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Arizona

People

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.

There were 203,527 Native Americans in Arizona in 1990 (or almost 6% of the people), the third highest such population in the United States. In addition to the Navajo, they include Mohave, Apache, Hopi, Paiute, Tohono O'Odham, Pima, Maricopa, Yavapaí, Hualapai, and Havasupai. Agriculture is the basis of their economy, but lack of water makes farming difficult; there is much poverty. The production of handicrafts, including leather goods, woven items, pottery, and the famous silver and turquoise jewelry of the Navajo; tourism; and mineral leases have also brought income to the tribes.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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