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Graham County, Arizona facts for kids

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Graham County
Graham County Courthouse in Safford
Graham County Courthouse in Safford
Map of Arizona highlighting Graham County
Location within the U.S. state of Arizona
Map of the United States highlighting Arizona
Arizona's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Arizona
Founded March 10, 1881
Seat Safford
Largest city Safford
 • Total 4,641 sq mi (12,020 km2)
 • Land 4,623 sq mi (11,970 km2)
 • Water 19 sq mi (50 km2)  0.4%%
 • Total 38,533
 • Density 8.3027/sq mi (3.2057/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
Congressional district 1st
LBT Pinaleno Mountains.40936
The Large Binocular Telescope on the summit ridge of the Pinaleno Mountains, Graham County.

Graham County is a county in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2020 census, the population was 38,533, making it the third-least populous county in Arizona. The county seat is Safford.

Graham County composes the Safford, Arizona 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.

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. Graham County was created from southern Apache County and eastern Pima County on March 10, 1881. 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.

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 U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,641 square miles (12,020 km2), of which 4,623 square miles (11,970 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (0.4%) is water. The county has various mountain ranges including Mount Graham, which is the highest mountain in the Pinaleno Mountains.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Coronado National Forest (part)
  • Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area (part)

Major highways

  • US 70.svg U.S. Route 70
  • US 191.svg U.S. Route 191
  • Arizona 266.svg State Route 266
  • Arizona 366.svg State Route 366


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%
2020 38,533 3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2018
Roper Lake, south of Safford.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 37,220 people, 11,120 households, and 8,188 families living in the county. The population density was 8.1 inhabitants per square mile (3.1/km2). There were 12,980 housing units at an average density of 2.8 per square mile (1.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 72.1% white, 14.4% American Indian, 1.8% black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 8.2% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 30.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 16.1% were English, 9.2% were German, 6.9% were Irish, and 4.3% were American.

Of the 11,120 households, 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.4% were non-families, and 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.50. The median age was 31.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,683 and the median income for a family was $48,005. Males had a median income of $41,732 versus $25,990 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,644. About 15.9% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.3% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


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



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Linarite specimen from the old Grand Reef mine near Klondyke.

Ghost towns

Indian reservations

County population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Graham County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Population (2010 Census) Municipal type Incorporated
1 Safford 9,566 City
2 Thatcher 4,865 Town
3 Swift Trail Junction 2,935 CDP
4 Pima 2,387 Town
5 Bylas 1,962 CDP
6 Cactus Flats 1,518 CDP
7 Peridot (Partially in Gila County) 1,350 CDP
8 Central 645 CDP
9 San Jose 506 CDP
10 Solomon 426 CDP
11 Fort Thomas 374 CDP
12 Bryce 175 CDP

Notable people

  • Charles Stevens, Apache/Mexican actor
  • Lynda Carter, actress/singer
  • Charles Dudley (né Heaslip) born Fort Grant, film actor and make-up artist
  • Sarah Yeiser Mason, Academy Award-winning screenwriter
  • Spencer W. Kimball, former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lived and operated a business in Safford between 1927 and 1943.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Graham (Arizona) para niños

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