Known as "the Grand Canyon State" or "the Copper State," Arizona is a symbolic part of the Western United States. Arizona is the sixth largest state in the country and is one of the four corners states. It has a diverse climate, with southern Arizona being made up of desert and northern Arizona having pine, spruce trees, and the Colorado Plateau. One of the most remarkable features of the state is undoubtedly the Grand Canyon. The most popular style of home is a 3-bedroom ranch style house.
The state capital and largest city is Phoenix, which is the sixth most populous city nationwide. Phoenix is the center of the Phoenix metropolitan area which is also known as the Valley of the Sun and part of the Salt River Valley. Around 1960, Phoenix became a popular tourist destination for its exotic desert and unusual recreational opportunities. The downtown area of Phoenix developed significantly in the 1970s and was the site of major construction activity. In 2000, the city adopted a plan that split the city into nine urban villages. Each has its own planning committee directly appointed by the city council with the hope of developing a unique identity for each village. Some of these villages include Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra, Camelback East, and Deer Valley. Arizona also has several other national monuments, forests, and national parks. One quarter of the state is dedicated to Indian reservations that are the home of several Native American tribes.
The majority of Phoenix's early economy was based on agriculture and natural resources. Leading employment categories include office and administrative support, food preparation and serving, and transportation and material moving. Phoenix is the home to four Fortune 500 Companies. These include the electronics corporation, Avnet, the mining company, Freeport-McMoRan, PetSmart, and Republic Services. The city is also the headquarters of U-Haul International, Apollo Group, and Best Western.
For as large as it is, the state of Arizona only has 15 counties, many of them named to honor the state's Native American settlers. The Grand Canyon National Park in northwestern Arizona holds the Colorado River, which winds its way through Coconino and Mohave counties. Coconino County occupies most of the northern central region of the state and contains Flagstaff, its County Seat. Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and over 4 million people, is centrally located east of La Paz County, which borders California. South of Maricopa lies Pima County, the second most populated in the state, which has over 1 million residents. Fast-growing Pinal County is part of the Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale metro area. Phoenix has expanded southward into the county while Tucson has done likewise from the southern end of Pinal, earning it the second-fastest growing county title between the years of 2000 and 2010 according to CNN Money.
The five top employers in Arizona are a diverse group made up of the healthcare, retail, banking and technology sectors. Banner Health employs more than 26,000 people while Walmart and Wells Fargo are fairly close in their personnel count at over 15,000 and 13,000 respectively. Fry's Food and Drug Stores comes in very close to the third spot with over 12,000 employees with Intel Corporation on its heels with over 11,000.