ArizonaState of Arizona Flag of ArizonaSealNickname(s): The Grand CanyonState,
The Copper State Motto(s): Ditat Deus("God enriches") Before Statehood Known as
The Arizona Territory
Navajo 1.9% Demonym Arizonan Capital Phoenix Largest city Phoenix Largest metro area Phoenix Metropolitan Area Area Ranked 6th in the US - Total 113,998 sq mi
(295,254 km²) - Width 310 miles (500 km) - Length 400 miles (645 km) - % water 0.32 - Latitude 31° 20′ N to 37° N - Longitude 109° 3′ W to 114° 49′ W Population Ranked 16th in the US - Total 6,338,666 - Density 45.2/sq mi
17.43/km² (36th in the US) Elevation - Highest point Humphreys Peak
12,633 ft (3,851 m) - Mean 4,100 ft (1,250 m) - Lowest point Colorado River
70 ft (22 m) Admission to Union February 14, 1912 (48th) Governor Janet Napolitano (D) Lieutenant Governor None U.S. Senators John McCain (R)
Jon Kyl (R) Congressional Delegation List Time zones - Most of State Mountain: UTC-7 - Navajo Nation Mountain: UTC-7/-6 Abbreviations AZ Ariz. US-AZ Website www.az.gov Arizona State SymbolsLiving Symbols -AmphibianArizona Tree Frog -BirdCactus Wren -ButterflyTwo-tailed Swallowtail -FishApache trout -FlowerSaguaro Cactus blossom -InsectTwo-tailed Swallowtail -MammalRing-tailed Cat -ReptileArizona Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake -TreePalo verdeColorsBlue, Old GoldFossilPetrified woodGemstoneTurquoiseMineralFire AgateRockPetrified woodShip(s)USS ArizonaSlogan(s)The Grand CanyonState SoilCasa GrandeSong(s)Arizona, Arizona March Song Route Marker(s)Quarter
2008 See Also
The State of Arizona (IPA: /ˌeɪrɪˈzoʊnə/) is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. The capital and largest city is Phoenix. The five next largest cities are Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, and Scottsdale. Arizona was the 48th and last of the contiguous states admitted to the Union on February 14, 1912. Arizona is noted for its desert climate, exceptionally hot summers, and mild winters, but the high country in the north features pine forests and mountain ranges with cooler weather than the lower deserts. New population figures for the year ending July 1, 2006 indicate that Arizona was at that time the fastest growing state in the United States, exceeding the growth of the previous leader, Nevada.
Arizona is one of the Four Corners states. It borders New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, touches Colorado, and has a 389-mile (626 km) international border with the states of Sonora and Baja California in Mexico. In addition to the Grand Canyon, many other national forests, parks, monuments, and Indian reservations are located in the state.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Transportation
- 6 Law and government
- 7 Important cities and towns
- 8 Education
- 9 Professional sports teams
- 10 Miscellaneous topics
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
Arizona is located in the Western United States as one of the Four Corners states. Arizona is the sixth largest state in area, after New Mexico and before Nevada. Of the state's 118,000 square miles (306,000 km²), approximately 15% is privately owned. The remaining area is public forest and park land, recreation areas and Native American reservations.
Arizona is best known for its desert landscape, which is rich in xerophyte plants such as cactus. It is also known for its climate, which presents exceptionally hot summers and mild winters. Less well known is the pine-covered high country of the Colorado Plateau in the north-central portion of the state, which contrasts with the desert Basin and Range region in the southern portions of the state.
Like other states of the Southwest, Arizona has an abundance of topographical characteristics in addition to its desert climate. More than half of the state features mountains and plateaus and contains the largest stand of Ponderosa pine in the world. The Mogollon Rim, a 2,000-foot (610 m) escarpment, cuts across the central section of the state and marks the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, where the state experienced its worst forest fire ever in 2002. Arizona belongs firmly within the Basin and Range region of North America. The region was shaped by prehistoric volcanism, followed by a cooling-off and related subsidence. The entire region is slowly sinking.
The Grand Canyon is a colorful, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River, in northern Arizona. 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, visiting on numerous occasions to hunt mountain lion and enjoy the scenery.
The Canyon was created by the Colorado River cutting a channel over millions of years, and is about 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6 to 29 kilometers) and attains a depth of more than 1 mile (1.6 km). Nearly 2 billion years of the Earth's history has been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut through layer after layer of sediment as the Colorado Plateaus have uplifted.
Arizona is home to one of the largest and most well-preserved meteorite impact sites in the world. 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 wide, and 570 feet (174 m) deep.
ClimateLittlefield located outside the Virgin River Gorge is an isolated community in the Mojave Desert.
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 hot summers. Typically, from late fall to early spring, the weather is mild, averaging a minimum of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 °C). November through February are the coldest months with temperatures typically ranging from 40–75 °F (4–24 °C), although occasional frosts are not uncommon. About midway through February, the temperatures start to rise again with warm days, and cool breezy nights. The summer months of May through July bring a dry heat ranging from 90–120 °F (32–48 °C), with occasional high temperatures exceeding 125 °F (52 °C) having been observed in the desert area.
Due to the primarily dry climate, large temperature swings often occur between day and night in less developed areas of the desert. The swings can be as large as 50 °F (28 °C) in the summer months. In the state's urban centers, the effects of local warming result in much higher measured nighttime lows than in the recent past.
Arizona has an average annual rainfall of 12.7 inches (323 mm), which comes during two rainy seasons, with cold fronts coming from the Pacific Ocean during the winter and a monsoon in the summer. The monsoon season occurs towards 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. It is rare for tornadoes and hurricanes to occur in Arizona, but there are records of both occurring.
However, the northern third of Arizona is a plateau at significantly higher altitudes than the lower desert, and has an appreciably cooler climate, with cold winters and mild summers. Extreme 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 higher parts of the state.
Indicative of the variation in climate, Arizona is the state which has both the metropolitan area with the most days over 100 °F (37.8 °C) (Phoenix), and the metropolitan area in the lower 48 states with nearly the most days with a low temperature below freezing (Flagstaff).Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Arizona Cities City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Flagstaff 43/17 46/19 50/23 58/27 68/34 79/41 82/50 80/49 74/42 63/31 51/22 44/17 Phoenix 65/43 69/47 74/51 83/58 92/66 102/75 104/81 102/80 97/75 86/63 73/50 65/44 Tucson 65/39 68/42 73/45 82/51 90/59 100/68 100/73 97/72 94/68 84/57 72/45 65/39 Winslow 47/21 54/26 62/31 70/37 79/45 90/54 93/62 90/61 84/53 72/40 58/29 47/21 Yuma 69/43 74/47 79/51 86/57 94/64 103/72 107/80 105/80 101/73 90/62 77/49 68/42 Source: US National Climatic Data Center
- Main article: History of Arizona
There is some disagreement over the proper etymology of the name "Arizona." Some scholars believe the name is simply an abbreviation of the Spanish phrase arida zona, "dry region", although the phrasing is atypical for Spanish. Others reject this derivation as capricious favoring explanations such as the Basque phrase aritz onak, "good oaks," or the O'odham phrase alĭ ṣonak, "small spring". The Basque etymology is the one preferred by Arizona state historian Marshall Trimble, among other specialists. The name Arizonac was initially applied to the silver mining camp, and later (shortened to Arizona) to the entire territory.
Meeting its original native inhabitants, probably the Sobaipuri, Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan, explored the area in 1539. The expedition of Spanish explorer Coronado entered the area in 1540–42 during its search for Cíbola. Society of Jesus Father Kino developed a chain of missions and taught the Indians Christianity in Pimería Alta (now southern Arizona and northern Sonora) in the 1690s and early 1700s. Spain founded fortified towns (presidios) at Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. When Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, what is now Arizona became part of the Mexican State Nueva California, also known as Alta California. In the Mexican–American War (1847), the U.S. occupied Mexico City and forced the newly founded Mexican Republic to give up its northern territories, including the later Arizona. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) specified that the U.S. pay Mexico the sum of $15 Million US in compensation. In 1853 the land below the Gila River was acquired from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase. Arizona was administered as part of the Territory of New Mexico until southern New Mexico seceded from the Union as the Confederate Territory of Arizona on March 16, 1861. Arizona was recognized as a Confederate Territory by presidential proclamation by Jefferson Davis on February 12, 1862. This is the first official use of the name. A new Arizona Territory, consisting of the western half of New Mexico Territory was declared in Washington, D.C. on February 24, 1863. The new boundaries would later form the basis of the state.
Other names including "Gadsonia", "Pimeria", "Montezuma", "Arizuma", and "Arizonia" had been considered for the territory, however when President Lincoln signed the final bill, it read "Arizona", and the name became permanent. (Montezuma was not the Mexican Emperor, but the sacred name of a divine hero to the Pueblo people of the Gila valley, and was probably considered — and rejected — for its sentimental value, before the name "Arizona" was settled upon.)
Brigham Young sent Mormons to Arizona in the mid-to-late 19th century. They founded Mesa, Snowflake, Heber, Safford and other towns. They also settled in the Phoenix Valley (or "Valley of the Sun"), Tempe, Prescott, among other areas. The Mormons settled what became known as Northern Arizona and northern New Mexico, but these areas were located in a part of the former New Mexico Territory. The largest ancestry of these settlers is German American.A sunset in the Arizona desert near Scottsdale. The climate and imagery are two factors behind Arizona's tourism industry.
Cotton farming and copper mining, two of Arizona's most important statewide industries, suffered heavily during the Great Depression, but it was during the 1920s and 1930s that tourism began to be the important Arizona 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 experience the flavor and life of the "old West." Several upscale hotels and resorts opened during this period, some of which are still top tourist draws to this day; 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 and Italian POW camps during World War II and Japanese US-resident internment camps. However the camps were abolished after World War II. The Phoenix area site was purchased after the war by the Maytag family (of major home appliance fame), and is currently utilized as the Phoenix Zoo. A Japanese American internment camp was located on Mount Lemmon, just outside of the state's southeastern city of Tucson. Another POW camp was located near the Gila River in eastern Yuma County. Because of California's proximity to Japan, a line was drawn somewhat parallel to the California border, and all Japanese residents west of that line were required to reside in the war camps. Grand Avenue, (perhaps because of its similarity to the California border) was chosen as part of that boundary, which resulted in many extended Japanese families being separated; some interned, some free--and some free families, in an odd bid for family values, requested to be interned to stay with their families at a camp built by the original Del Webb Co., a modern manufacturer of large housing developments).
Arizona was also home to the Phoenix Indian School, one of several federal institutions designed to assimilate native children into mainstream culture. Children were often enrolled into these schools against the wishes of their parents and families. Attempts to suppress native identities included forcing the children to cut their hair and take on western names. 
Arizona's population grew tremendously after World War II, in part because of the development of air conditioning, which made the intense summers more comfortable. According to the Arizona Blue Book (published by the 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.
The 1960s saw the establishment of retirement communities, special age-restricted subdivisions catering exclusively to the needs of senior citizens who wanted to escape the harsh winters of the Midwest and the Northeast. Sun City, established by developer Del Webb and opened in 1960 was one of the first such communities. Green Valley, south of Tucson, was another such community designed to be a retirement subdivision for Arizona's teachers. (Many of these senior citizens arrive in Arizona each winter and stay only during the winter months; they are referred to as snowbirds.)
DemographicsHistorical populations Census Pop. %± 18606,482 — 18709,658 49.0% 188040,440 318.7% 189088,243 118.2% 1900122,931 39.3% 1910204,354 66.2% 1920334,162 63.5% 1930435,573 30.3% 1940499,261 14.6% 1950749,587 50.1% 19601,302,161 73.7% 19701,770,900 36.0% 19802,718,215 53.5% 19903,665,228 34.8% 20005,130,632 40.0% Est. 2007 6,338,755 23.5%
As of 2006, Arizona had an estimated population of 6,166,318, which is an increase of 213,311, or 3.6%, from the prior year and an increase of 1,035,686, or 20.2%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 297,928 people (that is 564,062 births minus 266,134 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 745,944 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 204,661 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 541,283 people. New population figures for the year ending July 1, 2006, indicate that Arizona is the fastest growing state in the United States, with 3.6% population growth since 2005, exceeding the growth of the previous leader, Nevada. More than half (around 58%) of the population of Arizona live in cities of 100,000 or more inhabitants, the highest proportion of any of the 50 states. The center of population of Arizona is located in Maricopa County, in the town of Gilbert.Arizona's Population Density.
According to 2006 U.S. Census estimates, Arizona's population is: 59.7% White American, 3.8% African American, 2.4% Asian American, 1.7% mixed, and 29.2% are Hispanics or Latino (of any race). The state has the third highest number (and the sixth highest percentage) of Native Americans of any state in the Union. 286,680 were estimated to live in Arizona, representing more than 10% of the country's total Native American population of 2,752,158. Only California and Oklahoma have more Native Americans. The perimeters of Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott, and Yuma border on Native American reservations.
The largest ancestry groups in Arizona are Mexican (21%), German, English, Irish, and Native American. The southern and central parts of the state are heavily Mexican American, especially in Santa Cruz County and Yuma County near the Mexican border. The north-central and northwestern counties are largely inhabited by residents of English ancestry. The northeastern part of Arizona has many American Indians. African Americans have had a relatively small presence in Arizona, but their numbers are increasing due to in-migration from other states, especially California, the Midwest and the Northeast. The African American population of the Phoenix metropolitan area doubled between 1990 and 2005.
Arizona is projected to become a minority-majority state by the year 2035, if current population growth trends continue. In 2003, for the first time, there were more Hispanic births in the state than white (non-Hispanic) births.
See also the list of native peoples.
- Roman Catholic - 25%
- Evangelical Christian - 23%
- Non-Religious / Unaffiliated - 22%
- Mainline Protestant - 15%
- Latter-Day Saint / Mormon - 4%
- Others - 12%
The 2006 total gross state product was $232 billion. If Arizona (and each of the other US states) were an independent country along with all existing countries (2005), it would have the 61st largest economy in the world (CIA - The World Factbook). This figure gives Arizona a larger economy than such countries as Ireland, Finland, and New Zealand. Arizona currently has the 21st largest economy among states in the United States. As a percentage of its overall budget, Arizona's projected 1.7 billion deficit for '09 is the largest in the country.
The state's per capita income is $27,232, 39th in the U.S. Arizona had a median household income of $46,693 making it 27th in the country and just shy of the US national median. 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). At one point Arizona was the largest producer of cotton in the country. Copper is still extensively mined from many expansive open-pit and underground mines, accounting for two-thirds of the nation's output.
The state government is Arizona's largest employer, while Wal-Mart is the state's largest private employer, with 17,343 employees (2008).
Arizona collects personal income taxes in five brackets: 2.87%, 3.20%, 3.74%, 4.72% and 5.04%. The 'sales tax' is generally around 6.3%.
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 2.870% 0 - $20,000 2.870% $10,000 - $25,000 3.200% $20,001 - $50,000 3.200% $25,000 - $50,000 3.740% $50,001 - $100,000 3.740% $50,000 - $150,001 4.720% $100,000 - $300,001 4.720% $150,001 + 5.040% $300,001 + 5.040%
- Main article: Transportation in Arizona
Main interstate routes include Interstate 17, and Interstate 19 running north-south, Interstate 40, Interstate 8, and Interstate 10 running east-west, and a short stretch of Interstate 15 running northeast/southwest through the extreme northwestern corner of the state. In addition, the various urban areas are served by complex networks of state routes and highways, such as the Loop 101, which is part of Phoenix's vast freeway system.
Public transportation 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 is currently being built in Phoenix. When completed, it will connect Central Phoenix with the nearby cities of Mesa and Tempe. The system is projected to be operational by December of 2008.
In May 2006, voters in Tucson approved a Regional Transportation Plan (a comprehensive bus transit/streetcar/roadway improvement program), and its funding via a new half-cent sales tax increment. The centerpiece of the plan is a light rail streetcar system (possibly similar to the Portland Streetcar in Oregon) that will travel through the downtown area, connecting the main University of Arizona campus with the Rio Nuevo master plan area on the western edge of downtown.
- See also: List of airports in Arizona
Airports with regularly scheduled commercial flights include: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX, ICAO: KPHX) in Phoenix (the largest airport and the major international airport in the state); Tucson International Airport (IATA: TUS, ICAO: KTUS) in Tucson; Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA, ICAO: KIWA) in Mesa; Yuma International Airport (IATA: YUM, ICAO: KYUM) in Yuma; Prescott Municipal Airport (PRC) in Prescott; Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (IATA: FLG, ICAO: KFLG) in Flagstaff, and Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCP), a small, but busy, single-runway facility providing tourist flights, mostly from Las Vegas. Phoenix Sky Harbor is the 7th busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements, and regularly in the top 15 for passengers.
Other significant airports without regularly scheduled commercial flights include Scottsdale Municipal Airport (IATA: SCF, ICAO: KSDL) in Scottsdale.
Law and government
- See also: Arizona Constitution, United States congressional delegations from Arizona, and List of Arizona Governors
The state 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 still a territory. Phoenix became the official state capital with Arizona's admission to the union in 1912.
The House of Representatives and Senate 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. Numerous monuments and memorials are on the site, including the anchor and signal mast from the USS Arizona (one of the U.S. Navy ships sunk in Pearl Harbor), a granite version of the Ten Commandments, and the Arizona Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.
The Arizona Legislature is bicameral (like the legislature of every other state except Nebraska) and consists of a thirty-member Senate and a 60-member 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 only be extended by a majority vote of members present of each house.
The current majority party is the Republican Party, which has held power in both houses since 1993.
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 not uncommon 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, is slightly less than $10 billion. Besides the money spent on state agencies, it also includes more than $500 million in income- and property tax cuts, pay raises for government employees, and additional funding for the K-12 education system.
State executive branch
Arizona Constitution, Article 5
The executive department shall consist of the governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction, each of whom shall hold office for a term of four years beginning on the first Monday of January, 1971 next after the regular general election in 1970
Arizona's executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term. The governor may serve any number of terms, though no more than two in a row. The current governor of Arizona is Janet Napolitano, a Democrat. She was first elected in 2002 and again in 2006 (she was officially sworn in on her second term on January 4, 2007).
Due to the state of Arizona not having a governor's mansion, the governors reside within their private places of residence during their terms in office.
Department of State: Secretary of State's Office
The Secretary serves as acting governor -- serves as acting governor when the governor is absent from the state; the secretary of state, if holding office by election, is first in line to succeed the governor in the event of death, resignation, removal from office, or permanent disability to discharge the duties of the office. The Secretary of State is Janice K. Brewer, a Republican.
There is no office of Lieutenant Governor in the state of Arizona. The Secretary of State serves in this capacity, that is, first in line to succeed the governor. (See office of Secretary of State)
Attorney General's Office
The Attorney General is Terry Goddard,(D)
The State Treasurer's Office
The State Treasurer is Dean Martin, (R)
The Department of Education
The Superintendent of Public Instruction is Tom Horne, (R)
Office of the State Mine Inspector
The State Mine Inspector is Joe Hart, (R)
Arizona's representatives in the United States House of Representatives are Rick Renzi (R-1), Trent Franks (R-2), John Shadegg (R-3), Ed Pastor (D-4), Harry Mitchell (D-5), Jeff Flake (R-6), Raul Grijalva (D-7), and Gabrielle Giffords (D-8). Jim Kolbe announced his retirement from Congress in 2006, creating one of the few open seats in the nation in Arizona's Congressional District 8. Arizona gained two seats in the House of Representatives due to redistricting based on Census 2000.
Political culturePresidential elections results Year RepublicanDemocratic200454.87% 1,104,294 44.40% 893,524 200050.95% 781,652 44.67% 685,341 199644.29% 622,073 46.52% 653,288 199238.47% 572,086 36.52% 543,050 198859.95% 702,541 38.74% 454,029 198466.42% 681,416 32.54% 333,854 198060.61% 529,688 28.24% 246,843 197656.37% 418,642 39.80% 295,602 197261.64% 402,812 30.38% 198,540 196854.78% 266,721 35.02% 170,514 196450.45% 242,535 49.45% 237,753 196055.52% 221,241 44.36% 176,781
From territorial days until the late 1940s, Arizona was a virtual one-party state dominated by the Democrats. From statehood until 1948, the Democratic candidate carried the state in every presidential election.
In recent years, the Republican Party has dominated Arizona politics. Many "Pinto Democrats," or conservative Democrats from rural areas, became increasingly willing to support Republicans at the state and national level. However, the current Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano is a Democrat; she was handily reelected in 2006. At the federal level, Arizona narrowly voted for Bill Clinton in 1996--the first time it supported a Democrat for president since Harry Truman in 1948.
Maricopa County, the fourth-largest county in the country and home of Phoenix, dominates Arizona's politics. It is home to almost 60 percent of the state's population, and most of the state's elected officials live there. It has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1948. This includes the 1964 run of native son Barry Goldwater; he wouldn't have even carried his own state had it not been for Maricopa County.
In contrast, Pima County, home to Tucson, and most of southern Arizona has historically been 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. Between them, Maricopa and Pima counties cast almost three-fourths of Arizona's total vote, and account for a substantial majority in the state legislature.
Arizona rejected an anti-gay amendment in the 2006 midterm elections. Gay marriage was already illegal in Arizona, but this amendment would have denied any legal or financial benefits to unmarried homosexual or heterosexual couples.
Important cities and townsDowntown Phoenix Tucson
- See also: List of localities in Arizona, List of cities in Arizona (by population), and List of Arizona counties
Phoenix, the largest city in the state, and the capital. The Phoenix metro area includes Mesa (the third largest city in Arizona and the most populous suburban city in the United States), Glendale, Peoria, Chandler, Sun City, Sun City West, Fountain Hills, Surprise, Gilbert, El Mirage, Avondale, Tempe and Scottsdale, with a total metropolitan population of just over 4 million.
Tucson is the state's second largest city, and is located in Pima County, approximately 110 miles (180 km) southeast of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The Tucson metropolitan area crossed the one-million-resident threshold in early 2007. It is home to the University of Arizona, one of only three public universities in Arizona.
The Prescott metropolitan area includes the cities of Prescott, Sedona, Cottonwood, Camp Verde and numerous other towns spread out over the Yavapai County area. With 212,635 residents, this cluster of towns form the third largest metropolitan area in the state. The city of Prescott (population 41,528) lies approximately 100 miles (170 km) northwest of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Situated in pine tree forests at an elevation of about 5500 ft, Prescott enjoys a much cooler climate than Phoenix, with average summer highs in the upper 80s Fahrenheit and winter temperatures averaging 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yuma is center of the fourth largest metropolitan area in Arizona. It is located near the borders of California and Mexico. It is one of the hottest cities in the United States with the average July high of 107 degrees Fahrenheit. (The same month's average in Death Valley is 115 degrees.) The city also features sunny days about 90% of the year. The Yuma Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 160,000. Yuma also attracts many winter visitors from all over the United States.
Flagstaff is the largest city in northern Arizona, and has a nearly a 7000 ft elevation, with its large Ponderosa Pine forests and Ski areas, is a stark contrast to the desert regions typically associated with Arizona. It sits at the base of the San Francisco Peaks the highest mountain range in the state of Arizona, with Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet (3,850 m). Flagstaff has a strong tourism sector, due to its proximity to Grand Canyon National Park, Sedona, and Oak Creek Canyon. Historic Route 66 is the main east-west street. Flagstaff is home to 57,391 residents and the main campus of Northern Arizona University.
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 (a division of the Arizona Department of Education) and the 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.The ASU Biodesign Institute
Colleges and universities
Higher education in Arizona is governed at the university level by the Arizona Board of Regents or the ABOR, a 12-member body. According to information published by the ABOR office and available on their Web site, eight volunteer members are appointed by the Governor to staggered eight-year terms; two students serve on the Board for two-year appointments, with the first year being a nonvoting apprentice year. The Governor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction serve as voting ex-officio members. The ABOR provides "policy guidance" and oversight to the three major degree-granting universities, as provided for by Title 15 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
Community colleges in Arizona were governed historically by a separate statewide Board of Directors, but a bill passed in the 2002 regular session of the Legislature (HB 2710, which later became ARS 15-1444) 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. The community college systems in Arizona are among the best in the United States.
Public colleges and universities
Private four-year colleges and universities (non-profit)
Professional Schools, Trade Schools, and For-Profit Private Colleges
- The Art Center Design College, Tucson 
- Art Institute of Phoenix 
- A.T. Still University, Mesa
- Collins College, Tempe
- DeVry University, Phoenix
- Grand Canyon University
- Midwestern University, Glendale
- Northcentral University
- Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery 
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
- Southwestern College
- Thunderbird School of Global Management
- University of Advancing Technology, Tempe
- University of Phoenix
- Western International University
Public two-year colleges
- Arizona Western College
- Central Arizona College
- Cochise College
- Coconino Community College
- Eastern Arizona College
- Maricopa County Community College District
- Mohave Community College
- Northland Pioneer College
- Pima Community College
- Yavapai College
Professional sports teamsClub Sport League Arizona CardinalsFootballNational Football LeagueArizona DiamondbacksBaseballMajor League BaseballArizona Heat* SoftballNational Pro FastpitchArizona RattlersArena FootballArena Football LeagueArizona StingLacrosseNational Lacrosse LeagueArizona SundogsIce hockeyCentral Hockey LeaguePhoenix CoyotesIce hockeyNational Hockey LeaguePhoenix MercuryBasketballWomen's National Basketball AssociationPhoenix RoadrunnersIce hockeyEast Coast Hockey LeaguePhoenix SunsBasketballNational Basketball AssociationTucson SidewindersBaseballMinor League BaseballYuma ScorpionsBaseballGolden Baseball League
With three universities and several community colleges, college sports are also prevalent in Arizona. Arizona is home to the oldest rivalry in the NCAA. The Territorial Cup is given to the winner of the Duel in the Desert, an annual game between intense rivals the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona also hosts several bowl games in the Bowl Championship Series. The Fiesta Bowl, originally held at Sun Devil Stadium, will now be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The University of Phoenix Stadium was also home to the 2007 BCS National Championship Game and hosted Super Bowl XLII on February 3rd, 2008. The Insight Bowl is also held at Sun Devil Stadium.
Besides being home to spring training, Arizona is also home to two other baseball leagues, Arizona Fall League and Arizona Winter League. The Fall League was founded in 1992 and is a minor league baseball league designed for players to refine their skills and perform in game settings in front of major and minor league baseball scouts and team executives, who are in attendance at almost every game. The league got exposure when Michael Jordan started his time in baseball with the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Winter League, founded in 2007, is a professional baseball league for the independent Golden Baseball League. The games are played in Yuma at the Desert Sun Stadium.
- Note: The Arizona Heat is currently suspended from the NPF, with a possible return for the 2008 season.
Spring trainingA spring training game between the two Chicago teams, the Cubs and the White Sox, at HoHoKam Park in Mesa
Arizona is a popular location for Major League Baseball spring training, as it is the site of the Cactus League. The only other location for spring training is in Florida with the Grapefruit League. Spring training has been somewhat of a tradition in Arizona since 1947 despite the fact that the state did not have its own major league team until the state was awarded the Diamondbacks as an expansion team. The state hosts the following teams:
- Arizona Diamondbacks in Tucson Electric Park
- Chicago Cubs in HoHoKam Park
- Chicago White Sox in Tucson Electric Park
- Cleveland Indians in Goodyear Ballpark
- Colorado Rockies in Hi Corbett Field
- Kansas City Royals in Surprise Stadium
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Tempe Diablo Stadium
- Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale Baseball Park
- Oakland Athletics in Phoenix Municipal Stadium
- San Diego Padres in Peoria Sports Complex
- San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale Stadium
- Seattle Mariners in Peoria Sports Complex
- Texas Rangers in Surprise Stadium
Art and pop culture
Arizona has featured a continuous string of dancing and performing groups of many ethnicities. The state is a recognized center of Native American art, with a number of galleries such as the Heard Museum showcasing historical and contemporary works. Sedona, Jerome, and Tubac are known as budding artist colonies, and small arts scenes exist in the larger cities and near the state universities.Monument Valley in the northeastern part of the state is famous for its scenery and Hollywood Western films.
Many tourist souvenirs produced in Arizona or by its residents display characteristic images, such as sunsets, coyotes, and desert plants. 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 indeed have many Westerns). The 1993 science fiction movie Fire in the Sky, which was actually based on a reported alien abduction in Arizona, was set and filmed in the town of Snowflake. The climax of the 1977 Clint Eastwood film The Gauntlet takes place in downtown Phoenix. The final segments of the 1984 film Starman take place at Meteor Crater outside Winslow. The Jeff Foxworthy comedy documentary movie Blue Collar Comedy Tour was filmed almost entirely at the Dodge Theatre. Arguably one of the most famous examples could be Alfred Hitchcock's classic film Psycho. Not only was some of the film shot in Phoenix, but the main character is from there as well. Some of the television shows filmed or set in Arizona include The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Alice, The First 48, Insomniac with Dave Attell, COPS, and America's Most Wanted. The 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, for which Ellen Burstyn won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and also starred Kris Kristofferson, was set in Tucson, as was the TV sitcom Alice, which was based on the movie.
See also List of films shot in Arizona
Arizona is prominently featured in the lyrics of many Country and Western songs. Jamie O'Neal's hit ballad "There is No Arizona". George Strait's "Oceanfront Property" uses the offer of "ocean front property in Arizona" as a metaphor for a sucker proposition that is obviously false. The line "see you down in Arizona Bay" is used in a Tool song in reference to a Bill Hicks quote. The line refers to the hope that L.A. will one day fall into the ocean due to a major earthquake.
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 and others began their careers in Arizona. Also, a number of punk bands got their start in Arizona, including JFA, The Feederz, Sun City Girls, The Meat Puppets, and more recently Authority Zero. There is also an indie rock scene with artists such as Scary Kids Scaring Kids, The Bled, Fine China, Greeley Estates, The Stiletto Formal, The Format.
Arizona also has its share of singers and other musicians. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Michelle Branch is from Sedona. Chester Bennington, the lead vocalist of Linkin Park, and mash-up artist DJ Z-Trip are both from Phoenix. One of Arizona's more infamous musicians would be shock rocker Alice Cooper, who helped define the genre. Other notable singers include country singer Marty Robbins, folk singer Katie Lee, Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, CeCe Peniston, Rex Allen, 2007 American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, and Linda Ronstadt.
See also Music of Arizona
Some famous Arizonans involved in politics and government are:
- former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
- former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini
- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
- Junior Republican Senator Jon Kyl, current chairman of the Senate Minority Whip, and the No.2 Republican in the Senate.
- Presidential candidate (2000), (2008) and Senior Republican Senator John McCain
- Presidential candidate (1964) and former U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater
- former Governor, Secretary of the Interior, and Presidential candidate (1988) Bruce Babbitt
- Presidential candidate (1976) and former Arizona congressman Mo Udall and his brother Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall
- former U.S. Senator Carl Hayden
- and former United States Solicitor General Rex E. Lee.
Arizona notables in culture and the arts include:
- Musicians Curt Kirkwood and Cris Kirkwood of alternative rock band Meat Puppets
- author Zane Grey
- architect Frank Lloyd Wright
- musicians Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Alice Cooper and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, of Phoenix
- Linda Ronstadt of Tucson, Michelle Branch of Sedona, Authority Zero and Jimmy Eat World of Mesa, Gin Blossoms and Psychostick of Tempe, Chronic Future of Scottsdale
- poet Jim Simmerman of Flagstaff
- film director Steven Spielberg grew up in Scottsdale, as did David Spade and Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter.
- labor leader and civil rights pioneer Cesar Estrada Chavez was from San Luis, near Yuma
- Frederick Sommer an artist/photographer moved to Tucson in 1931 and lived in Prescott from 1935-1999
For a complete list, see List of people from Arizona.
State symbolsCactus Wren
- Arizona state amphibian: 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 fish: Arizona Trout (Oncorhynchus gilae apache)
- Arizona state flag: Flag of the State of Arizona
- Arizona state flower: Saguaro blossom (Carnegiea gigantea)
- Arizona state fossil: Petrified wood
- Arizona state gemstone: Turquoise
- Arizona state mammal: Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
- Arizona state motto: Ditat Deus (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
- Arizona state songs: Arizona March Song and Arizona
- Arizona state tree: Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida)
See alsoArizona Portal
- ^ a b Elevations and Distances in the United States. U.S Geological Survey (29 April 2005). Retrieved on November 3, 2006.
- ^ In the event of a vacancy in the office of Governor, the Secretary of State is first in line for succession.
- ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Arizona_%28by_population%29
- ^ Arizona
- ^ Climate Assessment for the Southwest (December 1999). The Climate of the Southwest. University of Arizona. Retrieved on 2006-03-21.
- ^ United States Geological Survey (September 2005). Hydrologic Conditions in Arizona During 1999–2004: A Historical Perspective. Retrieved on 2006-03-20.
- ^ url=http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KPHX/2006/7/1/CustomHistory.html?dayend=31&monthend=8&yearend=2006&req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA
- ^ Mean number of Days with Minimum Temperature Below 32F National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Retrieved March 24, 2007
- ^ Thompson, Clay (2007-02-25). A sorry state of affairs when views change. Arizona Republic. Retrieved on 2007-03-03.
- ^ Jim Turner. How Arizona did NOT Get its Name. Arizona Historical Society. Retrieved on 2007-03-03.
- ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Place Names of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 47
- ^ Timothy Anna et al., Historia de México. Barcelona: Critica, 2001, p. 10.
- ^ Mexican-American War as accessed on March 16th, 2007 at 7:33 MST AM
- ^ ARIZONA ORDINANCE OF SECESSION presented by the Col. Sherod Hunter Camp 1525, SCV, Phoenix, Arizona
- ^ http://www.pima.gov/cmo/sdcp/Archives/reports/Cult.html
- ^ http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/phoenix/
- ^ Table 1: Estimates of Population Change for the United States and States, and for Puerto Rico and State Rankings: July 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006. 2006 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division (December 22, 2006). Retrieved on December 22, 2006.
- ^ http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cenpop/statecenters.txt
- ^ Arizona QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
- ^ Being Black in the Valley
- ^ http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=4& county_id=&mode=state_tops&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&ll=&a=&ea=&order=r
- ^ Pew Forum on Religion and Life Religious composition of Arizona residents, 2008. Margin of Error +/-4.5%
- ^ Church of Scientology of Arizona
- ^ Arizona budget deficit labeled country's worst, The Business Journal of Phoenix
- ^ Tucson: Streetcar Plan Wins With 60% of Vote
- ^ Knauer, Tom. "What is the Territorial Cup?", The Wildcat Online, 2006-11-22. Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
- Bayless, Betsy, 1998, Arizona Blue Book, 1997-1998. Phoenix, Arizona.
- McIntyre, Allan J., 2008, The Tohono O'odham and Pimeria Alta. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, (ISBN 978-0738556338)
- Miller, Tom (editor), 1986, Arizona: The Land and the People. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. (ISBN 0-8165-1004-0)
- Thomas, David M. (editor), 2003, Arizona Legislative Manual. In . Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Legislative Council. Google Print. Retrieved January 16 2006.
- Trimble, Marshall, 1998, Arizona, A Cavalcade of History. Tucson, AZ: Treasure Chest Publications. (ISBN 0-918080-43-6)
External linksFind more about Arizona on Wikipedia's sister projects: Dictionary definitionsTextbooksQuotationsSource textsImages and mediaNews storiesLearning resources
Official State Government website
- Arizona Regional Accounts Data
- Arizona Demographic Data from FedStats
- Arizona State Databases - Annotated list of searchable databases produced by Arizona state agencies and compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association.
- Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
- USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Arizona
- Arizona State Facts
- History topics timeline of Arizona 1862-1962
- Official Arizona Office of Tourism
- Arizona Game & Fish Department (Hunting, Boating & Fishing)
- Arizona State Parks
- Arizona Russian Center
- American Southwest, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
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