Arizona, the state of the Grand Canyon, became a state on February 14, 1912, the last of the 48 contiguous United States to be admitted to the union. Originally part of Spanish and Mexican territories, the land was ceded to the United States in 1848 and became a separate territory in 1863.
Copper was discovered in 1854 and copper mining was Arizona’s main industry until the 1950s. After World War II, the widespread availability of refrigeration and air conditioning caused Arizona’s population to grow and Phoenix to become one of the fastest growing cities in America.
Arizona is the sixth largest state in the country by area. The population has always been predominantly urban, especially since the mid-20th century when urban and suburban areas began to grow rapidly at the expense of rural areas.
Some scholars believe the state’s name comes from a Basque phrase meaning “place of oaks,” while others attribute it to a Tohono O’odham (Papago) Indian phrase meaning “place of the young (or little) spring.” means.
Arizona is a state located in the southwestern United States, bordered by California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Mexico. It is known for its desert climate and rugged terrain. The state is divided into two distinct regions: the Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Range Province.
The Colorado Plateau covers most of northern Arizona and is characterized by high plateaus and flat valleys with deep canyons. The area is home to many national parks like Grand Canyon National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Navajo Nation Monument, and Saguaro National Park. The landscape of this region includes mesas, buttes, cinder cones, volcanic mountains, deep canyons cut by rivers like the Colorado River.
The Basin and Range Province covers much of southern Arizona. This region is characterized by mountain ranges separated by large valleys or basins that are often filled with sand dunes or salt flats. This area has some of the hottest temperatures in the country due to its low elevation compared to other parts of Arizona. There are several mountain ranges in this region including the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona as well as some isolated mountain peaks like Baboquivari Peak near Tucson.
Arizona’s climate varies greatly depending on region due to its size and diverse geography. In general though it has hot summers with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) during peak months from June through September in most areas of the state. Winters are milder but still cool with temperatures rarely dipping below freezing except in higher elevations such as Flagstaff or Prescott where snowfall occurs more frequently than other parts of Arizona.
Arizona’s geography also includes numerous rivers that provide water for agricultural use throughout the state including the Salt River which flows through Phoenix; San Pedro River which flows through Tucson; Gila River which flows through Yuma; Verde River which flows through Sedona; Little Colorado River which flows through Flagstaff; Bill Williams River which flows into Lake Havasu City; Santa Cruz River which winds southward toward Mexico; Agua Fria River which passes near Glendale; and San Francisco Wash which passes near Yuma on its way to California’s Imperial Valley before emptying into Mexico’s Gulf of California at San Felipe Bay on Baja California’s west coast.
In addition to rivers there are several large lakes located throughout Arizona including Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border; Lake Havasu near Parker along the Colorado River; Lake Mead near Las Vegas on Nevada-Arizona border; Roosevelt Lake near Globe along Tonto Creek arm of Salt River system; Theodore Roosevelt Lake near Phoenix along Salt River system arm called Salt-Verde Rivers system; Apache Lake located east of Phoenix along Salt-Verde Rivers system arm called Verde Rivers system; Bartlett Reservoir located north of Phoenix along Verde Rivers system; Saguaro Reservoir located east of Tucson along Santa Cruz Rivers system; Alamo Reservoir located west of Tucson along Gila Rivers system; Concho Reservoir located southwest corner part between New Mexico-Arizona border along Little Colorado Rivers System; Horseshoe Reservoir located south part between New Mexico-Arizona border along Bill Williams Rivers System.
Cities in Arizona
Below are the top 15 cities by population in Arizona. For all cities and towns in the state, please see Arizona cities list.
|11||San Tan Valley||96,127|
Counties in Arizona
The State of Arizona consists of 15 counties. They are:
- Apache County, Arizona
- Cochise County, Arizona
- Coconino County, Arizona
- Gila County, Arizona
- Graham County, Arizona
- Greenlee County, Arizona
- La Paz County, Arizona
- Maricopa County, Arizona
- Mohave County, Arizona
- Navajo County, Arizona
- Pima County, Arizona
- Pinal County, Arizona
- Santa Cruz County, Arizona
- Yavapai County, Arizona
- Yuma County, Arizona