5 C’s of ARIZONA

Anyone growing up in Arizona from the 1950s through the 1970s knows about the five C’s. If your parents or grandparents grew up in Arizona, they can tell you about them. Do you know what they are?

The Five C’s are: Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus and Climate.

In the early years of the state, the five C’s were very important for jobs. Agriculture (farming), ranching and mining jobs helped bring people here to work and play.

These kinds of jobs are not as big in the Arizona economy as they once were, but they still play a role in the state’s economy. Learn more about the Five C’s below.



People have been digging in Arizona for precious metals for a long time. Native Americans used gold, silver and copper for tools and weapons as well as for jewelry and in paint for pottery. People started to come to the state to seek riches and settle in the 1700 and 1800s. By 1863 about one in every four people in the state were a miner. Copper ore is still mined in the state for many different uses. Copper is used in mostly in wire or coins, such as a penny. Copper sulphate (a form of copper) can be used to purify water.



In 1918 Arizona had as many as 1.75 million head of cattle providing beef to the nation. Today the state has about half that number of cattle, with beef exported to other nations, like Japan. The ranching of hogs and sheep also continues as it has from Arizona’s early days.



The growing of cotton became a “cash crop” for Arizona farmers in the 1910s. At that time a new cotton, known as Pima long-staple cotton started to be grown in the state. Cotton and parts of the plant is used in clothing, for fertilizer, fuel, packing, in paper and cardboard and even in some plastics. Cottonseed oil can be used in cooking and used to make margarine and shortening. Today, Arizona remains a leading cotton state along with the other leading producers including Texas, California, Mississippi and Louisiana.



Citrus refers to agriculture and farming in the state. Grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges are among the most popular citrus grown. Eating and drinking citrus juice is very healthy and good for you.



Climate still plays an important role in the state’s economy. Climate refers to the weather in the state. Our climate is mild. That means we don’t have a lot of changes in the weather. Because it is sunny most of the time people like to visit the state. People spend money on hotels and food and sight-seeing. This affects the economy positively. Climate today is referred to as the state’s tourism industry.