|State of Arizona|
|• Official language||English|
|• Spoken language||As of 2010
|ISO 3166 code||US-AZ|
|Latitude||31°20′ N to 37° N|
|Longitude||109°03′ W to 114°49′ W|
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.
Arizona's population and economy have grown dramatically since the 1950s because of inward migration, and the state is now 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 Circle K, have headquarters in the state, and Arizona is home to major universities, including the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. The state is known for a history of conservative politicians such as Barry Goldwater and John McCain, though it has become a swing state since the 1990s.
Arizona is home to a diverse population. About one-quarter of the state
The state's name appears to originate from an earlier Spanish name, Arizonac, derived from the
Another possible origin is the Basque phrase haritz ona 'the good oak', as there were numerous Basque sheepherders in the area. A native-born Mexican of Basque ancestry established the ranchería (small rural settlement) of Arizona between 1734 and 1736 in the current Mexican state of Sonora. It became notable after a significant discovery of silver there around 1737.
The misconception that the state's name purportedly originated from the Spanish term Árida Zona 'Arid Zone' is considered a case of folk etymology.
For thousands of years before the modern era, Arizona was home to many ancient Native American civilizations. Hohokam, Mogollon, and 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.
When Mexico achieved its independence from the
What is now the state of Arizona was administered by the United States government as part of the
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 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,
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
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
Arizona became a U.S. state on February 14, 1912. Arizona was the 48th state admitted to the U.S. and the last of the 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 War II and
The Phoenix-area German P.O.W. site was purchased after the war by the
Numerous Native Americans from Arizona fought for the United States during World War II. 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
Arizona's population grew tremendously with residential and business development after World War II, aided by the widespread use of
In the 1960s,
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 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 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 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 have been christened in honor of the state, although only USS Arizona (BB-39) was so named after statehood was achieved.
Arizona is in the Southwestern United States as one of the
Arizona is well known for its desert 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
The Mogollon Rim (/ ˌmoʊ gəˈyoʊn /), a 1,998-foot (609 m) 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
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 25 miles (40 km) west of Winslow. A rim of smashed and jumbled boulders, some of them the size of small houses, rises 150 feet (46 m) above the level of the surrounding plain. The crater itself is nearly a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide and 570 feet (170 m) deep.
Arizona is one of two U.S. states, along with Hawaii, that does not observe
- Utah (north)
- Colorado (northeast)
- Nevada (northwest)
- Sonora, Mexico (south)
- Baja California, Mexico (southwest)
- New Mexico (east)
- California (west)
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 60 °F (16 °C). November through February are the coldest months, with temperatures typically ranging from 40 to 75 °F (4 to 24 °C), 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 90 to 120 °F (32 to 49 °C), with occasional high temperatures exceeding 125 °F (52 °C) having been observed in the desert area.
Due to the primarily dry climate, large diurnal temperature variations occur in less-developed areas of the desert above 2,500 ft (760 m). The swings can be as large as 83 °F (46 °C) in the summer months. In the state's urban centers, the effects of local warming result in much higher measured night-time lows than in the recent past.
Arizona has an average annual rainfall of 12.7 in (323 mm),
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 0 °F (−18 °C) 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 100 °F (38 °C) (Phoenix), and the metropolitan area in the lower 48 states with the most days with a low temperature below freezing (Flagstaff).
|Location||July (°F)||July (°C)||December (°F)||December (°C)|
Cities and towns
Phoenix, in Maricopa County, is Arizona's capital and largest city. Other prominent cities in the Phoenix metro area include Mesa (Arizona's third largest city), Chandler (Arizona's fourth largest city), Glendale, Peoria, Buckeye, Sun City, Sun City West, Fountain Hills, Surprise, Gilbert, El Mirage, Avondale, Tempe, Tolleson and Scottsdale, with a total metropolitan population of just over 4.7 million. The average high temperature in July, 106 °F (41 °C), is one of the highest of any metropolitan area in the United States, offset by an average January high temperature of 67 °F (19 °C), the basis of its winter appeal.
Tucson, with a metro population of just over one million, is the state's second-largest city. Located in Pima County, approximately 110 miles (180 km) 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 and Marana northwest of the city, Sahuarita south of the city, and 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.
Flagstaff, in Coconino County, is the largest city in northern Arizona, and is at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet (2,100 m). 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 12,633 feet (3,851 m). Flagstaff has a strong tourism sector, due to its proximity to numerous tourist attractions including: Grand Canyon National Park, 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, in 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 57,000 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.
Largest cities or towns in Arizona
|6||Glendale||Maricopa||249,630||16||Queen Creek||Maricopa / Pinal||66,346|
|8||Peoria||Maricopa||194,917||18||Lake Havasu City||Mohave||58,284|
A population density map of Arizona
- Map of counties in Arizona by racial plurality, per the 2020 U.S. censusLegend
- Non-Hispanic White 40–50%50–60%60–70%70–80%Native American40–50%70–80%Hispanic or Latino60–70%80–90%
- Non-Hispanic White
Extent of the Spanish language in the state of Arizona
Ethnic origins in Arizona
Note that early censuses
may not include
Native Americans in Arizona
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. As of 2011[update], 61% of Arizona's children under age one belonged to racial groups of color. 
The population of metropolitan Phoenix increased by 45% from 1991 through 2001, helping to make Arizona the second fastest-growing state in the U.S. in the 1990s (the fastest was Nevada). As of July 2018[update], the population of the Phoenix area is estimated to be over 4.9 million.
According to the 2010 United States census, Arizona had a population of 6,392,017. In 2010, illegal immigrants constituted an estimated 8% of the population. This was the second highest percentage of any state in the U.S.[b]
Metropolitan Phoenix (4.7 million) and Tucson (1.0 million) 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.
According to HUD's 2022 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, there were an estimated 13,553 homeless people in Arizona.
Race and ethnicity
|Race and ethnicity||Alone||Total|
|Hispanic or Latino[c]||—||30.7%|
|African American (non-Hispanic)||4.4%||5.5%|
|Native American (non-Hispanic)||3.7%||4.9%|
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
Two or more races
Arizona's five largest ancestry groups, as of 2019[update], were:
- African (12%)
|Language||Percentage of population|
(as of 2010)
|Chinese (including Mandarin)||<1%|
Other North American indigenous languages (especially indigenous languages of Arizona)
As of 2010[update], 73% (4,215,749) of Arizona residents age five and older spoke only English at home, while 21% (1,202,638) spoke Spanish, 2% (85,602)
Arizona is home to the largest number of speakers of Native American languages in the 48 contiguous states, as more than 85,000 individuals reported speaking Navajo, and 10,403 people reported Apache, as a language spoken at home in 2005. Arizona's Apache County has the highest concentration of speakers of Native American Indian languages in the United States.
The 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study by ARDA 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 had the highest number of adherents in Arizona (at 930,001), followed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 392,918 members reported and then non-denominational Evangelical Protestant churches, reporting 281,105 adherents. The religious body with the largest number of congregations is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (with 811 congregations) followed by the Southern Baptist Convention (with 323 congregations). This census accounted for about 2.4 million of Arizona's 6.4 million residents in 2010.
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, the fifteen largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 and 2000 were:
|Religion||2010 population||2000 population|
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints||410,263||251,974|
|Southern Baptist Convention||126,830||138,516|
|Assemblies of God||123,713||82,802|
|United Methodist Church||54,977||53,232|
Christian Churches and Churches of Christ
|Evangelical Lutheran Church in America||42,944||69,393|
|Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod||26,322||24,977|
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
|Episcopal Church (United States)||24,853||31,104|
|Seventh-day Adventist Church||20,924||11,513|
|Church of the Nazarene||16,991||18,143|
|Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ||14,350||0|
|Churches of Christ||14,151||14,471|
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.
By the publication of the Public Religion Research Institute's 2020 study, 68% of the population identified as Christian. At the Pew Research Center's 2014 study, 67% of Arizona was Christian. Among the irreligious population from 2014 to 2020 per both studies, they have decreased from 27% of the population to 24% of self-identified irreligious or agnostic Arizonans. Additionally, a third separate study by the Association of Religion Data Archives in 2020 determined Christianity as the dominant religion in the state, with Catholics numbering 1,522,410 adherents and non-denominational Christians increasing to 402,842 Arizonan Christians.
The 2020 total
The state's per capita income is $40,828, ranking 39th in the U.S. The state had a
- 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). As of August 2020[update], the state's unemployment rate was 5.9%.
The largest employment sectors in Arizona are (August 2020, Nonfarm Employment):
|Trade, transportation, and utilities||553,300|
|Education and health services||459,400|
|Professional and business services||419,200|
|Leisure and hospitality||269,400|
|Mining and logging||13,300|
Released in 2008
|Lists of United States state symbols|
According to The Arizona Republic, the largest private employers in the state as of 2019[update] were:
|2||Walmart Stores, Inc.||34,071|
|3||Kroger Co.||20,530||Grocery stores|
|4||Wells Fargo & Co.||16,161||Financial services|
|14,500||Grocery stores, retail drugstores|
|12||Home Depot Inc.||10,200||Retail home improvement|
|13 (tie)||JP Morgan Chase & Co.||10,000||Financial services|
|16||Bank of America Corp.||9,200||Financial services|
|17||Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.||8,759||Mining|
|21||Honeywell International Inc.||7,792|
|22||Circle K Corp.||7,478||Convenience stores|
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%.
|Single||Tax rate||Joint||Tax rate|
|0 – $10,000||2.59%||0 – $20,000||2.59%|
|$10,000 – $25,000||2.88%||$20,001 – $50,000||2.88%|
|$25,000 – $50,000||3.36%||$50,001 – $100,000||3.36%|
|$50,000 – $150,001||4.24%||$100,000 – $300,001||4.24%|
|$150,001 +||4.54%||$300,001 +||4.54%|
Multiple crops are grown in Arizona, including
The Colorado Potato Beetle (
I-8 | I-10 | Future I-11 | I-15 | I-17 | I-19 | I-40
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
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.
Law and government
The capital of Arizona is Phoenix. The original 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 House of Representatives and 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 (one of the U.S. Navy ships sunk in Pearl Harbor) and a granite version of the Ten Commandments.
State legislative branch
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
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.
State executive branch
|State of Arizona|
|Katie Hobbs (D)|
|Secretary of State||Adrian Fontes (D)|
|Attorney General||Kris Mayes (D)|
|State Treasurer||Kimberly Yee (R)|
|Superintendent of Public Instruction||Tom Horne (R)|
|State Mine Inspector||Paul Marsh (R)|
|Speaker of the House||
Ben Toma (R)
|President of the Senate||
Warren Petersen (R)
Arizona's executive branch is headed by a
Governor Jan Brewer assumed office in 2009 after Janet Napolitano had her nomination by Barack Obama for Secretary of Homeland Security confirmed by the Senate. Arizona has had four female governors, more than any other state.
Other elected executive officials include the
Arizona is one of five states that do not have a 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 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 nineteen 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 nine 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 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 counties, ranging in size from 1,238 square miles (3,210 km2) to 18,661 square miles (48,330 km2).
|County name||County seat||Founded||2020 population||Percent of total||Area (sq mi)||Percent of total|
|Apache||St. Johns||February 24, 1879||66,021||0.9%||11,218||9.8%|
|Cochise||Bisbee||February 1, 1881||125,447||1.8%||6,219||5.5%|
|Coconino||Flagstaff||February 18, 1891||145,101||2.0%||18,661||16.4%|
|Gila||Globe||February 8, 1881||53,272||0.7%||4,796||4.2%|
|Graham||Safford||March 10, 1881||38,533||0.5%||4,641||4.1%|
|Greenlee||Clifton||March 10, 1909||9,563||0.1%||1,848||1.6%|
|La Paz||Parker||January 1, 1983||16,557||0.2%||4,513||4.0%|
|Maricopa||Phoenix||February 14, 1871||4,420,568||61.8%||9,224||8.1%|
|Mohave||Kingman||November 9, 1864||213,267||3.0%||13,470||11.8%|
|Navajo||Holbrook||March 21, 1895||106,717||1.5%||9,959||8.7%|
|Pima||Tucson||November 9, 1864||1,043,433||14.6%||9,189||8.1%|
|Pinal||Florence||February 1, 1875||425,264||6.0%||5,374||4.7%|
|Santa Cruz||Nogales||March 15, 1899||47,669||0.7%||1,238||1.1%|
|Yavapai||Prescott||November 9, 1864||236,209||3.3%||8,128||7.1%|
|Yuma||Yuma||November 9, 1864||203,881||2.9%||5,519||4.8%|
Arizona's two United States Senators are Kyrsten Sinema (I) and Mark Kelly (D).
Arizona's United States Representatives are
|Voter registration as of April 2023|
|Party||Number of voters||Percentage|
From statehood through the late 1940s, Arizona was primarily dominated by the
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".
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.
Since the mid 20th century, the Republican Party has also dominated Arizona politics in general. The fast-growing Phoenix and Tucson suburbs became reliably Republican areas 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 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 1952. This includes the 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, 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
In 2010, Arizona adopted
Arizona retains the
Same-sex marriage and civil unions
In 2006, Arizona became the first state in the United States to reject a proposition,
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: 56–43%. 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.
The 2023 American Values Atlas by Public Religion Research Institute found that an overwhelming majority of residents support 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 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.
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
Public universities in Arizona
- Arizona State University, (Sun Devils) Tempe/Phoenix/Mesa/Glendale/Lake Havasu
- Lumberjacks) Flagstaff/Yuma/Prescott
- University of Arizona, (Wildcats) Tucson/Sierra Vista, MD college in downtown Phoenix and UA Agricultural Center in Yuma/Maricopa
Private colleges and universities in Arizona
- American Indian College
- Carrington College
- Arizona Christian University
- Art Center College of Design
- Art Institute of Tucson
- Art Institute of Phoenix
- A.T. Still University
- Brookline College
- Brown Mackie College
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Grand Canyon University
- International Baptist College
- Midwestern University
- Northcentral University
- Ottawa University
- Park University
- University of Phoenix
- Penn Foster College
- Prescott College
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
- Thunderbird School of Global Management
- University of Advancing Technology
- Western International University
- Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences
- 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
- 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
Sedona, Jerome, and 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, Waiting to Exhale, Just One of the Guys, 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 Westerns). The 1993 science fiction movie Fire in the Sky, based on a reported alien abduction in the town of Snowflake, was set in Snowflake. It was filmed in the Oregon towns of Oakland, Roseburg, and Sutherlin.
The 1974 film
Some of the television shows filmed or set in Arizona include
Arizona is prominently featured in the lyrics of many
"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. 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", 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
Arizona also has many singers and other musicians. Singer, songwriter and guitarist
Other notable singers include country singers Dierks Bentley and Marty Robbins, folk singer Katie Lee, Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, CeCe Peniston, Rex Allen, 2007 American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, and Linda Ronstadt.
Arizona is also known for its
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.
|Arizona Cardinals||American football||National Football League||2 (1925, 1947)|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Baseball||Major League Baseball||1 (2001)|
|Phoenix Suns||Basketball||National Basketball Association||0|
|Arizona Coyotes||Ice hockey||National Hockey League||0|
|Phoenix Mercury||Basketball||Women's National Basketball Association||3 (2007, 2009, 2014)|
|Phoenix Rising FC||
|Tucson Roadrunners||Ice hockey||American Hockey League||0|
|Arizona Rattlers||Indoor football||Indoor Football League||6 (1994, 1997, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017)|
Four Super Bowls have been held in Arizona, including Super Bowl LVII which was held at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023.
Due to its numerous golf courses, Arizona is home to several stops on the
Auto racing is another sport known in the state.
College sports are also prevalent in Arizona. The
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. The Fiesta Bowl is part of the new College Football Playoff (CFP). University of Phoenix Stadium was also home to the 2007 and 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
On March 9, 1995, Arizona was awarded a franchise to begin to play for the 1998 season. A $130 million 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.
- ^ a b Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
- ^ second to Nevada with 9% in 2010
- ^ Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin are not distinguished between total and partial ancestry.
- ^ In 2000, this designation was broken into two groups: Independent, Non-Charismatic Churches (34,130 adherents) and Independent, Charismatic Churches (29,755 adherents)
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