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List of states
Capital: Phoenix
State motto: "Ditat Deus"
( Latin God enriched )
Surface: 295,254 km²
Residents: 6,828,065 (2015 estimate) (22 U / km²)
Member since: February 14, 1912
Time zone: UTC − 7 ( MST )
(daylight saving time only in the Navajo area)
The highest point: 3851 m ( Humphreys Peak in the
San Francisco Peaks )
Average Height: 1250 m
Deepest point: 21 m Colorado River
Governor : Doug Ducey ( R )
Post  / Office /  ISO AZ / AZ / US-AZ
Map of Arizona
Map of Arizona
The Grand Canyon (2010)
The Grand Canyon (2010)

Arizona ( American pronunciation  [ æɹɪˈzoʊ̯nə ] ) is a state in the southwestern United States ; the abbreviation is AZ. Arizona is nicknamed Grand Canyon State . Its capital is Phoenix . Please click to listen!Play

The origin of the name is unclear. Since the beginning of the 20th century, historians predominantly advocated the thesis that the name came from the name alĭ ṣonak ("small source") of the O'odham language. Originally it only referred to an area around Planchas de Plata near Nogales (Sonora) in what is now the border region between Mexico and the USA. The Tohono O'Odham still use this name to refer to the region, which sounds like Arissona .

Historians have supported the thesis that Basque immigrants have given the name aritz ona (good oak) from their language since 1979 .

A widespread folk etymological derivation from the Spanish word for Aride Zone is not tenable, as the name Zonarida should follow from the designation zona árida .


Throughout the south bordering Arizona to Mexico . Otherwise the border is domestic. It is bordered by California to the southwest and Nevada to the northwest . In the north, the border with Utah runs towards Four Corners ' Point , the only quadrangle in the United States and one of the few in the world. There Arizona meets Colorado in the extreme northeast and shares the eastern border completely with New Mexico .

Arizona belongs to two natural areas. The northeast of the state is on the Colorado Plateau , all other parts of Arizona belong to the Basin and Range region. The border is formed by the Mogollon Rim mountain range .

The Colorado River and the Grand Canyon it formed separates the Arizona Strip from the rest of the state in the northwest . It also forms almost all of Arizona's western border with Nevada and California. Other major rivers in Arizona include the Little Colorado River in the northeastern state and the Gila River and its tributaries in central and southern Arizona.


The US state of Arizona is divided into 15 counties with an average area of ​​19,683.6 km².


In Arizona there is a dry desert and semi-desert climate, in the north it is more of a steppe climate. This means that, depending on the altitude, there are relatively mild winters and hot summers. Because of the proximity to the Rocky Mountains, there are usually large temperature differences between day and night. The average rainfall is between 100 and 500 mm per year, with most of the rain falling between July and November. In addition, the city of Yuma is one of the sunniest places in the world with around 4,000 hours of sunshine annually. On the other hand, the city of Flagstaff , located at around 2,135 meters in the north of the state, is one of the most important winter sports locations in the United States .

Average monthly temperatures (max / min) for selected locations in Arizona
place July (° C) December (° C)
Phoenix 41/28 19/7
Tucson 38/23 18/4
Yuma 41/28 20/8
Flagstaff 27/11 5 / −8
Prescott 31/15 11 / −4
Kingman 36/19 13/0

Flora and fauna

Because of the drought, Arizona has many cacti, palm lilies, and mesquite trees . The largest wildlife species include white tailed deer and mule deer, as well as elk, pronghorn and bighorn sheep. A few bears still live in remote areas. Predators such as pumas, jaguars, badgers and other marten-like animals live in the mountain regions. There are many species of lizards, spiders, and snakes in the Sonoran Desert .


Population development
Census Residents ± in%
1900 122.931 -
1910 204.354 66.2%
1920 334.162 63.5%
1930 435,573 30.3%
1940 499.261 14.6%
1950 749,587 50.1%
1960 1,302,161 73.7%
1970 1,770,900 36%
1980 2,718,215 53.5%
1990 3,665,228 34.8%
2000 5,130,632 40%
2010 6,413,158 25%
2011 estimate 6,482,505 1.1%
Before 1900

1900-1990 2000

6,392,017 people live in Arizona (as of the 2010 census), of whom 76.9% are white , 4.5% Native American , 3.4% black or African-American and 2.3% are Asian-Americans . 29.2% describe themselves as Hispanics or Latinos regardless of the specification of the “Race” .


The most common ancestry of the population of Arizona in 2009 were Mexican (27.4%), German (16%), Irish (10.8%), English (10.1%) and Italian (4.6%). In particular, the southern and central districts are mainly Mexican, while the northern districts are largely populated by descendants of British immigrants and the northeast has the largest proportion of Indian residents.

Since 2003, the Hispanic (Latin American) population has given birth to more children than the non-Hispanic population, and it is expected that Latin Americans will make up the majority of the population by 2035.


Spanish language in Arizona

In 2000, 74.1% of the population had English as their mother tongue, 19.5% Spanish , 1.9% Navajo , 0.6% other Indian languages ​​and 0.5% German . English has been the official state language since 2006.


The religious communities with the largest membership in 2000 were the Catholic Church with 974,883, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 251,974 and the Southern Baptist Convention with 138,516 followers.

Four fifths of the population of Arizona describe themselves as Christian , with Catholics and Protestants strongly represented and Mormons also have a not insignificant proportion.

Biggest cities

Population density
Yuma (Arizona) Surprise (Arizona) Peoria (Arizona) Tempe (Arizona) Gilbert (Arizona) Scottsdale Glendale (Arizona) Chandler (Arizona) Mesa (Arizona) Tucson Phoenix (Arizona)

The cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale and Tempe merge almost seamlessly, so that the Phoenix-Mesa Metropolitan Area is often perceived as a unit, even if they are administratively separated.


In the period from 300 to around 1200, the Hohokam culture was in southern Arizona .

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was the first European to travel to today's southwestern United States around 1535. Based on his descriptions of the cities of the Pueblo Indians , the Viceroy of Mexico, Antonio de Mendoza , sent the Spanish Franciscan Marcos de Niza to this region in 1539 . Due to the falsified reports by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and Marcos de Niza, the legend of the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola was born . Francisco Vásquez de Coronado , a Spanish conquistador , searched these cities from 1540–1542, found and described the pueblo culture. The actual colonization began by Catholic- Spanish missionaries. They began to convert the Indians to the Catholic faith. Soon after, the Spaniards founded the first fortified cities (1752 Tubac , 1775 Tucson ). After Mexican independence in 1821, Arizona became part of Mexico.

In 1848, after its defeat in the Mexican-American War , Mexico had to cede all areas north of the Gila River to the USA by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo for a payment of 15 million dollars. This area extended over the present-day states of Arizona, New Mexico , California , Nevada , Utah , the western part of Colorado and the southwestern part of Wyoming . In 1850, the New Mexico Territory was formed from what is now Arizona, western New Mexico and southern Nevada. In 1853, with the Gadsden purchase of Mexico for 10 million US dollars, another area of ​​77,700 km² south of the Gila River was acquired. It was attached to the New Mexico Territory and is now largely in Arizona after its division into the Territories of Arizona and New Mexico on February 24, 1863.

On February 28, 1859, the first Indian reservation , the Gila River Indian Reservation , for the Pima and Maricopa Indians was established in the Arizona Territory . On June 1, 1868, a treaty between the United States and the Navajo (Diné) established the largest reservation in the United States, the Navajo Nation Reservation , which was only half in Arizona at the time, but now covers the entire northeast of the United States State.

On February 14, 1912, Arizona was established as the 48th state as a self-governing state . The upgrading is due not least to the Arizona Rangers , who liberated Arizona from excessive lawlessness through active efforts (1901 to 1909).


For a long time after World War II, Arizona was a stronghold of the non-evangelical wing of the Republicans , which produced prominent politicians with Barry Goldwater and later John McCain . The Republicans of Arizona have won presidential elections since 1952, with the exception of the 1996 election. The steady immigration from Mexico makes the Republican supremacy in Arizona insecure, as the immigrants overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party . Compared to the more active Hispanic communities in California or Nevada , the majority of the Arizonans came to the country much later (see Operation Gatekeeper ) and are politically far more abstinent, so that the structural majority capability of the Democrats, which had been expected since the 1990s, did not materialize until 2018. While the number of Latinos rose from 700,000 to 2.2 million between 1990 and 2015 and their share of the population rose to around 30 percent in 2018 (and 90 percent of them were of Mexican origin), they made up only around 18 percent of the electorate. Most recently, a Hispanic was elected to a state-wide office in 1974, namely Raul Hector Castro as governor.

In 2003, the Democrat Janet Napolitano was elected Governor of Arizona (see List of Governors of Arizona ). When she was appointed Secretary of Homeland Security by US President Barack Obama in 2009 , she was succeeded by Jan Brewer , a Republican; a lieutenant governor does not exist in Arizona. Under Brewer's leadership, an immigration law was passed that sparked protests across the country and was observed worldwide. A call by the California city of Los Angeles to boycott the Arizona economy was threatened with retaliation. In Arizona itself, the law has created sharp polarization between supporters and opponents. The Justice Ministry sued the law because it restricted federal powers. The Supreme Court declared the law partially unconstitutional, but received the controversial regulation that police officers may ask for identification papers during traffic checks. In the state of Arizona, generous gun laws also apply on a US scale. For example, it is permitted to carry weapons openly in public without a gun license. Guns are allowed in bars and pubs.

Since 2019, the state has been represented in the United States Senate by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally (see the list of US Senators from Arizona ). McSally was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to serve in the Senate of Republican John McCain, who died in August 2018 . McCain represented the state in the Senate from 1987 and was regarded within his party as a lateral thinker and sharp critic of US President Donald Trump , as was Sinemas' Republican predecessor Jeff Flake .

In the House of Representatives delegation from Arizona, the Democrats have had a 5-4 majority since the 2018 election (see list of members of the US House of Representatives from Arizona ).

Presidential election

On November 5, 1912 , the first US presidential election took place in Arizona. Arizona voted in the first half of the 20th century alternately for both major parties ( Swing State ); between 1932 and 1948, Arizona's electoral votes went exclusively to Democrats Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. After that, with the exception of 1996, when Bill Clinton won, Republican presidential candidates always won with election results of mostly over 50 percent - with Ronald Reagan in 1984 the highest number of 66.4 percent . In the last election in 2016, Donald Trump achieved a lead of 3.5 percentage points with a good 48 percent of the vote.

The best election result of a “third candidate” achieved Robert M. La Follette senior in 1924, who received 17,210 votes (23.27 percentage points).

year Candidate (winner) percent be right Candidate (loser) percent be right Other parties
2016 Donald Trump (R) 48.10 1,252,401 Hillary Clinton (D) 44.60 1,161,167 7.30% (191,089)
2012 Mitt Romney (R) 54.10 1,077,252 Barack Obama (D) 43.92 874.515 1.99% (39,577)
2008 John McCain (R) 53.64 1.230.111 Barack Obama (D) 45.12 1,034,707 1.25% (28,657)
2004 George W. Bush (R) 54.87 1,104,294 John Kerry (D) 44.40 893.524 0.74% (14,767)
2000 George W. Bush (R) 51.02 781.652 Al Gore (D) 44.73 685.341 4.25% (65,023)
1996 Bill Clinton (D) 46.52 653.288 Bob dole (r) 44.29 622.073 9.18% (129,044)
1992 George HW Bush (R) 38.47 572.086 Bill Clinton (D) 36.52 542.050 25.00% (371,843)
1988 George HW Bush (R) 59.95 702,541 Michael Dukakis (D) 38.74 454.029 1.30% (15,303)
1984 Ronald reagan (r) 66.42 681.416 Walter Mondale (D) 32.54 333.854 1.03% (10,627)
1980 Ronald reagan (r) 60.61 529,688 Jimmy Carter (D) 28.24 246.843 11.15% (97,414)
1976 Gerald Ford (R) 56.37 418,642 Jimmy Carter (D) 39.80 295,602 3.83% (28,475)
1972 Richard Nixon (R) 61.64 402.812 George McGovern (D) 30.38 198,540 7.99% (52,153)
1968 Richard Nixon (R) 54.78 266,721 Hubert H. Humphrey (D) 35.02 170,514 10.20% (49,701)
1964 Barry goldwater (r) 50.45 242,535 Lyndon B. Johnson (D) 49.45 237.753 0.10% (482)
1960 Richard Nixon (R) 55.52 221.241 John F. Kennedy (D) 44.36 176,781 0.12% (469)
1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) 60.99 176,990 Adlai Ewing Stevenson (D) 38.90 112,880 0.10% (303)
1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) 58.35 152.042 Adlai Ewing Stevenson (D) 41.65 108,528 -
1948 Harry S. Truman (D) 53.79 95.251 Thomas E. Dewey (R) 43.82 77,597 2.38% (4,217)
1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) 58.80 80.926 Thomas E. Dewey (R) 40.90 56,287 0.31% (421)
1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) 63.49 95,267 Wendell Willkie (R) 36.01 54.030 0.49% (742)
1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) 69.85 86,722 Alf Landon (R) 26.93 33,433 3.23% (4,008)
1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) 67.03 79.264 Herbert Hoover (R) 30.53 36,104 2.44% (2,883)
1928 Herbert Hoover (R) 57.57 52,533 Alfred E. Smith (D) 42.23 38,537 0.20% (184)
1924 Calvin Coolidge (R) 41.26 30,516 John W. Davis (D) 35.47 26,235 23.27% (17,210)
1920 Warren G. Harding (R) 55.60 37.016 James M. Cox (D) 44.40 29,554 -
1916 Woodrow Wilson (D) 57.17 33,170 Charles Evans Hughes (R) 35.37 20,522 7.46% (4,327)
1912 Woodrow Wilson (D) 43.52 10,324 Theodore Roosevelt (U) 29.29 6,949 27.19% (6,449)

death penalty

In Arizona, the death penalty is provided for and continues to be used in jurisdiction. Since 1976, 37 people have been executed in Arizona. 124 people were sentenced to death by January 2016.

Number of executions per year:

year 1992 1993 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2007 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
number 1 2 1 2 2 4th 7th 3 1 1 4th 6th 2 1


Arizona Highway Sign

Arizona has a well-developed road network, see list of state, US and interstate highways in Arizona .

There is an intercontinental airport , Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix with more than 40 million passengers a year, and Tucson International Airport in Tucson with more than 4 million passengers a year. The airports in Flagstaff and Yuma are of regional importance .

Rail transport

In 2008 there were nine railway companies in Arizona with a route network of 2,700 kilometers. The two Class 1 companies, BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad, operated two major east-west main routes through the state. Amtrak operates the Southwest Chief long-distance train on the northern BNSF Los Angeles-Williams-Flagstaff route and the Sunset Limited long-distance train on the southern UP route Los Angeles-Tucson-San Antonio .

The other railway companies are the local companies: Apache Railway , Arizona and California Railroad , Clarkdale Arizona Central Railroad , Copper Basin Railway , San Manuel Arizona Railroad and the shunting companies: Arizona Eastern Railway , San Pedro Southwestern Railroad .

At 54.5%, coal is the most important rail freight imported into Arizona.


Arizona has two universities of national importance: the University of Arizona at Tucson and the Arizona State University at Tempe near Phoenix . The Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and the Arizona Christian University in Glendale are of regional importance . Thunderbird - The Garvin School of International Management in Glendale near Phoenix is ​​a business school that specializes in international management.

Moreover, there are in Phoenix nor the DeVry University , the Southwestern College , the University of Phoenix and Western International University , and in Prescott , the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Prescott College .

Culture and sights

National parks

Arizona is famous for its many desert landscapes and canyons . The Grand Canyon National Park , which the World Heritage in the United States belongs, is located in the northwest, the Canyon de Chelly National Monument in northeast. To the east is the Petrified Forest National Park and to the south is the Saguaro National Park . On the state border with Utah there is also the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (also subordinated to the National Park Service). a. the second largest reservoir in the USA Lake Powell and the horseshoe bend of the Colorado River belong to Horseshoe Bend .

The Monument Valley on the border of Utah is not a national park and is also not the National Park Service . It is administered by the Navajo Indians who live there themselves, so Monument Valley as well as Antelope Canyon on the outskirts of the city of Page are subject to the Navajo Tribal Park Service.

The National Park Service identifies a total of 22 protected areas and ten National Natural Landmarks for Arizona (as of September 30, 2017).

National park location view
Grand Canyon National Park
  • Arizona
  • 4,326,234 visitors (2004)
  • founded February 26, 1919
Grand Canyon National Park
United States map
Grand Canyon South Rim Trail P4140464.jpg
Petrified Forest National Park
  • Arizona
  • 666,978 visitors (1999)
  • founded January 1st, 1962
Petrified Forest National Park
United States map
Saguaro National Park
  • Arizona
  • 637,888 visitors (2002)
  • founded January 1, 1933
Saguaro National Park
United States map
Saguaro np.jpg

National Monuments

Arizona is the state with the most National Monuments :

State parks

The state has set up additional state parks on its territory , some of them were closed in 2009 due to lack of funds (as of 2010).

Cultural monuments

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright , Taliesin West is one of 46 National Historic Landmarks in Arizona.

The National Park Service has 46 National Historic Landmarks and 1463 entries in the National Register of Historic Places for Arizona (as of September 30, 2017).


Arizona is represented in all major US sports leagues by professional teams, all of which are based in the greater Phoenix area. The Arizona Cardinals , who play in the National Football League (NFL), have been based in Arizona since 1988 and were in Super Bowl XLIII , which was lost. The Arizona Diamondbacks began playing in Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1998 and were able to win the championship with the 2001 World Series . The longest-running professional team in Arizona are the Phoenix Suns , who have played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) since 1968 . The Arizona Coyotes represent the state in the National Hockey League (NHL).

In college sports, the teams from the University of Arizona , the Arizona Wildcats , and the Arizona State Sun Devils from Arizona State University are most important. Both compete in the Pacific-12 Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association . There is intense rivalry between the two universities. There are also the Grand Canyon Antelopes of Grand Canyon University in the Western Athletic Conference and the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona University in the Big Sky Conference .


The real gross domestic product per capita GDP - the most important indicator of prosperity - was USD 43,709 in 2016 (national average of the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 44). The unemployment rate was 4.3% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%). Arizona is one of the poorer states in the United States.

In addition to irrigation crops (citrus fruits, cereals, cotton, winter vegetables), the main products of agriculture are cattle farming. The largest farms in the United States can be found in Arizona. Copper ore mining, coal, petroleum and fine electronics are important. Arizona is of great importance as a travel destination.


  • Patrick Lavin: Arizona: An Illustrated History. Hippocrene, New York 2001, ISBN 0-7818-0852-9 .
  • Thomas E. Sheridan: Arizona: A History. University of Arizona, Tucson 1995, ISBN 0-8165-1056-3 .
  • Lawrence Clark Powell: Arizona: A Bicentennial History. WW Norton, Nashville 1976, ISBN 0-393-05575-2 .

Web links

Commons : Arizona  - Collection of pictures, videos, and audio files
Wikivoyage: Arizona  Travel Guide
Wiktionary: Arizona  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015 (CSV) US Census Bureau . December 24, 2015. Accessed December 24, 2015.
  2. Jim Turner: How Arizona Did NOT Get Its Name ... ( Memento of October 13, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Thompson, Clay: No, 'arid zone' not the basis of state's name . The Arizona Republic . February 11, 2007. Accessed July 31, 2016.
  4. Arizona climate averages . Weatherbase. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  5. Data (last accessed on November 1, 2012)
  6. ^ US Census Bureau _ Census of Population and Housing . Retrieved February 28, 2011
  7. Extract from . Retrieved February 28, 2011
  8. ^ Extract from November 4, 2015
  9. US Census Bureau ( February 19, 2016 memento in the Internet Archive ) (last accessed December 23, 2014)
  10. ^ The Association of Religion Data Archives Maps & Reports ( Memento of December 13, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (last accessed on November 1, 2012)
  11. Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca: The shipwrecks of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca , publisher: Klaus Renner p. 112
  12. Ethan Epstein: Is THIS the Year Arizona Finally Turns Blue? In: Politico , July 16, 2018.
  13. En Arizona, les Latinos protestent contre une "chasse au faciès légalisée". Le Monde , May 17, 2010.
  14. ^ Ed Pilkington: Arizona threatens to cut power to Los Angeles over immigration row. The Guardian , May 20, 2010.
  15. Randall C. Archibold: Foes and Supporters of New Immigration Law Gather in Arizona. The New York Times , May 29, 2010.
  16. Julia Preston: Justice Dept. Sue's Arizona Over Its Immigration Law. The New York Times, July 6, 2010.
  17. ^ Supreme Court overturns Arizona immigration law. Zeit Online , June 25, 2012.
  18. ↑ Detailed election results in Our Campaigns.
  19. Amtrak 2011 route map: West ( Memento from January 11, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (last accessed on November 1, 2012)
  20. ^ Association of American Railroads: Freight Railroads in Arizona 2008 (last accessed November 1, 2012)
  21. Railroad map (last accessed on November 4, 2015; PDF; 366 kB)
  22. ^ Arizona. In: Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  23. Arizona State Parks: Arizona State Parks Keeps Nine Parks Open. Thirteen will Close ( Memento from February 2, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), Press Release, January 15, 2010.
  24. ^ Arizona. In: Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  25. ^ Robbie Baker: Why the Arizona State-Arizona Rivalry Is the Nation's Most Underrated on August 16, 2013, accessed December 30, 2019.
  26. ^ US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic Analysis: Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved August 27, 2017 (American English).
  27. ^ Unemployment Rates for States. Retrieved January 8, 2018 .

Coordinates: 34 ° 17 ′  N , 111 ° 39 ′  W