Quality of Life
Hot air balloon floating over the Colorado River
Welcome to the Sunniest City in the World!
Yuma County is the crown jewel of the desert southwest. In addition to our abundance of sunny days, we enjoy countless amenities that that not only make Yuma County a highly livable community but a gloriously unique one, too! We have access to a variety of water recreation, outdoor activities, community events, public programs, a solid education system, unique shopping and our cultural diversity makes these things even better. Not to mention, the people in our community have the biggest hearts and are committed to helping those in need when called upon.
Our high quality of life accounts for the steady population growth over the past few decades. According to the Census Bureau estimates, Yuma County’s year-round population was 204,245 in 2015. That is nearly double the population from 1990, which was counted at 106,895. The City of Yuma accounts for just less than half the population with 94,139 in 2015. South Yuma County has also seen steady growth in the past 15 years. The 2000 census counted 15,322 residents in San Luis, Arizona and 7,266 in Somerton. The 2015 estimates put San Luis at 31,520 residents and Somerton at 15,048.
Yuma County is located in the Sonoran Desert and our summers reach triple digits every year, especially between June and September. But those high temps begin to decline in October and lead into a beautifully mild climate the rest of the year. Our winter temps usually peak in the 60s, so our community is a popular winter retreat for our neighbors to the north. But for the locals, the summer temperatures are a small price to pay.
We in Yuma County are only a short drive to the much cooler San Diego, California, where we can sooth our scorching skin with salty ocean breezes off of the Pacific Ocean. Should we want water recreation close to home, however, the options are limitless! Many of us are within a half-hour drive of the Colorado River, or one of the many lakes nearby. These watering holes offer boating, fishing, swimming, float downs and even water skiing. Interestingly, many of the thousands of boaters and other water enthusiasts who gather at the river or upstream at Martinez Lake on the holidays are often from San Diego or other parts of California.
Children enjoying the Valley Aquatic Center
The outdoor activities do not stop at the Colorado River or our local lakes. Wildlife watching, hiking, camping, jeeping, fishing and hunting activities are enjoyed year round in our community. Dove Hunting season is not only a tradition among locals, but it brings a large influx of hunters to our area every year. Another outdoor activity that has taken root in the Yuma community recently is geocaching. For the past few years, Yuma has hosted annula Mega Events, luring geocachers from all over the globe to our area. In addition, we are home to the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Imperial National Wildlife Refuge or at the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, where all of these activities are welcomed within federal guidelines.
If the outdoors is not your thing, there are plenty of other opportunities for entertainment in Yuma County. If shopping is your sport of choice, we have a large variety of outlets for your perusal. The Yuma Palms Regional Center is home to many popular chain stores where you can shop for clothes, shoes, baby stuff, discounts, hobbies or specialty items at your favorite places. If you prefer something more unique, many Yuma County residents are successful business owners and meet the needs of shoppers looking for new experiences. Main Street in Downtown Yuma is the perfect place to begin. In addition, the Southgate Mall on the southwestern side of town is currently undergoing renovations to accommodate more fun places to finesse your shopping skills.
Spectators line the streets to watch the Parade of Classic Cars during the annual Midnight at the Oasis Nostalgia Festival
Arts and culture are a big part of Yuma County. First, Parks and Recreation departments are pretty stellar at creating things for us to do year round. They coordinate things from art classes to community events. Further, our local parks accommodate walkers, joggers, family picnics, and various sporting activities such as soccer and baseball. Second, the community is home to several artists groups, theater troupes, musicians, and many other organizations who work hard to produce beloved specialty events that are beloved by the community. Third, Yuma County is rich in history. From the Yuma Crossing Heritage Area to the Yuma Territorial Prison, there are many ways to enrich the history lover in you. There are many things to do here; all you have to do is look!
Participants sample the goods at the Rio de Cerveza Beer Fest
The big brains that create our local events and cultural fiestas are locally grown. Yuma County boasts a strong school system. Depending on where they live, children are served by one of seven elementary school districts and two high school districts. For the parents who want other options for their kids, there are many charter, parochial and private schools, at both elementary and secondary levels, available to fit their needs.
A pathway winds through the Moody Demonstration Garden
Since the early 1960s, Arizona Western College has been meeting the needs of Yuma County residents, and even international students, seeking to further their education. AWC helps students obtain associate degrees and certificates in over 100 academic programs on the main campus in Yuma, and at satellite campuses in San Luis, Somerton, Wellton and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. The college also serves neighboring La Paz County with campuses in Parker and Quartzsite.
Once the Associate Degree is earned, AWC students can continue the path to bachelor or master degrees with Northern Arizona University – Yuma Branch Campus, located on the Arizona Western College campus. In addition, programs are offered through the University of Phoenix and the University of Arizona. As of 2014, Yuma County residents can also earn a degree through Arizona State University.
With all that is available locally, residents have more reason to stay home to shop and play...unless it’s those salty ocean breezes they’re hunting for.
Greater Yuma Cities
City of Yuma: 928-373-5000 - www.yumaaz.gov
City of San Luis: 928-341-8520 - www.cityofsanluis.org
City of Somerton: 928-722-7330 - www.cityofsomerton.com
City of Wellton: 928-785-3348 - www.town.wellton.az.us
Cocopah Indian Tribe: 928-627-2102 - www.cocopah.com
Yuma County: 928-373-1010 - www.yumacountyaz.gov
Greater Yuma is centrally located between Phoenix, San Diego, and the San Luis Border to Mexico