The Southwestern states – or the Southwest – is a region located in the western region of the United States. Since this is an informal region, exact boundaries vary. Depending on what definition you use, as few as two states or as many as eight states make up this region.
The states of Arizona and New Mexico are said to be the core of the region. No matter what boundaries are used, these two states are always considered southwest states. The six additional states that may or may not be included in the definition of the southwest states include some Mountain States and West Coast states. These states are:
Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Texas are among the country's fastest growing states. Between 2019 and 2020, Arizona grew 1.78%, and Nevada grew 1.54%. Arizona boasts some of the best weather and affordability. Nevada saw a large influx of people from California, Arizona, and Texas.
Some of the largest cities in the world are located in the southwest region. Las Vegas, Nevada, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, are two of the nation's fastest-growing cities.
Phoenix, Arizona, the largest metropolitan area, has a population of about 4 million. Las Vegas (population of over 2 million) and Tucson (population of over 1 million) are also large metro areas located in this region. Of the region's two core states, Phoenix is the largest city in the Southwest, with over 1.7 million people. If including the expanded definition of the Southwest, Houston is the largest city with over 2.3 million people, followed by Phoenix, San Antonio (over 1.58 million), and San Diego (over 1.4 million).
The southwestern states are ethnically diverse. African Americans, Asians, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans are among the groups that live in the Southwest. Southwestern cities, including San Antonio, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Mesa, Arizona; and El Paso, Texas, have large Mexican American and Spanish American populations.
Another standout feature of the southwestern states is the national parks and monuments. One of the most notable is the Grand Canyon, which is located in Arizona. Other significant landmarks include California's Death Valley National Park, Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Texas' Big Bend National Park.