Yavapai County, Arizona
|Founded||November 9, 1864|
|Named for||Yavapai people|
|Largest city||Prescott Valley (entirely within Yavapai County)|
|• Total||8,128 sq mi (21,050 km2)|
|• Land||8,123 sq mi (21,040 km2)|
|• Water||4.4 sq mi (11 km2) 0.05%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||29/sq mi (11/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain)|
|Congressional districts||1st, 4th|
Yavapai County is near the center of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2020 census, its population was 236,209, making it the fourth-most populous county in Arizona. The county seat is Prescott.
Yavapai County was one of the four original Arizona counties created by the 1st Arizona Territorial Legislature. The county territory was defined as being east of longitude 113° 20' and north of the Gila River. Soon thereafter, the counties of Apache, Coconino, Maricopa, and Navajo were carved from the original Yavapai County. Yavapai County's present boundaries were established in 1891.
The county is named after the Yavapai people, who were the principal inhabitants at the time the United States annexed the area.
County level law enforcement services have been provided by Yavapai County Sheriff's Office since 1864.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 8,128 square miles (21,050 km2), of which 8,123 square miles (21,040 km2) is land and 4.4 square miles (11 km2) (0.05%) is water. It has about 93% of the area of the U.S. state of New Jersey. It is larger than three U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware and Connecticut) and the District of Columbia combined.
The county's topography makes a dramatic transition from the lower Sonoran Desert to the south to the heights of the Coconino Plateau to the north, and the Mogollon Rim to the east. The highest point above sea level (MSL) in Yavapai County is Mount Union at an elevation of 7,979 ft (2,432 m) and the lowest is Agua Fria River drainage, now under Lake Pleasant.
- Mohave County – west
- La Paz County – southwest
- Maricopa County – south
- Gila County – east
- Coconino County – north/northeast
National protected areas
- Agua Fria National Monument
- Coconino National Forest (part)
- Kaibab National Forest (part)
- Montezuma Castle National Monument
- Prescott National Forest (part)
- Tonto National Forest (part)
- Tuzigoot National Monument
There are nineteen official wilderness areas in Yavapai County that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Fourteen of these are integral parts of National Forests listed above, whereas five are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Some of these extend into neighboring counties (as indicated below):
- Apache Creek Wilderness (Prescott NF)
- Arrastra Mountain Wilderness (BLM) mostly in Mohave County; also partly in La Paz County
- Castle Creek Wilderness (Prescott NF)
- Cedar Bench Wilderness (Prescott NF)
- Fossil Springs Wilderness (Coconino NF) mostly in Coconino County
- Granite Mountain Wilderness (Arizona) (Prescott NF)
- Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness (BLM)
- Hells Canyon Wilderness (Arizona) (BLM) partly in Maricopa County
- Juniper Mesa Wilderness (Prescott NF)
- Mazatzal Wilderness (Tonto NF / Coconino NF) partly in Gila County; Maricopa County
- Munds Mountain Wilderness (Coconino NF) mostly in Coconino County
- Pine Mountain Wilderness (Tonto NF/Prescott NF)
- Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness (Coconino NF) partly in Coconino County
- Sycamore Canyon Wilderness (Prescott NF/Coconino NF / Kaibab NF) mostly in Coconino County
- Tres Alamos Wilderness (BLM)
- Upper Burro Creek Wilderness (BLM) partly in Mohave County
- West Clear Creek Wilderness (Coconino NF) partly in Coconino County
- Wet Beaver Wilderness (Coconino NF) partly in Coconino County
- Woodchute Wilderness (Prescott NF)
Land ownership and management
- Private ownership: about 25% of Yavapai County's land (by area) is privately owned.
- Public land: about 75% of the county's area is publicly owned, including
- Federal ownership: about 50% of the county's area is owned by the federal government of the United States, including
- National Forest lands, managed by the US Forest Service: 38% of the county's area
- Federal lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management: 11.6% of the county's area
- Small areas of federal land are managed by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Park Service: less than 0.5% of the county's area.
Flora and fauna
There are numerous flora and fauna species within Yavapai County. For example, a number of plants within the genus Ephedra and Coreopsis are found in the county. Yavapai County is also the location of several groves of the near-threatened California Fan Palm, Washingtonia filifera.
Approximately 10 miles (16 km) northwest of the town of Bagdad lies the Upper Burro Creek Wilderness Area, a 27,440-acre (11,105 ha) protected area home to at least 150 species of birds and featuring one of the Arizona desert's few undammed perennial streams.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 167,517 people, 70,171 households, and 46,733 families living in the county. The population density was 21 inhabitants per square mile (8.1/km2). There were 81,730 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (3.9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 91.9% White, 0.4% Black or African American, 1.6% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.6% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. 9.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 70,171 households, out of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.79.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.1% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 22.4% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $34,901, and the median income for a family was $40,910. Males had a median income of $30,738 versus $22,114 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,727. About 7.9% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.9% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 211,033 people, 90,903 households, and 57,597 families living in the county. The population density was 26.0 inhabitants per square mile (10.0/km2). There were 110,432 housing units at an average density of 13.6 per square mile (5.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.3% white, 1.7% American Indian, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 4.9% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 13.6% of the population. The largest ancestry groups were:
Of the 90,903 households, 22.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.6% were non-families, and 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.78. The median age was 49.2 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $43,290 and the median income for a family was $53,499. Males had a median income of $40,854 versus $31,705 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,527. About 8.8% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.1% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.
Yavapai has historically been the most Republican county in Arizona, though it has become rivalled by Graham and exceeded by Mohave since the turn of the century. No Democratic presidential nominee has won Yavapai County since Harry S. Truman in 1948, and even when the county did go Democratic in the Truman and Roosevelt eras, it typically did so by a smaller margin than any other county in the state.
- Sunset Point is a cliff adjacent to Interstate 17. It has an elevation of 3,091 ft (942 m). The Sunset Point Rest Area, located at the top of the cliff, provides travelers with a scenic view.
County population ranking
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Yavapai County.
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Population (2010 Census)||Municipal type||Incorporated|
|1||Peoria (most of population in Maricopa County)||154,065||City||1954|
|8||Sedona (partly in Coconino County)||10,031||City||1988|
|9||Wickenburg (Most of population in Maricopa County)||6,363||Town||1909|
|10||Village of Oak Creek (Big Park)||6,147||CDP|
|17||Black Canyon City||2,837||CDP|
School districts include:
- Beaver Creek Elementary District
- Canon Elementary District
- Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary District
- Congress Elementary District
- Cottonwood-Oak Creek Elementary District
- Crown King Elementary District
- Hillside Elementary District
- Kirkland Elementary District
- Pine Strawberry Elementary District
- Skull Valley Elementary District
- Williamson Valley Elementary School District
- Yarnell Elementary District
Former school districts:
- Walnut Grove Elementary District - Closed in 2021
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- Yavapai County Profile
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- C. Michael Hogan. 2009. California Fan Palm: Washingtonia filifera, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Stromberg Archived September 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Upper Burro Creek Wilderness Archived June 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine—Wilderness.net
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- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sunset Point (cliff)
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sunset Point Rest Area
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- "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Yavapai County, AZ" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved July 28, 2022. - Text list - 2010 map (pages 1 and 2), 2021 text list
- Turner, Scott (March 16, 2021). "WUSD expands in Yavapai County". Wickenburg Sun. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
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- Geographic data related to Yavapai County, Arizona at OpenStreetMap
- Yavapai County Profile by Arizona Department of Commerce
- Prescott eNews – original local news Web site for Prescott (the county seat) and the surrounding communities.
- Yavapai County government website