Tucson, Ariz.

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Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Mayor: Jonathan Rothschild (to Dec. 2015)

2010 census population (rank): 520,116 (33); Male: 257,312 (49.5%); Female: 262,804 (50.5%); White: 362,649 (69.7%); Black: 26,000 (5.0%); American Indian and Alaska Native: 14,154 (2.7%); Asian: 14,920 (2.9%); Other race: 79,239 (15.2%); Two or more races: 22,007 (4.2%); Hispanic/Latino: 216,308 (41.6%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 76.7%; 65 and over: 11.9%; Median age: 33.0

2014 population estimate (rank): 527,972 (33)

See additional census data

Land area: 195 sq mi. (505 sq km);

Alt.: 2,400 ft.

Avg. daily temp.: Jan., 51.3° F; July, 86.6° F

Churches: Protestant, 340; Roman Catholic, 42; other, 150;

City-owned parks and parkways: (25,349 ac.);

Radio stations: AM, 15; FM, 17;

Television stations: 3 commercial; 1 educational; 3 other

Civilian Labor Force (MSA) April 2015: 470,600;

Unemployed (April 2015): 24,000,

Percent (April 2015): 5.1;

Per capita personal income 2013: $20,314

Chamber of Commerce: Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 465 W. St. Mary's Rd., Tucson, AZ 85701

Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona and the seat of Pima County. It is located in the southeast part of the state on the Santa Cruz River.

The site was originally settled by the prehistoric Hohokam Indians (300 B.C.A.D.1400s). The first Europeans to visit the area were Spanish missionaries in the 17th century. In 1700, the Jesuit missionary explorer Father Eusebio Francisco Kino founded the mission of San Xavier del Bac close by the Papago Indian village of Stjukshon (later called Tucson). Stjukshon is an Indian word meaning “village of the dark spring at the foot of the mountain.” The Papago Indians are descendants of the ancient Hohokam peoples.

In 1776, Spanish colonists from Mexico constructed a presidio (fort) at Tucson as protection against the hostile Apache Indians and also established the mission of San Jose de Tucson nearby. Tucson remained a military outpost under Spanish and later Mexican control until the area was sold to the United States as part of the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. Tucson was the capital of the Arizona Territory from 1867 to 1877. It was incorporated as a city in 1877. The town grew rapidly when the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1880 and silver and copper deposits were discovered nearby.

Tucson is a popular vacation and health resort due to its sunny, mild, dry climate and unique desert location. Tourism is important to the city's economy. Major industries include aerospace and missile production, high technology, optics, biotechnology, environmental technology, software, and electronics. Tucson is also the commercial center for the surrounding area's agricultural and mining industries. The city is the home of the University of Arizona.

See also Encyclopedia: Tucson.

Selected famous natives and residents:

  • Rose E. Bird jurist;
  • Dennis De Concini senator;
  • Barbara Eden actress;
  • Linda Ronstadt singer.

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