Arizona is the sixth largest state in the United States and, along with New Mexico, is the southernmost of the mountain states, those states through which the Rocky Mountains run.  Arizona was acquired as part of the New Mexico territory by the United States after the Mexican-American War and was the last of the ‘lower 48’ contiguous states to be admitted to the Union.

The largest aspect of Arizona’s economy is in government and services.  Arizona’s position along the southern transportation routes and its border with Mexico require a large transportation sector and its popularity with retirement communities make healthcare another major source of employment.  Arizona’s traditional copper mining industry remains a smaller but very productive economic asset alongside manufacturing.

The state has a large number of national parks, monuments, and forests including the Grand Canyon National Park; these remain Arizona’s most popular tourist attractions.  Most of Arizona’s population is concentrated in the south-central part of the state.  Smaller concentrations can be found on the western border with Mexico and the state line with California.