|State in the southwestern United States. It is bordered by Utah, New Mexico, Mexico, and, across the Colorado R., Nevada and California. |
Area, 113,909 sq mi (295,024 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 5,130,632, a 40% increase since the 1990 census.
Capital and largest city, Phoenix.
Nickname, Grand Canyon State, Copper State.
Motto, Ditat Deus [God Enriches].
State bird, cactus wren.
State flower, blossom of the saguaro cactus.
State tree, paloverde.
The state's principal crops are cotton, lettuce, cauliflowers, broccoli, and sorghum. Cattle, calves, and dairy goods are, however, the most valuable Arizona farm products. Manufacturing is the leading economic activity, with electronics, printing and publishing, processed foods, and aerospace and transportation leading sectors. High-technology research and development, communications, and service industries are also important, as are construction (the state is rapidly growing) and tourism. Military facilities contributing to Arizona's economy include Fort Huachuca, Luke and Davis-Monthan air force bases, and the Yuma Proving Grounds. Testing and training with military aircraft and desert storage of commercial and military planes are both major undertakings.
Arizona abounds in minerals. Copper is the state's most valuable mineral; Arizona leads the nation in production. Other leading resources are molybdenum, sand, gravel, and cement.
Between 1940 and 1960, Arizona's population increased more than 100%, and since then growth has continued. By the 2000 census the cumulative increase since 1940 amounted to more than 1000%, and Arizona was ranked among the fastest growing states in the nation. The mountainous north, however, has not shared the population growth of the southern sections of the state. Over 80% of the people are Caucasian and nearly 20% are Hispanic.
USA WEEKEND's Annual Travel Report
The 10 Most Beautiful Places in America
It's a nation so blessed with sights -- natural and man-made -- that you could ask all 300 million residents for their favorites and expect 300 million different answers. So how do you go about picking the country's 10 most beautiful spots?
Well, for starters, you go about it very boldly. You solicit opinions from travel writers and photographers, poll your colleagues, and talk to outdoor enthusiasts, historic preservationists and relatives who, every time you see them, seem to have just returned from another fabulous trip. In putting together USA WEEKEND Magazine's annual summer travel story, our editors did all that. To help frame the unenviable -- all right, nearly impossible -- task of limiting America's most beautiful attractions to a mere 10, we also offered a few guidelines. Nominees had to be publicly accessible and reasonably well-known. Iconic stature wouldn't hurt a place's chances, and, given the want of any objective way to measure beauty, sentimental favoritism was an acceptable tiebreaker. In other words, we instructed our experts to follow their hearts. After reading the top 10 list they produced, we hope you'll do the same.
1. Red Rock Country (Sedona, Ariz.)
Ever since the early days of movies, when Hollywood has wanted to show the unique beauty of the West, it has gone to Sedona, a place that looks like nowhere else. Beginning with The Call of the Canyon in 1923, some hundred movies and TV shows have been filmed in and around town. We fell under Sedona's spell, too, and while debating our No. 1 spot kept returning to it for the same reasons Hollywood does: The area's telegenic canyons, wind-shaped buttes and dramatic sandstone towers embody the rugged character of the West -- and the central place that character holds in our national identity. There's a timelessness about these ancient rocks that fires the imagination of all who encounter them. Some 11,000 years before film cameras discovered Sedona, American Indians settled the area. Homesteaders, artists and, most recently, New Age spiritualists have followed. Many cultures and agendas abound, but there's really only one attraction: the sheer, exuberant beauty of the place. People come for inspiration and renewal, tawny cliffs rising from the buff desert floor, wind singing through box canyons, and sunsets that seem to cause the ancient buttes and spires to glow from within. We hear the canyon's call and cannot resist. For more, go to www.sedona.net.
*Information from Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition