The Southwestern states – or, simply, the Southwest – is a region that is located in the western region of the United States. Since this in 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 are:
Per the last U.S. census taken in 2010, Nevada was the fastest-growing state in the nation. Other southwestern states including Texas, Colorado, and Arizona were among the top ten fastest-growing states per the census.
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 fastest-growing cities in the nation.
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. The city of Phoenix is also the largest city in the southwest and is the only city with a population of more than 1 million.
One of the characteristics of the southwestern states are that they 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 populations of Mexican Americans and Spanish Americans.
Another standout feature of the southwestern states are 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.