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Arizona....

Arizona is located in the southwestern United States and  bordered by Utah, New Mexico, Mexico, and, across the Colorado River, Nevada and California.  Arizona is the 16th most populous of the 50 states. 

Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union.   Arizona achieved statehood on February 14, 1912, so we are a " young" state and just celebrated our centennial in 2012.  Arizona is noted for its desert climate in the southern half, where there are very hot summers and mild winters which attracts retirees from all the country.

Despite the state's aridity, 27% of Arizona is forest, a percentage comparable to modern-day France or Germany.  The largest stand in the world of Ponderosa pine trees is contained in Northern Arizona.   ..The northern half of Arizona can contribute much of its climatic features to a  very large, high plateau (the Colorado Plateau) and mountain ranges—such as the San Francisco Mountains (which are actually ancient volcanos) —as well as large, deep canyons, where there is more moderate weather for three seasons of the year.  Even though much of Arizona is a desert, farming and ranching is a large part of our economy, with nearly 15,000 farms/ranches across the state.  Dairy is Arizona's leading agricultural product and Arizona produces enough beef annually to feed 4.6 million Americans.  Believe it or not, Arizona is the nation's 4th largest producer of durum wheat, and grows enough cotton each year to make a pair of jeans for every person in the US.

The climate of Arizona is divided by the edge of the Colorado Plateau, known locally as the the Mogollon (mug-e-own) Rim. The top of the Mogollon Rim is cold enough and recieves sufficent snowfall to support two ski resorts near Flagstaff and Alpine. Arizona has a 389-mile (626 km)-long international border with the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.    .   Arizona has a 389-mile (626 km)-long international border with the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, and it achieved statehood on February 14, 1912. Arizona is noted for its desert climate in its southern half, where there are very hot summers and quite mild winters. The northern half of Arizona also features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees, a very large, high plateau (the Colorado Plateau) and some mountain ranges—such as the San Francisco Mountains—as well as large, deep canyons, where there is much more moderate weather for three seasons of the year, plus significant snowfalls. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Alpine.Arizona has a 389-mile (626 km)-long international border with the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California. 

Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, and it achieved statehood on February 14, 1912. Arizona is noted for its desert climate in its southern half, where there are very hot summers and quite mild winters. The northern half of Arizona also features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees, a very large, high plateau (the Colorado Plateau) and some mountain ranges—such as the San Francisco Mountains—as well as large, deep canyons, where there is much more moderate weather for three seasons of the year, plus significant snowfalls. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Alp

Arizona does not participate in Daylight Savings Time and can experience temperature swings of up to 50 degrees on any given day.  Rain is more frequent during the winter months and the summer monsoon season, however, average annual rainfall for the state is only 12.7 inches.
 

Area, 113,909 sq mi (295,024 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 5,130,632, a 40% increase since the 1990 census.
Capital and largest city, Phoenix.
Nickname, Grand Canyon State, Copper State.
Motto, Ditat Deus [God Enriches].
State bird, Cactus Wren.
State flower, Saguaro Cactus blossom.
State tree, Palo Verde.

The state's principal crops are cotton, lettuce, cauliflowers, broccoli, and sorghum. Cattle, calves, and dairy goods are, however, the most valuable Arizona farm products.  Manufacturing is the leading economic activity, with electronics, printing and publishing, processed foods, aerospace and transportation the leading sectors. High-technology research and development, communications, and service industries are also important, as are construction (the state was rapidly growing before the "great Recession" hit) and tourism. Health care, transportation and government are currently the largest sectors of Arizona's economy.

Military facilities contributing to Arizona's economy include Fort Huachuca, Luke and Davis-Monthan air force bases, and the Yuma Proving Grounds. Testing and training with military aircraft and desert storage of commercial and military planes are both major undertakings. 

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

Between 1940 and 1960, Arizona's population increased more than 100%, and since then growth has continued, albeit much slower in recent years. By the 2000 census the cumulative increase since 1940 amounted to more than 1000%, and Arizona was ranked among the fastest growing states in the nation. The mountainous north, however, has not shared the population growth of the southern sections of the state. 

*Information from Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition

2010 Census data for Arizona show that the five most populous incorporated places are Phoenix, 1,445,632; Tucson, 520,116; Mesa, 439,041; Chandler, 236,123; and Glendale, 226,721. Phoenix grew by 9.4 percent since the 2000 Census. Tucson grew by 6.9 percent, Mesa grew by 10.8 percent, Chandler grew by 33.7 percent, and Glendale grew by 3.6 percent.

The largest county by population is Maricopa, with 3,817,117 residents. Its population grew by 24.2 percent since 2000. The other counties in the top five include Pima, with a population of 980,263 (increase of 16.2 percent); Pinal, 375,770 (increase of 109.1 percent); Yavapai, 211,033 (increase of 26.0 percent); and Mohave, 200,186 (increase of 29.1 percent). Yavapai county was the fastest growing rural county in America for several years during the building boom of the mid 2000's.

Arizona Counties
County name County seat Year founded 2010 population Percent of total Area (sq. mi.) Percent of total
Apache St. Johns 1879 71,518 1.12 % 11,218 9.84 %
Cochise Bisbee 1881 131,346 2.05 % 6,219 5.46 %
Coconino Flagstaff 1891 134,421 2.10 % 18,661 16.37 %
Gila Globe 1881 53,597 0.84 % 4,796 4.21 %
Graham Safford 1881 37,220 0.58 % 4,641 4.07 %
Greenlee Clifton 1909 8,437 0.13 % 1,848 1.62 %
La Paz Parker 1983 20,489 0.32 % 4,513 3.96 %
Maricopa Phoenix 1871 3,817,117 59.72 % 9,224 8.09 %
Mohave Kingman 1864 200,186 3.13 % 13,470 11.82 %
Navajo Holbrook 1895 107,449 1.68 % 9,959 8.74 %
Pima Tucson 1864 980,263 15.34 % 9,189 8.06 %
Pinal Florence 1875 375,770 5.88 % 5,374 4.71 %
Santa Cruz Nogales 1899 47,420 0.74 % 1,238 1.09 %
Yavapai Prescott 1865 211,033 3.30 % 8,128 7.13 %
Yuma Yuma 1864 195,751 3.06 % 5,519 4.84 %
Totals: 15   6,392,017   113,997