Located in the high country mountains of northern Arizona, Flagstaff is not the Arizona experience you may expect. At a 7,000-foot elevation, temperatures rarely exceed 90 degrees in the summer, while fall brings a brilliant change of color. Winter snowfall averages 108 inches, and spring bursts with blossoms. The Flagstaff area got its start in 1876 with a pioneer legacy that centers on ranching, lumber mills and the railroad. Many of the buildings in Flagstaff's historic downtown area date to the early 1900s and are today used as stores, galleries, hotels and restaurants. Flagstaff is located near the center of northern Arizona at the juncture of Interstate 17 and Interstate 40, about 150 miles north of Phoenix and 80 miles south of the Grand Canyon.

Principal Economic Activities

Home to Northern Arizona University (NAU) and the majority of its 30,000 students, Flagstaff is a university town focused on quality education and research. This culture permeates through all levels of education with a focus on S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. In fact, Flagstaff has been proclaimed the "First S.T.E.M. City in America." Flagstaff has one of the top 10 charter schools in the state, Flagstaff Arts & Leadership Academy (FALA), according to U.S. News and World Report. Coconino Community College educates 7,500 students in the community with a focus on professional development, associate degrees and undergraduate transfer programs to NAU. Flagstaff has a workforce where 43 percent of residents hold a bachelor's degree or higher. Flagstaff is the hub of quality health care services in northern Arizona with a Tier 1 trauma center at Flagstaff Medical Center. Flagstaff Medical Center is one of six Arizona hospitals to receive the "Outstanding Patient Experience Award." Flagstaff is also home to multiple world-class cardiac, orthopedic, sports medicine and high-altitude training facilities. The city also has many manufacturing businesses such as the well-known Nestle Purina pet food company; UACJ Whitehall Automotive Industries, a major manufacturer of electric automotive components; and Joy Cone, which creates and ships ice cream cones across the country. Lastly, Flagstaff offers businesses incubator and accelerator facilities to assist entrepreneurs with developing and growing their ideas.

Scenic Attractions

Flagstaff is only 80 miles from Grand Canyon National Park, which makes staying in Flagstaff a natural fit for visitors. During their stay, visitors can ski in the winter and enjoy the sky ride in the summer at Arizona Snowbowl. They can study Flagstaff's rich history at the Museum of Northern Arizona, climb and zip line in the trees at Flagstaff Extreme, hike and bike on 56 miles of FUTS trails and search for stars at Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered. The city also has over 75 hotel properties, 220 restaurants and seven micro-breweries to serve the locals and visitors with top-of-the-line amenities.

Community Facilities

Flagstaff has a wide range of community and cultural facilities. There are museums, art galleries, a symphony orchestra, several recreation centers, libraries, parks, golf courses, tennis courts, softball and baseball fields, an ice skating arena, a bowling alley, a ski resort and a theatre.

Basic Information

Founded 1882 Incorporated 1894
Elevation 6,905 ft. Location Coconino County
Distance to major cities:
Phoenix 142 miles San Diego 492 miles
Tucson 257 miles Los Angeles 467 miles
Las Vegas 252 miles  


2000 2010 2023 (est.)
Flagstaff 52,894 65,985 76,960
Coconino County 116,320 134,679 147,434
State of Arizona 5,130,632 6,401,569 7,285,370

Office of Economic Opportunity

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation


Flagstaff 2.05%
Coconino County 1.30%
State 5.60%

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation

Labor Force

2000 2010 2022
Civilian Labor Force 31,596 39,236 40,905
Unemployed 961 3,519 1,720
Unemployment Rate 3.0% 9.0% 4.2%

Office of Economic Opportunity

Workforce Education Attainment

Count Share
Less than high school 1,588 4.3%
High school or equivalent, no college 5,590 15.3%
Some college or Associate degree 10,835 29.7%
Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree 18,500 50.7%

American Community Survey

Industry (ranked by employment)

  Count Share
Education, health care & social assistance 11,305 30.6%
Arts, entertainment, food & recreation services 6,013 16.3%
Retail trade 4,808 13.0%
Professional, scientific, & administrative services 3,249 8.8%
Manufacturing 3,023 8.2%
Public administration 1,640 4.4%
Construction 1,608 4.4%
Other services, except public administration 1,391 3.8%
Finance, insurance & real estate 1,360 3.7%
Transportation, warehousing, & utilities 1,271 3.4%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, & mining 459 1.2%
Information 418 1.1%
Wholesale trade 388 1.1%

American Community Survey

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

City of Flagstaff
David McIntire
221 West Aspen Ave
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Phone: 928-213-2906
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.flagstaff.az.gov
Gail Jackson
201 E. Birch Ave. suite 12
Richard Bowen
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Phone: 928-707-7527
Email: [email protected]
Website: econa-az.com
Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce
Julie Pastrick
101 W. Route 66
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Phone: 928-774-4505
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.flagstaffchamber.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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