Yuma County, Arizona

Yuma County
Old Yuma City Hall.jpg
Ocean to Ocean Bridge, Yuma, AZ.jpg
Yuma County Courthouse.jpg
Kofa Mountains 002.jpg
Mcphaul's bridge, yuma.jpg
Downtown Yuma Arizona (3).jpg
Yuma County 651.jpg
Clockwise from top: Old Yuma City Hall, Ocean to Ocean Bridge, Kofa Mountains, Downtown Yuma, Yuma County administration building, McPhaul Suspension Bridge, Yuma County Courthouse and the Sonoran Desert near Yuma.
Flag of Yuma County
Official seal of Yuma County
Map of Arizona highlighting Yuma County
Location within the U.S. state of Arizona
Map of the United States highlighting Arizona
Arizona's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°47′13″N 113°58′58″W / 32.786944444444°N 113.98277777778°W / 32.786944444444; -113.98277777778
Country  United States
State  Arizona
Founded November 9, 1864
Seat Yuma
Largest city Yuma
 • Total 5,519 sq mi (14,290 km2)
 • Land 5,514 sq mi (14,280 km2)
 • Water 5.1 sq mi (13 km2)  0.09%%
 • Total 195,751
 • Estimate 
 • Density 35/sq mi (14/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
Congressional districts 3rd, 4th
Website www.yumacountyaz.gov

Yuma County is a county in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 195,751.[1] The county seat is Yuma.[2]

Yuma County includes the Yuma, Arizona Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The county borders three states: Sonora, Mexico, to the south, and two other states to the west, across the Colorado River: California of the United States and the Mexican state of Baja California.

Being 63.8% Hispanic in 2020, Yuma is Arizona's largest majority-Hispanic county.[3]


Long settled by Native Americans of indigenous cultures for thousands of years, this area was controlled by the Spanish Empire in the colonial era. In the 19th century, it was part of independent Mexico before the Mexican–American War and Gadsden Purchase.

Yuma County was one of four original Arizona counties created by the 1st Arizona Territorial Legislature.[4] The county territory was defined as being west of longitude 113° 20' and south of the Bill Williams River.[5] Its original boundaries remained the same until 1982, when La Paz County was created from its northern half.

The original county seat was the city of La Paz; in 1871 it was moved to Arizona City, later renamed as Yuma in 1873.[6]


Agriculture is a $3 billion business annually, employing tens of thousands of workers but at minimum wages.[citation needed] During the winter agricultural season from November to March, some 40,000 Mexican workers cross the border daily to work in United States fields.[7] The area is watered by the Colorado River, and the sector supplies a large part of the US leafy vegetables.[8][9] The Yuma Lettuce Days festival and agritourism is connected to Yuma agriculture.

Leaders in the county are aware their economy is tied to that of Mexican states on the other side of the border; both have to be considered. "There are automotive plants in Ciudad Juárez, across from El Paso; aerospace plants in Mexicali, southwest of Yuma; and medical devices’ manufacturers in Tijuana, near San Diego. On the American side, there is a mix of retail stores, warehouses and trucking companies..."[7]

Because of Yuma County's location along the U.S.-Mexico border, large numbers of aliens entering the United States illegally pass through Yuma County. From October 2004 to July 2005, some 124,400 undocumented foreign nationals were apprehended in the area, a 46% increase over the previous year.[10] In 2015, however, only 6,000 people were apprehended, as the border was fortified and augmented.[citation needed] The number of undocumented immigrants also declined with slumps in the US economy.[7]


The Board of Supervisors is the governing body of the county and a number of special districts. The board has members from five districts.[11] The Board adopts ordinances, establishes programs, levies taxes, appropriates funds, appoints certain officials, and zones property and regulates development in the unincorporated area. In addition, members of the Board represent the County on numerous intergovernmental agencies.[12]

In 2016 county voters elected more Democrats to the Board than Republicans, for the first time since 2004.[13] In Arizona's first 52 years as a state, Yuma County was a primarily Democratic county, only voting for Republicans four times in presidential elections prior to 1968. From 1968 on, it has consistently voted for Republican presidential candidates. However, their margins of victory have been reduced in recent years as the county has rapidly grown in population & become majority-Hispanic. Donald Trump only won the county by 560 votes over Hillary Clinton in the presidential election of 2016.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 5,519 square miles (14,290 km2), of which 5,514 square miles (14,280 km2) is land and 5.1 square miles (13 km2) (0.09%) is water.[15] The lowest point in the state of Arizona is on the Colorado River in San Luis in Yuma County, where it flows out of Arizona and into Sonora in Mexico.

Yuma County is in the west, and northwestern regions of the north–south Sonoran Desert that extends through Sonora state of Mexico to the border of northern Sinaloa state. West of the county across the Colorado River in southeast California is the Colorado Desert, (a northwestern subregion of the Sonoran Desert). North of the county, with La Paz County the regions merge into the southeastern Mojave Desert. Southwest of Yuma County, is the entirety of Northwest Mexico, at the north shoreline of the Gulf of California, and the outlet of the Colorado River into the Colorado River Delta region, now altered with lack of freshwater inputs. Notable mountains in Yuma County include the Gila Mountains and the Tule Mountains.

Adjacent counties and municipalities

Major highways

National protected areas



Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,621
1880 3,215 98.3%
1890 2,671 −16.9%
1900 4,145 55.2%
1910 7,733 86.6%
1920 14,904 92.7%
1930 17,816 19.5%
1940 19,326 8.5%
1950 28,006 44.9%
1960 46,235 65.1%
1970 60,827 31.6%
1980 90,554 48.9%
1990 106,895 18.0%
2000 160,026 49.7%
2010 195,751 22.3%
2019 (est.) 213,787 [20] 9.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]
1790–1960[22] 1900–1990[23]
1990–2000[24] 2010–2018[1]

2000 census

As of the 2000 census, there were 160,026 people, 53,848 households, and 41,678 families residing in the county. The population density was 29 people per square mile (11/km2). There were 74,140 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km2). The county's racial makeup was 68.3% White, 2.2% Black or African American, 1.6% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 23.6% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. 50.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 43.7% reported speaking Spanish at home [1].

There were 53,848 households, out of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.6% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.9% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 102.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,182, and the median income for a family was $34,659. Males had a median income of $27,390 versus $22,276 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,802. About 15.5% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.9% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 195,751 people, 64,767 households, and 48,976 families residing in the county.[25] The population density was 35.5 inhabitants per square mile (13.7/km2). There were 87,850 housing units at an average density of 15.9 per square mile (6.1/km2).[26] The racial makeup of the county was 70.4% white, 2.0% black or African American, 1.6% American Indian, 1.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific islander, 20.8% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 59.7% of the population.[25] In terms of ancestry, 10.6% were German, 7.4% were English, 6.9% were Irish, and 3.2% were American.[27]

Of the 64,767 households, 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.4% were non-families, and 19.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.39. The median age was 33.8 years.[25]

The median income for a household in the county was $40,340 and the median income for a family was $42,718. Males had a median income of $36,345 versus $27,262 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,418. About 17.6% of families and 20.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.7% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.[28]


Map of Yuma County showing incorporated and unincorporated areas as well as Indian reservations in the county.



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

Indian reservations

County population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Yuma County.[29][30]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Population (2010 Census) Municipal type Incorporated
1 Yuma 93,064 City 1914
2 Fortuna Foothills 26,265 CDP
3 San Luis 25,505 City 1979
4 Somerton 14,287 City 1918
5 Avenue B and C 4,176 CDP
6 Wellton 2,882 Town 1970
7 Donovan Estates 1,508 CDP
8 Martinez Lake 798 CDP
9 Gadsden 678 CDP
10 Rancho Mesa Verde 625 CDP
11 Tacna 602 CDP
12 Orange Grove Mobile Manor 594 CDP
13 El Prado Estates 504 CDP
14 Dateland 416 CDP
15 Wall Lane 415 CDP
16 Drysdale 272 CDP
17 Wellton Hills 258 CDP
18 Padre Ranchitos 171 CDP
19 Buckshot 153 CDP
20 Aztec 47 CDP

See also