Yuma was named after the Yuman Native Americans and founded as a river port. The port supplied outposts for the military and supported commerce just below the confluence of the Colorado and Gila Rivers. Since prehistoric times, Yuma has been the safest site for crossing the Colorado River. Fort Yuma was built during the gold rush to bring peace to the area and ensure a safe route into California. Established in 1854 as Colorado City, the town became Arizona City and was reincorporated as Yuma in 1914. Yuma is the county seat of Yuma County and remains a key crossroad for air, highway and rail transportation. The community’s logistics heritage and bicultural reputation are enhanced by the proximity to its three neighboring states: California and Baja and Sonora, Mexico. This prompted the elected leadership to establish 4FrontED, an economic development alliance that includes Yuma, San Luis, Somerton and Welton, Arizona as well as San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, to help facilitate and coordinate cross-border commerce.

Principal Economic Activities

A $3.2 billion annual agribusiness industry forms the foundation of Yuma County. Yuma’s agribusiness sector is responsible for supplying the United States with 80 percent of its winter, leafy vegetables. A variety of industrial, processing and logistic operations take advantage of Yuma's strategic location, increasing Yuma's economic diversity. The Mexican free-port of San Luis Rio Colorado is located 23 miles southwest, luring industries interested in offshore manufacturing, or twin-plant operations. Yuma is home to two of the largest military installations in the Unites States. The U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground generates an annual economic impact over $430 million. Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma is the country’s foremost Marine Air Base with an enlisted population of more than 7,500 pilots, aviation technicians and aeronautical mechanics. During the winter months more than 100,000 winter visitors flock to the community to enjoy sun-drenched warmth.

Scenic Attractions

Today, Yuma is a vibrant multicultural community that celebrates its rich heritage surrounded by wide-open spaces and pristine desert scenery - all with a river running through it. The Yuma State Territorial Prison, with cells carved from rock, once housed dangerous outlaws and is now a popular tourist attraction. Another popular site is the historic Quartermaster Depot that helped settle the West. Other attractions in the area include Fort Yuma built in 1851, the 16th century St. Thomas Mission, the Quechan Indian Museum, Laguna, Imperial Dam, Morelos Dam and the nearby California sand dunes. The port-of-entry communites of San Luis and Algodones, Mexico, are centers of entertainment for medical tourism, night spots and shopping. Lakes along the Colorado River offer fishing, water skiing and swimming opportunities. The Yuma Crossing State Park features living history on the Colorado before 1900.

Community Facilities

The city of Yuma offers a broad range of community facilities including six museums, eight community centers, 10 public and private art galleries, 32 parks, bowling alleys, community swimming pools, biking/hiking trails, multiple lighted tennis courts and a soccer stadium that has been home to the United Premier Soccer League's Frontera United since 2015. The stadium complex is near to the conference center.

Basic Information

Founded 1854 Incorporated 1914
Elevation 138 ft. Location Yuma County
Distance to major cities:
Phoenix 185 miles San Diego 172 miles
Tucson 240 miles Los Angeles 272 miles
Las Vegas 296 miles  


2000 2010 2023 (est.)
Yuma 77,515 93,275 97,883
Yuma County 160,026 196,160 207,318
State of Arizona 5,130,632 6,401,569 7,285,370

Office of Economic Opportunity

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation


Yuma 1.70%
Yuma County 1.11%
State 5.60%

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation

Labor Force

2000 2010 2022
Civilian Labor Force 34,987 44,855 43,858
Unemployed 4,440 10,196 3,730
Unemployment Rate 12.7% 22.7% 8.5%

Office of Economic Opportunity

Workforce Education Attainment

Count Share
Less than high school 11,317 18.8%
High school or equivalent, no college 15,021 25.0%
Some college or Associate degree 21,783 36.3%
Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree 11,954 19.9%

American Community Survey

Industry (ranked by employment)

  Count Share
Education, health care & social assistance 9,220 23.6%
Retail trade 5,581 14.3%
Public administration 4,396 11.3%
Arts, entertainment, food & recreation services 4,142 10.6%
Professional, scientific, & administrative services 3,187 8.2%
Finance, insurance & real estate 2,065 5.3%
Transportation, warehousing, & utilities 2,042 5.2%
Construction 1,970 5.1%
Other services, except public administration 1,768 4.5%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, & mining 1,602 4.1%
Manufacturing 1,459 3.7%
Wholesale trade 1,175 3.0%
Information 390 1.0%

American Community Survey

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

City of Yuma
Jeff Burt
One City Plaza
Yuma, AZ 85366
Phone: 928-373-5017
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.yumaaz.gov
Greater Yuma Economic Development

172 W. 16th St. Suite 200
Yuma, AZ 85366
Phone: 928-782-7774
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.greateryuma.org
Yuma County Chamber of Commerce
180 W. 1st St., Suite A
Yuma, AZ 85364
Phone: 928-782-2567
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.yumachamber.org

Local First Arizona
407 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: 602-956-0909
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.localfirstaz.com
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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