Tucson 101

Our Beginnings

  • Longest continuously inhabited community in North America (4000 years)
  • San Xavier de Bac – site established in 1692 as part of Jesuit mission led by Father Kino
  • Tucson “officially” founded in 1775 by Spanish soldiers – still a part of Mexico (photo shows rendering of the Presidio; Credit: Tucson.com)
  • Gadsden Purchase in 1854 – Tucson now in the United States
  • 1867 – 1877: Tucson is the capitol of the Arizona Territory
  • University of Arizona established in 1885
  • 5 “C”s of Arizona – Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus, Climate

Key Statistics

  • Metropolitan area population is just over 1 million residents
  • Five municipalities make up the region: Tucson (pop. 528,000), Casa Grande (pop. 51,000), Oro Valley (pop. 42,000), Marana (pop. 40,000), Sahuarita (pop. 27,000), South Tucson (pop. 5,700)
  • University of Arizona has a total enrollment of 42,000
  • Pima Community College is the eighth largest college in the U.S. with over 47,000 full and part time students enrolled
  • The Wall Street Journal characterized the Tucson region as a “mini-mecca” for the arts - one of only 14 U.S. cities to have professional opera, symphony, orchestra, ballet and theater

Education a Priority

  • University of Arizona - #1 Public research university in the Southwestern United States
  • Pima Community College - more than 185 academic and vocational programs
  • K-12 Education - University High School ranked 17th on US News & World Report list (21,000 schools ranked)
  • The Tucson region is a family-friendly community.  Oro Valley was chosen as Businessweek’s “Best Place to Raise Kids in Arizona” in 2013.  Vail has been chosen as Businessweek.com’s “Best Place to Raise Kids in Arizona” distinction every year since 2010

Diverse Housing Options

  • With a current median home price of $173,300 (Zillow, 2018), Tucson is ranked as one of the most affordable communities in the U.S.
  • Downtown Tucson is emerging with innovative new housing options including sites to build
  • Tucson offers a diverse range of urban and rural settings – from multi-acre lots to urban lofts
  • Existing three-bedroom, two-bath homes range from the mid $50,000s to the mid $600,000s

A Growing Economy

  • Major industry categories that define the Tucson region: Aerospace & DefenseBioscience/Diagnostics, Transportation & Logistics, Renewable & Mining Technology and Advanced Services.
  • With over 7 million domestic overnight visitors per year and 20 major resorts, Tourism accounts for a $2 billion annual impact
  • As one of the fastest growing megaregions in the U.S., the continuing in-migration of talent at all levels positively impacts the regional economy
  • Partnership with Mexico continues to advance as exports to Mexico, Arizona’s largest trade partner, rose 28% in 2014-15

Strength in Healthcare

  • Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center South, combines the best of University of Arizona academic medicine and Banner’s clinical excellence
  • Tucson Medical Center, licensed at over 600 beds, has been Tucson’s nonprofit local community hospital for over 70 years
  • Carondelet (Tenet Healthcare) operates over 900 beds in three facilities throughout the region delivering a full spectrum of acute care
  • Diamond Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric medical facility in Arizona connected to an academic research facility — the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center

Gateway to the U.S.

  • Tucson International Airport serves more than 3.4 million passengers annually through nine airlines, with 22 nonstop flights to destination airports and convenient connections beyond to more 345 cities.
  • TIA nonstop destinations include Atlanta, Austin, Bellingham (Vancouver), Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle.
  • Sky Harbor Airport (Phoenix) is a 1.5 hour drive from downtown Tucson and serves 105 non-stop markets

Kudos and Accolades

350+ Days of Sunshine

  • With an average high temperature of 82 and a low of 54, Southern Arizona’s temperate climate invites outdoor activities year-round
  • With numerous mountains, canyons, lakes, golf courses, and other natural and man-made recreational amenities, the region is a great place to enjoy year-round hiking, biking, boating, camping, golf, tennis - even snow skiing in season
  • There are more than 40 exceptional golf courses in the area and three were ranked on the Condé Nast Traveler Golf Poll of the Top 100 Courses in the World

There's So Much to Do

  • 4 mountain ranges for jogging, rock climbing, horseback riding, stargazing and birdwatching
  • 37,000 acres of parkland for hiking, camping and exploring
  • 800 miles of bike paths
  • University football, basketball, baseball, softball, women’s soccer and men’s ice hockey games at the University of Arizona
  • Over 30 museums to explore and enjoy including the world renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Reid Park Zoo and the Pima Air & Space Museum (Photo credit: David Jewell)


There's So Much to See

  • The Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, the largest in the Nation, includes thousands of participants and attendees at more than 40 sites around town (Jan – Feb)
  • The fourth largest literary event in the country, the Tucson Festival of Books attracts more than 400 authors and more than 120,000 participants (Mar)
  • El Tour de Tucson, America’s largest perimeter bicycling event, is for cyclists of all ages and abilities (Nov)
  • Second Saturdays – Arts, Crafts, Food & Music festival every second Saturday of the month downtown

Get Involved!

  • Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) is a non-profit, non-partisan leadership organization dedicated to providing leadership education, community development and civic engagement
  • United Way’s Volunteer Center is a great resource for involvement opportunities
  • The Tucson Young Professionals Alliance connects ten young professional organizations from across Tucson to leverage their talent, resources and networks to make our community a place where young professionals can thrive

Connect With Us

Susan Dumon
(520) 243-1950
1985 E River Rd Suite 101 Tucson, Arizona, 85718 USA
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