get To Phoenix". "Arizona" was the title of a popular song recorded by Mark Lindsay. Arizona is mentioned by the hit song "Take It Easy", written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey and performed by the Eagles (band), Eagles. Arizona is also mentioned in the Beatles' song "Get Back", credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney; McCartney sings: "JoJo left his home in Tucson, Arizona, for some California grass." "Carefree Highway (song), Carefree Highway", released in 1974 by Gordon Lightfoot, takes its name from Arizona State Route 74 north of Phoenix. Arizona's budding music scene is helped by emerging bands, as well as some well-known artists. The Gin Blossoms, Chronic Future, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Jimmy Eat World, Caroline's Spine, and others began their careers in Arizona. Also, a number of punk rock, punk and rock bands got their start in Arizona, including JFA (band), JFA, The Feederz, Sun City Girls, The Meat Puppets, The Maine (band), The Maine, The Summer Set, and more recently Authority Zero and Digital Summer. Arizona also has many singers and other musicians. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Michelle Branch is from Sedona, Arizona, Sedona. Chester Bennington, the former lead vocalist of Linkin Park, and Mashup (music), mash-up artist DJ Z-Trip are both from Phoenix. One of Arizona's better known musicians is shock rocker Alice Cooper, who helped define the genre. Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer of the bands Tool (band), Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, calls the town of Cornville, Arizona, Cornville home. Other notable singers include Country music, country singers Dierks Bentley and Marty Robbins, folk music, folk singer Katie Lee (singer), Katie Lee, Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, CeCe Peniston, Rex Allen, 2007 ''American Idol (season 6), American Idol'' winner Jordin Sparks, and Linda Ronstadt. Arizona is also known for its heavy metal music, heavy metal scene, which is centered in and around Phoenix. In the early to mid-1990s, it included bands such as Job for a Cowboy, Knights of the Abyss, Greeley Estates, Eyes Set To Kill, blessthefall, The Word Alive, The Dead Rabbitts, and Abigail Williams (band), Abigail Williams. The band Soulfly calls Phoenix home and Megadeth lived in Phoenix for about a decade. Beginning in and around 2009, Phoenix began to host a burgeoning desert rock and sludge metal underground, (ala' Kyuss in 1990s California) led by bands like Wolves of Winter, Asimov, and Dead Canyon. American composer Elliott Carter composed his first String Quartet (1950–51) while on sabbatical (from New York) in Arizona. The quartet won a Pulitzer Prize and other awards and is now a staple of the string quartet repertoire.


State Farm Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008, and Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015. The stadium is also scheduled to host Super Bowl LVII tentatively scheduled for February 5, 2023. Due to its numerous golf courses, Arizona is home to several stops on the PGA Tour, most notably the Phoenix Open, held at the TPC of Scottsdale, and the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana. Auto racing is another sport known in the state. Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, Avondale is home to NASCAR race weekends twice a year. Firebird International Raceway near Chandler, Arizona, Chandler is home to drag racing and other motorsport events.

College sports

College sports are also prevalent in Arizona. The Arizona State Sun Devils and the Arizona Wildcats belong to the Pac-12 Conference while the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks compete in the Big Sky Conference and the Grand Canyon Antelopes compete in the Western Athletic Conference. The rivalry between Arizona State Sun Devils and the Arizona Wildcats predates Arizona's statehood, and is the oldest rivalry in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA. The Territorial Cup, first awarded in 1889 and certified as the oldest trophy in college football, is awarded to the winner of the annual football game between the two schools. Arizona also hosts several college football bowl games. The Fiesta Bowl, originally held at Sun Devil Stadium, is now held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, Glendale. The Fiesta Bowl is part of the new College Football Playoff (CFP). University of Phoenix Stadium was also home to the 2007 BCS National Championship Game, 2007 and 2011 BCS National Championship Game, 2011 BCS National Championship Games. State Farm Stadium hosted the Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2017 and is scheduled to host it again in 2024.


Arizona is a popular location for Major League Baseball spring training, as it is the site of the Cactus League. Spring training was first started in Arizona in 1947 when Brewers owner Veeck sold them in 1945 but went onto purchase the Cleveland Indians in 1946. He decided to train the Cleveland Indians in Tucson and convinced the New York Giants to give Phoenix a try. Thus the Cactus League was born. On March 9, 1995, Arizona was awarded a franchise to begin to play for the 1998 season. A $130million franchise fee was paid to Major League Baseball and on January 16, 1997, the Diamondbacks were officially voted into the National League. Since their debut, the Diamondbacks have won five National League West titles, one National League Championship pennant, and the 2001 World Series.

Miscellaneous topics

Notable people

State symbols

* Arizona state amphibian: Hyla eximia, Arizona treefrog (''Hyla eximia'') * Arizona state bird: cactus wren (''Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus'') * Arizona state butterfly: two-tailed swallowtail (''Papilio multicaudata'') * Arizona state colors: federal blue and old gold * Arizona state dinosaur: Sonorasaurus * Arizona state fish: Apache trout (''Oncorhynchus apache'') * Arizona state flag: Flag of the State of Arizona * Arizona state flower: saguaro, saguaro blossom (''Carnegiea gigantea'') * Arizona state fossil: petrified wood * Arizona state gemstone: turquoise * Arizona state mammal: ring-tailed cat (''Bassariscus astutus'') * Arizona state motto: ''Ditat Deus'' (Latin language, Latin God enriches) * Arizona state neckwear: bolo tie * Arizona state reptile: Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake (''Crotalus willardi'') * Arizona state seal: Great Seal of the State of Arizona * Arizona state slogan: Grand Canyon State * State songs of Arizona, Arizona state songs: "Arizona March Song" (by Margaret Rowe Clifford) and "Arizona" (by Rex Allen, Jr.) * Arizona state tree: Parkinsonia, palo verde (''Parkinsonia'') * Arizona List of U.S. state firearms, state gun: Colt Single Action Army, Colt Single Action Army revolver

See also

* Outline of Arizona * Index of Arizona-related articles



Further reading

* Bayless, Betsy, 1998, ''Arizona Blue Book, 1997–1998''. Phoenix, AZ: Office of the Arizona Secretary of State. * McIntyre, Allan J., 2008, ''The Tohono O'odham and Pimeria Alta''. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. (). * Miller, Tom (editor), 1986, ''Arizona: The Land and the People''. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. (). * Officer, James E., 1987, ''Hispanic Arizona, 1536–1856''. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. (). * Plascencia, Luis F.B. and Gloria H. Cuádraz (eds.), 2018, ''Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona.'' Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. * Thomas, David M. (editor), 2003, ''Arizona Legislative Manual''. I
Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Legislative Council. Google Print. Retrieved January 16, 2006. * Trimble, Marshall, 1998, ''Arizona, A Cavalcade of History''. Tucson, AZ: Treasure Chest Publications. (). * Woosley, Anne I., 2008
''Early Tucson''.
Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ().

External links

* Index of Arizona-related articles
Official Website


Arizona USDA State Fact Sheet

Arizona Indicators

Energy Data & Statistics for Arizona

Arizona State Databases

Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
* * *
Official Arizona Office of Tourism

Arizona Game & Fish Department

National Park Service Travel Itinerary
* {{coord, 34.2744, -111.6602, dim:300000_region:US-AZ_type:adm1st, name=State of Arizona, display=title Arizona, 1912 establishments in the United States Former Spanish colonies States and territories established in 1912 States of the United States U.S. states with multiple time zones Western United States