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Arizona Economy

The United States has become a service economy and many states, Arizona included, generate most of their revenue through service industries. Spending by tourists and retired people contribute significantly.

Arizona's manufacturing revenues are generated from high tech products like computers, electronic equipment, and aerospace vehicles.

Agriculture and mining are also important in Arizona along with cattle ranching.


Arizona's agricultural output is pretty evenly distributed between crops and livestock. About 47% of Arizona's agricultural production is in livestock. The other 53% is in crops.

In terms of revenue generated, Arizona's top five agricultural products are cattle and calves, lettuce, dairy products, cotton, and hay.


Arizona's biggest crop is lettuce, comprising about 20% of the state's total crop production.

Arizona is also a leading cotton-producing state ranking 10th in the nation.

Hay and greenhouse and nursery production each generate about 1/2 of the revenues provided by cotton.

Cantaloupes account for about 2% of the state's crop revenues.

Other important crops are barley, potatoes, and wheat.


Beef cattle, including calves are the leading source of Arizona farm income, followed by dairy products.

Some hogs and sheep and lambs are also produced in the state.

[ Agriculture map | More ]


Manufacturers add value to raw products by creating manufactured items. For example, cotton cloth becomes more valuable than a boll of cotton through manufacturing processes.

In terms of value added, Computer and electronic equipment (computer microchips) and electronic components, including communication systems, are Arizona's most important manufactured goods.

Transportation equipment (space vehicles, helicopters, turbine engines, guided missiles) and chemicals are also important.

Other products produced in Arizona include fabricated metal products (structural and sheet metals, window and door frames), food products (soft drinks, baked goods, animal feeds, dairy products), machinery (for metalworking, electronics, agriculture) and primary metals.

Arizona is the nation's leading producer of copper.


Copper is, by far, the most important mined product of Arizona.

As by-products of mining copper ore, large amounts of gold, molybdenum, and silver are recovered.

Other mined products are coal, sand and gravel, and crushed stone.


Community, business, and personal services (private health care, hotels and resorts, law firms, repair shops) generate more revenue than any other service sector. Arizona's hotels and resorts receive significant business from tourists during the winter.

The finance, insurance, and real estate group ranks second in the services sector. Real estate (office buildings, resorts) is the most important.

The wholesale (farm products, mined products, motor vehicles) and retail trade (auto dealerships, department stores, food stores) group ranks third in revenue generated.

Government provided services, such as public schools, public hospitals, military establishments and Indian reservations are important as well.

Ranking fifth in contributions to gross state product are transportation (American West Airlines, Union Pacific Railroad), communication, and utilities (electrical power).


B. R. Burg and Lay James Gibson, "Arizona," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/029960, August 14, 2001.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Statistics Service, "Arizona State Agriculture Overview, 2004", 3 January 2006, (12 January 2006)

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