Why, Arizona

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Location of Why in Pima County and the State of Arizona.
Road sign for Why.

Why[a] is an unincorporated rural community in Pima County, Arizona, United States. It lies near the western border of the Tohono Oʼodham Indian Reservation and due north of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Southern Arizona. It is approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of the Mexican border where Lukeville, Arizona, and Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico, border each other, and 10 miles (16 km) south of Ajo, Arizona.

The population in Why at the 2010 census was approximately 167.[1]


The town derives its name from the fact that two major highways, State Routes 85 and 86, originally intersected in a Y-intersection.[2] At the time of its naming, state law required all city names to have at least three letters, so the town's founders named the town "Why" as opposed to simply calling it "Y." The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) later removed the old Y-intersection for traffic safety reasons and built the two highways in a conventional intersection south of the original intersection.[3]

It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.[4][5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[1]

See also[edit]

flag Arizona portal


  1. ^ O'odham: Ban Hi:nk[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Division, US Census Bureau Administration and Customer Services. "US Census Bureau Publications – Census of Population and Housing". www.census.gov. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  2. ^ "The Oddest Named Town in Every State". The Active Times. April 19, 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Why Why is Why". 25 January 2014.
  4. ^ Parker, Quentin (2010). Welcome to Horneytown, North Carolina, Population: 15: An insider's guide to 201 of the world's weirdest and wildest places. Adams Media. p. xii. ISBN 9781440507397.
  5. ^ Hargis, Toni (January 13, 2014). "No, Arkansas Doesn't Sound the Way It Looks: A Guide to Pronouncing U.S. Place Names". BBC America. Retrieved 14 July 2014.

^ This is the sum of the populations of Blocks 1131–1153, Census Tract 49, Pima County, Arizona according to US Census U.S. Census website.

External links[edit]

Media related to Why, Arizona at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 32°16′07″N 112°44′20″W / 32.26861°N 112.73889°W / 32.26861; -112.73889