Tucson is the economic and dynamic cultural heart of a metro area that is home to more than one million people. It is Arizona’s second largest city and one of the longest continuously inhabited cities in the United States. The city has a rich historical and archeological record that dates back more than 4,000 years. It offers more than 350 days of sunshine and an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Surrounded by majestic mountains, Tucson offers year-round hiking, biking, golf and other outdoor activities. It is known for its market concentration of aerospace and defense companies and transportation and logistics assets. Tucson is home to one of the nation’s top research institutions, the University of Arizona.

Principal Economic Activities

PRINCIPAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES (SECOND PARAGRAPH): Tucson is recognized as a national leader in aerospace and defense, photonics and optics and renewable energy and natural resources. Research, development, and manufacturing in these industry sectors are major components of Tucson’s economy. Raytheon Missiles & Defense is the largest private sector employer in Tucson, with more than 12,000 employees, and the share of employment in the Aerospace and Defense cluster is almost eight times the national average. Tucson’s photonics and optics cluster is a key enabler of many industries, most notably aerospace and defense, and the share of employment in this industry is more than three times the national average. Tucson is also emerging as a hub for renewable energy and natural resources technology, with assets such as the University of Arizona Tech Park and Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy. Tucson is a natural logistics hub because of its strategic location near the Mexican border and proximity to Phoenix and California. Excellent transportation infrastructure, including Tucson International Airport, the Union Pacific Railroad main line, Interstate 10 and Interstate 19 facilitate civic and commercial activity. For more information about the competitive advantages of a business location in Tucson visit ConnectTucson.com.

Scenic Attractions

Tucson’s bold, inviting, and distinctive culture

inspires creativity, ignites discovery and fosters enduring economic vitality. Tucson is a city that proudly embraces its people through cultural celebrations and activism. It is a UNESCO designated City of Gastronomy: locally sourced foods display the culture and long agricultural history native to the land. Tucson offers an amazing variety of attractions and events. Regional attractions include Saguaro National Park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the Tucson Museum of Art, Coronado National Forest, Mission San Xavier del Bac and the Pima Air and Space Museum. Signature events include the world-renowned Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, the All Souls Procession, and the 4th Avenue Street Fair. Downtown Tucson is thriving like never before, thanks in large part to the SunLink modern streetcar. The 4-mile streetcar route connects major employment and entertainment districts that offer diverse opportunities for dining, entertainment, night life, shopping, employment, cultural experiences and lodging that are uniquely Tucson.

Community Facilities

Within the last decade, sweeping infrastructure developments in Tucson have paved the way for increased economic development. From roadways to bridges to streetcars, improved infrastructure continues to attract private capital investment and create quality jobs in the community. Residents have empowered the City of Tucson to continue investing in public infrastructure. In May 2022, they voted for Proposition 411 to extend an existing temporary half-cent sales tax for an additional 10 years. An estimated $740 million generated by the tax will be used for neighborhood street improvements, traffic signal upgrades, and street safety projects. This follows on the success of previous voter approved investments in streets, public safety, and parks. Learn more about these initiatives and view the interactive tracking dashboard at tucsondelivers.tucsonaz.gov.

Basic Information

Founded 1775 Incorporated 1877
Elevation 2,410 ft. Location Pima County
Distance to major cities:
Phoenix 111 miles San Diego 410 miles
Tucson miles Los Angeles 488 miles
Las Vegas 409 miles  


2000 2010 2023 (est.)
Tucson 486,699 520,795 546,061
Pima County 843,746 981,168 1,058,318
State of Arizona 5,130,632 6,401,569 7,285,370

Office of Economic Opportunity

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation


Tucson 2.50%
Pima County 0.50%
State 5.60%

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation

Labor Force

2000 2010 2022
Civilian Labor Force 237,859 262,913 257,721
Unemployed 9,832 27,627 14,262
Unemployment Rate 4.1% 10.5% 5.5%

Office of Economic Opportunity

Workforce Education Attainment

Count Share
Less than high school 49,169 14.1%
High school or equivalent, no college 80,267 23.0%
Some college or Associate degree 121,680 34.8%
Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree 98,627 28.2%

American Community Survey

Industry (ranked by employment)

  Count Share
Education, health care & social assistance 65,180 26.1%
Professional, scientific, & administrative services 32,339 12.9%
Retail trade 31,316 12.5%
Arts, entertainment, food & recreation services 30,759 12.3%
Construction 16,669 6.7%
Manufacturing 14,146 5.7%
Public administration 13,294 5.3%
Finance, insurance & real estate 12,923 5.2%
Other services, except public administration 12,514 5.0%
Transportation, warehousing, & utilities 11,499 4.6%
Information 4,013 1.6%
Wholesale trade 3,595 1.4%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, & mining 1,608 0.6%

American Community Survey

This profile was prepared by the Arizona Commerce Authority in cooperation with local sources. For further information, please contact:

City of Tucson
Barbra Coffee
255 W. Alemeda St, 5th Floor West
Tucson, AZ 85701
Phone: 520-837-4069
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://connecttucson.com/
Pima County Economic Development
130 W. Congress St., 11th Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701
Phone: 520-724-8126
Website: www.webcms.pima.gov
Arizona Commerce Authority
Statewide Economic Development Group
100 N. 7th Ave., Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-845-1200
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.azcommerce.com

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