This is most certainly not a complete guide to the state - you won't find hotel and restaurant guides here sorry. To get some background of the area, make your way to the History page, or for general information on what Arizona is like today, keep reading below. In-depth views on my personal favorite Arizona locales can be found with the links on your left. Any comments, suggestions, or complaints, contact me here.
Arizona, home of natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and the Sonoran Desert, with breathtaking landscapes, stunning plant- and animal-life, and just a great place to go! Located in the South-West of the United States, Arizona is bordered by Utah, New Mexico, California, Nevada and Mexico. The North-East corner is in fact the only place where four states meet - Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado (see map). The state's name is derived from the native american word arizonac, thought to mean 'place of the small spring'.
The sixth largest US state, Arizona has an area of 295,276 kmē (NZ = 270,534 kmē), about 42% of which is owned by the federal government. Despite being deeply inland, the terrain elevation varies from just 21 m along the Colorado River to 3,851 m at the top of Humphrey's Peak in the San Francisco Mountains. Roughly rectangular in shape, the state's dimensions are approximately 635 km North-South by 555 km East-West.
With a population of 5,130,632 in 2000, 1,321,045 of which living in Phoenix, the state capitol, it's population density was 19 people per kmē in 2002. The population growth figures for the state are, to put it bluntly, amazing. In 1950, only 746,587 people inhabited the area. By 1980 that figure had grown to 2,714,984, and in the next decade lept 35% to 3,665,228. Yet still it grew, jumping again by 40% to the previously cited figure of 5,130,632. A study performed by the Arizona State University presented the healthy climate as being the primary factor in this population explosion, with more than half those surveyed replying in that fashion. Although most new residents are of working age, a significant proportion are retirees seeking a healthy climate to live in.
When it comes to comparitive ethnicicity, it comes as no surprise that whites are a large majority - 75.5% at 2000 census. Surprisingly, Arizona's large population of native americans makes second place at 5%, followed by the 3.1% of blacks. Asians are 2%, native hawaiians and other pacific islanders 0.1%. 14.7% did not report race or are of mixed heritage.
The population of native americans has grown steadily since 1900, with a 965% increase over the whole century - 26,500 growing to 255,900. The majority of these are Navajo, who live on their reservation - the largest in the nation - in the North-East of the state, which extends also into Utah and New Mexico. Within the reservation border on several high mesas live the Hopi people, whose village of Oraibi is said to be the oldest continually inhabited village in the US.
The largest religion among the populace is Roman Catholic, constituting of more than a quarter of citizens. Major Protestant factions resident are Baptists, Methodists, Mormons and Presbyterians.