AZ Fun Facts
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Arizona is located in the American Southwest. It is the 48th state admitted to the Union on February 14, 1912. The word Arizona derives from the Aztec Indian word "arizuma," which means "silver-bearing."
Arizona’s most famous and now official nickname, “The Grand Canyon State” celebrates its most iconic feature, the Grand Canyon. Arizona is also known as the “Copper State” revealing its abundance in this mineral.
Approximately 85 percent of Arizona’s land comprises national forests, national parks, recreation and wilderness areas, wildlife preserves and Indian reservations. In addition, Arizona is home to several of the world’s “sky islands,” which are mountains surrounded by valleys that boast wide-ranging ecosystems of plant and animal life.
The total area of Arizona is 113,998 square miles (295,000 square kilometers) and is the 6th largest state in the U.S. All of New England plus the state of Pennsylvania would fit inside Arizona. It’s the 14th most populous state with 7.2 million people.
Phoenix is the 5th largest city in America with an estimated population of 1,680,992. It is located within the heart of the 10th largest metropolitan area in the country with an estimated population of 4,948,203. Phoenix is the most populous state capital in the United States.
Arizona welcomed 46.8 million overnight domestic and international visitors in 2019. Nearly 6 million people visited the Grand Canyon in 2019.
The average state elevation is 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) above sea level. Arizona has 3,928 mountain peaks and summits. Twenty-six peaks top 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) in elevation. Humphrey’s Peak is the highest point in Arizona with an elevation of 12,637 feet (3,852 meters).
Arizona boasts the largest percentage of its land designated as American Indian lands. There are 22 tribes in Arizona, the largest being the Navajo Nation.
Arizona offers spectacular and varied terrain, along with tribal lands, vibrant cities, world-class resorts, renowned golfing and historic Western towns. Popular locations include the Grand Canyon; Monument Valley; Canyon de Chelly; Petrified Forest & Painted Desert; Lake Mead; Lake Havasu; Lake Powell & Glen Canyon; Hoover Dam; Sedona; Hopilands; Flagstaff; Scottsdale; Tucson; Saguaro National Park and Chiricahua National Monument.
Arizona’s tourism industry ranks as one of the state’s top export-oriented industries. Other top performing Arizona industries include micro-electronics, mining, aerospace and agriculture.
Arizona is a year-round destination. Sunny skies and low humidity prevail 300 days a year across the state. The busiest season in the desert areas (southern half of the state) lasts from January through March. The peak season in the mountainous regions (in the northern half of the state) are the opposite of the desert areas and are from June through August.
Arizona does not observe daylight savings, however the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona does. Arizona remains on Mountain Standard Time year-round.
State Tree: Palo Verde, which means “green stick” in Spanish.
Saguaro Cactus: The iconic saguaro cactus, which lives only in the Sonoran Desert, is the state’s most recognizable plant and can grow up to 65 feet (20) meters high.
State Bird: Cactus Wren
State Flower: Saguaro Cactus Flower
State Fossil: Petrified Wood
State Gemstone: Turquoise
State Mineral: Wulfenite
State Neckwear: Bolo Tie
Bonus Arizona Fun Facts
The U.S. mail is still delivered by mule in one remote part of Arizona on the Havasupai reservation.
The largest stretch of Ponderosa Pines trees in the U.S. is located in northern Arizona.
For 100+ Fun and Fascinating Facts about Arizona, click here.