Graham County, Arizona

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Graham County, Arizona
Graham County Courthouse in Safford, Arizona
Map of Arizona highlighting Graham County
Location in the state of Arizona
Map of the United States highlighting Arizona
Arizona's location in the U.S.
Founded March 10, 1881
Seat Safford
Largest city Safford
 • Total 4,641.14 sq mi (12,020 km2)
 • Land 4,629.32 sq mi (11,990 km2)
 • Water 11.83 sq mi (31 km2), 0.25%
Population (Est.)
 • (2011) 37,147
 • Density 8/sq mi (3/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7
The Large Binocular Telescope on the summit ridge of the Pinaleno Mountains, Graham County.

Graham County is located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census its population was 37,220. The county seat is Safford. The county is part of the Safford Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The county is home to several organizations including Eastern Arizona College and the Mount Graham International Observatory, which includes one of the world's largest and most powerful telescopes. Graham County is also home to the Arizona Salsa Trail and the annual Salsa Fest. [1]

Graham County contains part of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.


Joseph Knight Rogers, an early settler in the area, and a member of the Arizona Territorial Legislature, is known as the father of Graham County. He introduced the bill in the territorial legislature creating Graham County.[2] Graham County was created from southern Apache County and eastern Pinal County on March 10, 1881.[3] Initially, the county seat was located in the city of Safford but was later moved to Solomonville in 1883. This change was undone in 1915, returning the county seat to Safford.[4]

Graham County is named after the mountain by the same name and was the first Arizonan county to break the tradition of naming counties for Native Americans.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 4,641.14 square miles (12,020.5 km2), of which 4,629.32 square miles (11,989.9 km2) (or 99.75%) is land and 11.83 square miles (30.6 km2) (or 0.25%) is water.[5] The county has various mountain ranges including Mount Graham, which is the highest mountain in the Pinaleno Mountains.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


Major highways[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 5,670
1900 14,162 149.8%
1910 23,999 69.5%
1920 10,148 −57.7%
1930 10,373 2.2%
1940 12,113 16.8%
1950 12,985 7.2%
1960 14,045 8.2%
1970 16,578 18.0%
1980 22,862 37.9%
1990 26,554 16.1%
2000 33,489 26.1%
2010 37,220 11.1%
Est. 2012 37,416 0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2012 Estimate[7]


Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:


As of the 2000 census, there were 33,489 people, 10,116 households, and 7,617 families residing in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 11,430 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 67.11% White, 1.87% Black or African American, 14.95% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 13.35% from other races, and 2.14% from two or more races. 27.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.38% reported speaking Spanish at home, while 6.35% speak a Southern Athabaskan language.[8]

There were 10,116 households out of which 39.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.20% were married couples living together, 13.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.70% were non-families. 20.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99 and the average family size was 3.47.

In the county the population was spread out with 30.10% under the age of 18, 12.00% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 18.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 112.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,668, and the median income for a family was $34,417. Males had a median income of $30,524 versus $20,739 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,139. About 17.70% of families and 23.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.20% of those under age 18 and 13.60% of those age 65 or over.

Notable natives[edit]


Locations of incorporated and unincorporated areas as well as Indian reservations in Graham County.



Census-designated places[edit]

Other communities[edit]

Linarite specimen from the old Grand Reef mine near Klondyke.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°00′33″N 109°53′07″W / 33.00917°N 109.88528°W / 33.00917; -109.88528