Economy of Arizona

Although the search for gold in the late 1800’s may have initiated the European settlement of Arizona, today, manufacturing has become Arizona's most important industry. Principal products include electrical, communications, and aeronautical items.Arizona abounds in minerals of which Copper is the state's most valuable. In fact, Arizona produces over half of the country's copper. Other leading resources are molybdenum, sand, gravel, and cement.

Agriculture is also important to the state's economy. Top commodities are cattle and calves, dairy products, and cotton. . The state's principal crops are cotton, lettuce, cauliflowers, broccoli, and sorghum.

The mountains in the north and central regions have 3,180,000 acres (1,286,900 hectares) of commercial forests, chiefly ponderosa pines and other firs, which support lumber and building-materials industries. The U.S. government owns about 95% of the commercial forests in the state.

National and state forests attract millions of tourists yearly. Tourism centers in the N on the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest, meteor crater, ancient Native American ruins, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations that cover nearly the state’s entire northeast quadrant. SE Arizona's warm, dry climate and Spanish colonial ruins also attract a large tourist trade, as do golf courses and other leisure facilities.

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.

High-technology research and development, communications, and service industries are also important, as are construction (the state is rapidly growing).