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Tucson Facts

Tucson Information about in AZEstablished as a Spanish frontier presidio by Lt. Col. Hugo O'Conor in 1775, across the Santa Cruz River from the 75-year-old Jesuit-Franciscan mission of San Agustin at the foot of Sentinel Peak, the fortification against Apache raids in the Santa Cruz Valley under Spanish colonial and, after 1821, Mexican rule, was just the latest event in the long history for the site, which is credited with being the oldest continuously occupied community in North America.

Unlike the arid Mojave Desert to the northwest, Tucson is in the northern zone of the Sonoran plain, a region of regular rainfall, including a late summer monsoon, that supports an abundance of plant and animal life, much of it unique to the region. Because of that, Paleo-Indians, and later, the Hohokam people, made their homes on both banks of the Santa Cruz River, on the plain between today's Stone and Grande avenues.

The name "Tucson" is derived from the Tohono O'odham word "chuk-sun," or black rock, which referred to the obsidian slopes of Sentinel Peak. A primary staging area for the western leg of the Old Spanish Trail to California, the presidio and territory became a part of the United States as part of the Gadsden Purchase in 1854.

Briefly conquered by the Confederate States of America during the Civil War in 1862, it was capital of the Arizona Territory for 10 years until 1877, and in 1880, the Southern Pacific Railroad connected Tucson with the leading ports of San Diego and New Orleans. Arizona became the 48th state in 1912, but it took the Second World War to transform Tucson, as thousands of military personnel came to the city for flight training at Davis-Monthan and Ryan air fields. By 1950, Tucson's population topped 100,000 and the city has been growing rapidly ever since.

The city of Tucson now covers an area of approximately 156 square miles, while the entire metropolitan area covers nearly 500 square miles. From Downtown Tucson the metropolitan area extends from the Santa Rita and Sierrita Mountains to the south, the Tucson Mountains to the west, the Tortolita Mountains to the northwest, the Rincon Mountains to the east and the Santa Catalina Mountains, which rise to 9,100 feet, to the north and northeast.

Tucson Demographics

Tucson Demographics Information in AZThe Tucson region's population, which has been growing at a pace of more than 2 percent per year, local and state demographers continue to believe the region's population has topped 1 million. About one out of four people living in the region were not here when the 21st century began in 2000.

With more than six million residents, Arizona is now the 16th largest state. Metropolitan Phoenix is at or beyond four million in population and by 2036, Arizona is expected to be the nation's sixth most populous state, said Marshall Vest, director of the University of Arizona Forecasting Project at the Eller College of Management.

Tucson Economy

Personal income in the Tucson totals more than $45 billion. The Tucson economic development forecast region remains a leading vacation destination, attracting more than 4 million people to the area each year to enjoy resorts, spas and the area's natural beauty.

Tucson Economic Development Forecast in AZBiotechnology is a promising growth sector of the economy. Roche Holdings, based in Switzerland, acquired Ventana Medical Systems and announced it would expand the operation in Oro Valley to further develop testing pathologies for pharmaceuticals. Other major players include Sanofi-aventis. The Critical Path Institute (C-Path), a joint venture of the University of Arizona, SRI International and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is also working to develop pharmaceuticals that can be brought to market quicker and safely. The University of Arizona Bio5 Institute for biomedical research is also a key player in this growing industry.

Southern Arizona also retains a leading position in aerospace and defense, with the Tucson area serving as home for Raytheon Missile Systems, Honeywell Aerospace and Northrop- Grumman, as well as dozens of suppliers and advanced aerospace and defense technology companies.

Agriculture, once a greater part of the local economy with citrus and world-famous Pima cotton formerly grown here, has changed. The nation's largest pecan processor is in Green Valley, Eurofresh hot house tomatoes and cucumbers are grown in Willcox and Safford, and more than 90 percent of Mexico's winter fruit and vegetable imports are reprocessed and packaged at warehousing and distribution centers between Nogales and Tucson.

On the manufacturing side, a 975,000 square-foot fulfillment center on the southeast side for Target.com employs upwards of 1,000 people at normal and as many 500 more at peak times. Additionally, Stanley Inc., a company that has a 10-year contract with the U.S. Department of State to produce passports. La Consteña Foods' Tucson cannery celebrates its anniversary. As an industry, residential home construction represented $2.5 billion to the regional economy.

Tucson Education

Tucson Education School District in AZIn the Tucson metropolitan statistical area, 56.8 percent of the population 25 years and over holds a high school diploma or higher degree. According to the 2000 census, 23.3 percent of the population 25 years and older holds a high school diploma or general equivalency degree; 6.7 percent holds an associate's degree; 15.9 percent holds a bachelor's degree and 10.9 percent holds a graduate or professional degree.

Parents also can educate their children in the Tucson area in public, private, charter or home schools. Pima County has 226 district schools, 52 private schools and 82 charter schools, which are public schools. District schools include alternative and special purpose institutions. The 360 district, charter and private schools in Pima County teach kindergarten through 12th grade in several different grade configurations. Most schools have traditional grade groupings but others combine middle and high school or middle school and elementary and still others teach kindergarten through 12th grade students.

The Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind in Tucson is a state agency that educates deaf and blind children through the 12th grade. Higher education, including customized labor training programs for employers, is available through Pima Community College and the Tohono O'Odham Community College, the University of Arizona, University of Phoenix, Prescott College, and Chaparral College, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.

Tucson Tourism

No matter what you're looking for, Tucson has it. From the finest world-class spas and golf, to rugged mountain hikes, Spanish missions or a mock gunfight at an old West saloon, you'll find it in this beautiful valley. Surrounded by five mountain ranges, Tucson brings together Mexican, Spanish, Native American, and other cultural influences. The Catalina Mountains, north of Tucson, are home to Mount Lemmon -- the southernmost ski area in the continental United States. You can easily breathe in the scent of pine needles as you glide down the mountain in the morning, and then relax at a world-class spa by the middle of the afternoon.

If you're interested in shopping, La Encantada in the Catalina Foothills offers more than 40 upscale stores and restaurants, including Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton. Tucson has four other major shopping malls -- Tucson Mall, Park Place, Foothills and El Con -- and new regional shopping venues are coming online in 2008. In February each year, Tucson hosts its famous gem and mineral show, which attracts thousands of visitors from around the world to see and purchase gems, minerals and fossils from over 30 sites around the city.

Tucson Tourist Attractions Information in AZThe world's top 64 professional golfers compete for an $10 million purse at the end of February in the World Golf Championships -- Accenture Match Play Championship that is played on a new Ritz Carlton course at Dove Mountain designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Major League Baseball Spring Training features the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

The Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau assists individual and group travelers, and also offers extensive services to meeting and convention planners. The latest information is always available on the bureau's Web site at www.visittucson.org. Please let us know if we can help you, your family or friends with any real estate in Arizona: info@MyOwnArizona.com. We are here for you!


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