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Tucson, Arizona

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 The location of Tucson 

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Census Data for Tucson ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2012 and it gives Tucson a population of 524,295 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, giving Tucson a population of 520,116 people.

The city of Tucson is located in Pima County. The 2010 Census gave Pima County a population of 980,263 people. This means that Tucson had 53.1% of the county's total population, making it Pima's most populous community.

At the same time, Arizona had a population of 6,392,017 people, meaning that Tucson had 8.14% of the total population of Arizona - making it the state's 2nd most populous community.

Area ...

When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Tucson, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this is called a sampling area (or a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the city.

Things like the population, area and housing for Tucson reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Tucson might be slightly different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau if you need precision.

The 2010 Census shows that the sample polygon for Tucson has a total area of 227 square miles [588 km²]. Of this total, a small amount of the area is covered by water (0.33 square miles [0.8 km²]).

Pima County has a land area of 9,187 square miles [23,794.3 km²]. At 226.7 square miles [587.2 km²], Tucson has 2.47% of the county's total land area.

Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually at the center of the polygon). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:

Lat:   32°12'52" N   (or 32.21° N)

Lon:   -110°55'5" W   (or -110.92° W)

More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Population Density ...

Using the population (520,116 people) and land area (226.7 square miles [587.2 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Tucson had a population density of 2,290 people per square mile [884 people/km²].

In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Tucson had a population of 486,699 people and a land area of 194.7 square miles [504.2 km²]. This gives a population density of 2,494 people per square mile [963 people/km²]

NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Tucson. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to an apple-to-oranges comparison. More information about the nature of these changes can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Tucson had 229,762 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 520,116 people, this averages 2.26 people per Housing Unit.

The 2010 Census shows Tucson had a land area of 226.7 square miles [587.2 km²]. This translates to 1,012 Housing Units per square mile [390.7 housing units/km²].

From the Census of 2000: Tucson had 209,609 Housing Units, a population of 486,699 people and a land area of 194.7 square miles [504.2 km²]. This gives a density of 2.32 people per Housing Unit and 1,074 Housing Units per square mile [414.8 housing units/km²].

NOTE: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Tucson and you need to be careful when comparing results between the censuses. More information about these differences can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Pima County ...

Tucson is located in Pima County and is the County Seat for Pima County.

The county had a population of 980,263 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 520,116 people, Tucson represented 53.1% of the county's total.

In addition, where the city of Tucson has a population density of 2,290 people per square mile [884 people/km²], Pima County averages 106.7 people per square mile [41.2 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Pima County.

Population Rings for Tucson ...

To help identify the number of people who live in Tucson and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Tucson. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>

RadiusNo of
Since 2010
5 mi [8 km]1524,295+0.8%
15 mi [24 km]2529,979+0.8%
20 mi [32 km]4597,656+0.95%
30 mi [48 km]5634,412+1.18%

US Census QuickFacts ...

The Census Bureau has created documents containing demographic information called QuickFacts. Although they don't create QuickFacts for all communities, they do have one for Tucson. Not only does the QuickFact have details about Tucson, it also contains a comparison between Tucson and the state of Arizona.

Click here for the Tucson QuickFact (QF-0477000).

The following communities are near Tucson and also have Census QuickFacts:

2012 Est.
Since 2010
South TucsonQF-04688505,684+0.57%   NW  
SahuaritaQF-046214026,289+4.08%   S  
Oro ValleyQF-045160041,388+0.92%   N  
MaranaQF-044427036,756+5.13%   NW  

For more about neighboring communities, please visit our Nearby Page for Tucson. For an expanded list of the communities that are closest to Tucson, see our County-by-County Page for Tucson.

A Census QuickFact is available for Pima County (QF-04019).

Below are QuickFacts for the counties that border Pima County.

2012 Est.
Since 2010
CochiseQF-04003132,088+0.56%   E  
GrahamQF-0400937,416+0.53%   NE  
MaricopaQF-040133,942,169+3.28%   NW  
PinalQF-04021387,365+3.09%   NW  
Santa CruzQF-0402347,303-0.25%   S  
YumaQF-04027200,022+2.18%   W  

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Tucson, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Tucson. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change. If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Area ...

The sampling area (or polygon) given for the 2010 Census is 16.37% larger than the 2000 Census.

The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Tucson was 227 square miles [588 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.

The 2000 Census shows a total area of 195.1 square miles [505.3 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Tucson, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Tucson.

For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:

Lat:   32.154289°   (or 32°9'15" N)

Lon:   -110.871062°   (or -110°52'15" W)

For the 2000 Census, the location given was:

Lat:   32.214476°   (or 32°12'52" N)

Lon:   -110.918192°   (or -110°55'5" W)

The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 4 miles to the southeast<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2412104) to Tucson. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Tucson. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:

Lat:   32.156668°   (or 32°9'24" N)

Lon:   -110.876950°   (or -110°52'37" W)

The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 2,013 feet to the southeast<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Tucson. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Tucson.

Miscellaneous Information for Tucson ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has referenced one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Pima County or the city of Tucson:

The GNIS Codes ...

The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Tucson:

GNIS ID for Tucson: 2412104

GNIS ID for Pima County: 25446

GNIS ID for Arizona: 1779777

The FIPS Codes ...

An earlier (and largely obsolete) identification method was called the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS):

State Code: 04 (Arizona)

County Code: 019 (Pima County)

Place Code: 77000 (Tucson)

State & County Code: 04/019 (Arizona / Pima County)

State & Place Code: 04/77000 (Arizona / Tucson)

Misc. Census Codes ...

Tucson is located in Census Region #4 (the West Region) and Division #8 (the Mountain Division).

US Postal Service ZIP Codes ...

While some people have used ZIP codes to identify a community, the ZIP codes were actually created to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although a ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like Tucson, they do identify addresses that are in (or near) the city. It's important to remember that the boundaries of the ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned, eliminated or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

Our list of ZIP codes for Tucson :

85701, 85702, 85703, 85704, 85705, 85706, 85707, 85708, 85709, 85710, 85711, 85712, 85713, 85714, 85715, 85716, 85717, 85718, 85719, 85720, 85721, 85722, 85723, 85724, 85725, 85728, 85730, 85731, 85732, 85733, 85734, 85735, 85736, 85739, 85740, 85741, 85742, 85743, 85744, 85745, 85746, 85747, 85748, 85749, 85750, 85751, 85754 85775 & 85777.<7>

Census ZCTA Codes ...

The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).

ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Tucson.

Other Roadside Stops ...

About Arizona

About Pima County

The Communities of Arizona

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website for Tucson

The official website for Pima County

The Panormaio photo collection contain pictures for the area around Tucson:

Looking for information about genealogy? These are excellent websites to start with when searching in and around the area of Tucson and Pima County:

Cyndi's List for the State of Arizona,
        for Pima County
Family Search for the State of Arizona,
        for Pima County
USGenWeb for the State of Arizona

We have a longer, more detailed list of websites on our Genealogy Helper Page for Tucson.

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2012.

- Return to Citation

<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.

- Return to Citation

<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).

- Return to Citation

<4>The communities in our count are those provided by the 2010 Census, so keep in mind that our population rings will only include the people living in those communities. Smaller communities usually don't participate directly in the Census and therefore they won't be included. While our count is a close approximation, it shouldn't be considered as a complete or accurate count.

- Return to Citation

<5>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the 2010 Census location is 213 degrees.

- Return to Citation

<6>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the GNIS point is 244 degrees.

- Return to Citation

<7>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Tucson or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

- Return to Citation

For additional information, please visit our Glossary for Tucson.


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This page was last modified: 12 Mar 2014
By John Hall