32 Arizona Facts: Important Facts About Arizona

Last updated on September 16th, 2019

Arizona is the 14th most populous and the 6th most extensive of the 50 states of the United States. It lies in the southwestern region of the United States. The state attained statehood on February 14, 1912, becoming the 48th state to join the union. Its five (5) bordering states are Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, California, ColoradoSee the full list of the 50 states and their borders here. Arizona (nicknamed: the Copper State) has 15 counties. The state’s capital is Phoenix. With these facts about Arizona, let us learn more about its history, geography, people, economy and more.

1. Arizona is one of the four corner states. Other three being New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. It means that you can be in all four states at the same time when you are at the four corners (where the boundaries of four states meet, the point is marked by the Four Corners Monument).[1,20]

Arizona and its border states
Arizona (in red) on the map with bordering states.

2. Arizona joined the union as the 48th state and hence it is the last of the contiguous states to do so.[1]

Flag of Arizona

Flag of Arizona

3. Arizona attained statehood on 14th February which coincides with Valentine’s Day.[1]

4. Arizona, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and California were a part of Mexico in some point in history. Arizona became a part of the U.S. after the country won the American-Mexican war in 1848.[2]

5. Did you know that NASA astronauts trained in “Meteor Crater” which is a 50,000-year-old crater to prepare for missions on the moon? The crater is nearly 3/4 of a mile across! Astronauts trained for Apollo missions on this crater. It was created 50,000 years ago by a nickel-iron meteorite.[22]

Arizona on the map

6. Arizona is famous the world over for the Grand Canyon, which is over a mile deep, 227 miles long and up to 18 miles wide.[3]

7. More than 50% of the state lies at an elevation of more than 4,000 feet above sea level.[4]

8. Humphreys Peak at 12,633 feet is the highest point in Arizona.[4]

9. Arizona is the largest copper producing state in the Union. This fact is also made evident with the usage of a copper star on the flag of the state. Representing the thirteen original colonies, the flag consists of 13 alternating red and yellow rays.[5]

10. One of the most primitive rattlesnakes found in the country – the Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake – is the official state reptile of Arizona. The state has 13 species of rattlesnakes (sometimes called “buzzworms” because of the buzzing sound of their rattles), which is more than any other state.[5,18]

The Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake.
The Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake. Image via – Flickr

11. Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is the most populous state capital in the United States. It is also the only state capital with a population of more than a million. The city was founded in 1867 by Jack Swilling.[6]

12. Did you know that the blind adventurers Lonnie Bedwell and Erik Weihenmayer completed a 21-day 277-mile kayak trip through the Grand Canyon on September 28, 2014? A tremendous amount of practice was done by the duo to accomplish the nearly impossible task.[23]

13. The other popular nickname of the state: The Grand Canyon State.

14. Phoenix, Arizona is the hottest city in the U.S.[21]

15. Phoenix, Arizona ranks consistently number one for the most days a year when the temperature rises above 89 degrees Fahrenheit or 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The city sees sunshine more than 105 days a year when the temperature is above 99 degrees Fahrenheit.[7]

16. The largest Native American Reservation – the Navajo Nation — is found in Arizona. It reserves an area of 17,544,500 acres.[8]

The State Quarter

Arizona state quarter. Arizona fact file

17. Arizona is also home to the best-preserved crater on Earth – the Barringer Crater. It has a diameter of about 1,200 meters and a depth of 170 meters. It is estimated that the crater is 50 thousand years old.[9]

18. The Cotton State also has the largest aperture solar telescope located at the Kitts Peak National Observatory.[10]

19. The largest reservoir in the U.S. – Lake Mead – was created after the completion of the Hoover Dam on May 29, 1935. The reservoir stretches 112 miles long with a total capacity of 28,255,000 acre-feet, a shoreline of 759 miles, and a maximum depth of 532 feet.[24]

20. Located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, is the village of Supai, the only place in the country where mail is delivered by mule. The U.S. Department of Agriculture referred it to as “the most remote community” in the contiguous U.S. As of 2010, there were 208 people living in the village.[11]

Supai, Arizona.
The village of Supai, the only place in the country where mail is delivered by mule. Image via – Flickr

21. Arizona (except the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii do not observe Daylight Saving Time.[12]

22. Arizona also has the deepest dam in the world – the Parker Dam. The dam is 320 feet high of which 235 feet are below the riverbed.[13]

23. The state is home to the two largest man-made lakes in the United States – Lake Mead (largest) and Lake Powell (second largest).[14]

24. Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory at Flagstaff on February 18, 1930.[15]

25. The amount of copper in the state Capitol Building Arizona is equivalent to 4.8 million pennies.[16]

26. The state, among all other states, has the highest percentage of land set aside and designated as Indian land.[1]

27. Cutting down a cactus in Arizona is a punishable offense and the maximum term in jail for the act could be 25 years. The saguaro cactus which is prevalent in Arizona takes a long time to grow. The lifespan of the plant is between 150 and 200 years and the plant can grow up to 50 feet tall. Thus, the authorities are aggressive about protecting the habitat.[17]

Cactus in Arizona
A cactus in Arizona. Image via – Flickr

28. Copper was discovered in Arizona is 1854.[19]

29. The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona sees 5 million visitors every year.[19]

30. Because of the ability to view stars away from city lights and pollution, Tuscan, Arizona is called the Astronomy Capital of the World.[25]

31. The Gila monster lives In Arizona desert. Gila monsters are the largest lizards native to the United States. They get their name from Arizona’s Gila River basin, where they were first discovered. A drug for the management of Type 2 diabetes is based on a protein from Gila monster saliva. The drug has the nickname “lizard spit,” according to the San Diego Zoo. [26,27]

32. Arizona is the first of the three states with official state neckwear: the bola tie. The other two states that have the same official neckwear are New Mexico and Texas.[28]

Arizona – Quick Facts and State Symbols

State AbbreviationAZ
NoteClick on the previous/next link below to see more table entries.
State CapitalPhoenix
Largest CityPhoenix
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 113,998 sq miles; Land Only: 113,635 sq miles
Geographic centerYavapai, 55 miles ESE of Prescott
Population
7,171,646
(Estimate July 1, 2018 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodFebruary 14, 1912
State rank by population14th
State rank by date of formation48th
State rank by area6th
Number of Counties15
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
DemonymArizonan
Bordering StatesCalifornia, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah
Official LanguageEnglish
Highest PointHumphreys Peak
12,637 ft (3852 m)
Lowest pointColorado River at the Sonora border
72 ft (22 m)
Mean elevation4,100 feet above sea level
Length 400 miles (645 km)
Width310 miles (500 km)
National ParksGrand Canyon National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Saguaro National Park
GovernorDoug Ducey (R)
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D)
Electoral Votes11
State MottoDitat Deus (God enriches)
State NicknameThe Grand Canyon State
% Water0.35
Nobel Prize WinnersRoy J. Glauber (Nobel Prize in Physics 2005)
Nicolaas Bloembergen (Nobel Prize in Physics 1981)
Willis E. Lamb, Jr. (Nobel Prize in Physics 1955)
Famous PeopleCurley Culp (Pro Football Player)
Wes Bentley (Actor)
Jordin Sparks (Singer)
State FishApache Trout
State Flag

Arizona flag

State seal

Arizona-StateSeal.svg

State quarter

Arizona quarter

State BirdCactus Wren

Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus 20061226.jpg

State GemstoneTurquoise

Turquoise.pebble.700pix.jpg

State ReptileArizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake

Arizona Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake

Endemic mammalRingtail

Ringtail  (Bassariscus astutus) in Northern CA (3)
State FlowerSaguaro Cactus Blossom

Saguaro Flowers
State FossilPetrified wood

ArizonaPetrifiedWood.jpg

State ButterflyTwo-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly

Papilio multicaudata.jpg

State TreeBlue Palo Verde

Cercidium floridum whole.jpg

State FirearmColt Single Action Army Revolver

1956prime2.jpg

State AmphibianArizona tree frog

Hyla eximia.jpg

Longitude109°  03′ W to 114°  49′ W
Latitude31°  20′ N to 37° N
Time ZoneMountain Time Zone
Websitewww.az.gov
Area Codes480, 520, 602, 623, 928
Table last updatedMay 14, 2019