About Arizona

Capital: Phoenix

State abbreviation/Postal code: Ariz./AZ

Organized as territory: Feb. 24, 1863

Entered Union (rank): Feb. 14, 1912 (48)

Present constitution adopted: 1911

Motto: Ditat Deus (God enriches)

Nickname: Grand Canyon State

Origin of name: Uncertain. Perhaps from the O'odham Indian word for “little spring”

State symbols:


Flower of Saguaro Cactus   (1931)


Cactus wren (1931)


blue and old gold (1915)


“Arizona” (1919)


Palo Verde (1954)


Bola tie (1971)


petrified wood (1988)


Turquoise (1974)


Ringtail (1986)


Arizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake (1986)


Arizona Trout (1986)


Arizona Tree Frog (1986)


Two-tailed Swallowtail   (2001)

Census Data

10 largest cities (2013): Phoenix, 1,513,367; Tucson, 526,116; Mesa, 457,587; Chandler, 249,146; Glendale, 234,632;Gilbert, 229,972; Scottsdale, 226,918; Tempe, 168,228; Peoria, 162,592; Surprise, 123,546

Land area: 113,595 sq mi. (294,315 sq km)

Geographic center: In Yavapai Co., 55 mi. ESE of Prescott

Number of counties: 15

Largest county by population and area: Maricopa, 4,009,412 (2013); Coconino, 18,618 sq mi.

State parks: 28

Residents: Arizonan, Arizonian

2015 resident population: 6,828,065

2010 resident census population (rank):6,392,017 (16). Male: 3,175,823 (49.9%); Female: 3,216,194 (50.1%). White:4,667,121 (57.8%); Black: 259,008 (4.1%); American Indian: 296,529 (4.6%); Asian:176,695 (2.8%);Other race: 761,716 (11.9%); Two or more races: 218,300 (3.4%); Hispanic/Latino: 1,895,149 (29.6%). 2010 population 18 and over:4,763,003; 65 and over: 881,831; median age: 35.0.

Famous Arizona natives and residents:

  • Glen Campbell singer
  • Cesar Chavez labor leader
  • Alice Cooper singer and songwriter
  • Wyatt Earp marshall
  • Max Ernst painter
  • Geronimo (Goyathlay) Apache chief
  • Barry Goldwater politician
  • Stephenie Meyer author
  • Charles Mingus jazz musician and composer
  • Stevie Nicks singer
  • Sandra Day O'Connor jurist
  • Jordin Sparks singer
  • Emma Stone actress
  • Clyde W. Tombaugh astronomer
  • Stewart Udall secretary of the Interior
  • Frank Lloyd Wright architect

Arizona Is Home to 13 Different Species of Rattlesnake

This is a higher figure than any other state in the USA. The most notable of the rattlesnakes found in Arizona is called the Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake. It is found in many of the mountain ranges of the state, usually above 4000ft in elevation, and it likes evergreen woodland to roam in. It typically eats lizards, mice and centipedes and will kill its prey with venom from its fangs.

Random Interesting Facts

  • Arizona Produced The Very First Barrel of Tequila! The town of Nogales in the state is the setting for this Arizona fact. In June 1936 this town produced the first ever barrel of tequila in the country. Nogales has never forgotten this first batch of the famous drink, and there is actually now a Nogales Tequila Festival held every year.
  • If you cut down an endangered cactus like the Saguaro in Arizona, you could face up to a year in prison.
  • It can take up to 100 years for a Saguaro cactus to grow an arm in areas of low precipitation.
  • Billy the Kid killed his first victim named Frank “Windy” Cahill in Bonita
  • The world’s largest solar telescope is located at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Sells.
  • The legendary 1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in the Arizona Territory town of Tombstone is considered the most famous shootout in the American Old West, and lasted only 30 seconds.
  • Arizona is large enough to fit all of New England plus the state of Pennsylvania inside of it.
  • It’s illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs. Take of that what you will.
  • You can find roadrunners running up to 17mph from their enemies in Arizona. Dynamite-wielding coyotes remain harder to spot.
  • Every American president since Herbert Hoover has stayed at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, except for President Obama
  • The Apache Trout Fish is only found in Arizona.
  • The Arizona Cardinals are the longest running continuous franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1898.
  • The sun shines in Phoenix and Tucson 85 percent of the year, even more than Florida and Hawaii.
  • Arizona is the only state besides Hawaii that does not observe Daylight Savings time.
  • The films “Casablanca,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom,” “Tank Girl,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Wayne’s World,” “Raising Arizona,” “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Return of the Jedi” were filmed all or in part on Arizona soil.
  • Morton Salt has been mining a salt deposit in unincorporated Glendale since the mid-1980s that is about 40 square miles wide and more than half a mile thick.
  • The world’s oldest rodeo is in Prescott—but the oldest continuous rodeo is in Payson.
  • For a few hundred bucks a night you can sleep 22 stories underground in a hotel room of sorts in the Grand Canyon Caverns in Peach Springs. Not for claustrophobics.
  • Most historians agree that the westernmost Civil War battle took place in 1862 at Picacho Pass, 50 miles northwest of Tucson.
  • In 1973, the bolo tie was designated as Arizona’s official state neckwear.
  • About 150 people are bitten by rattlesnakes every year in Arizona.
  • The most common rattlesnake in the Grand Canyon has an unusual pink hue, that blends in with the rocks. Not cool.
  • The sundial in Carefree, Arizona is one of the world’s largest, measuring 90 feet across.
  • According to the National Weather Service, the biggest snowfall ever recorded in Phoenix measured one inch—once in 1933 and again in 1937