Profile of Yavapai County
Yavapai County is one of the state's oldest counties, formed in 1864. It was among the four original counties created while Arizona was still a territory. Yavapai County's present boundaries were established in 1891 and cover 8,128 square miles. The county seat is the city of Prescott with an annex of County offices in the town of Cottonwood in the Verde Valley.
The county is named after the principal inhabitants of the area at the time of annexation, the Yavapai Native American People, whose name means the “people of the sun."
The county's topography ranges from the lower Sonoran Desert to the heights of the Coconino Plateau in the north, to the Mogollon Rim to the east. The highest point in the county is Mount Union which is at an elevation of 7,979 feet and the lowest point is in the Agua Fria River drainage. The diverse terrain includes grasslands, picturesque rock formations, high desert streams, and mountain valleys. The major vegetation types in the County are grasslands, pinion-juniper, chaparral, desert grassland, and desert scrub.
The climate varies from Sonora Desert in the lower elevations to mid-Canada at the higher elevations. The temperature variation from day-time high to night-time low throughout the year is about 35 degrees. On average, Yavapai County receives 15.7 inches of rain, 6.3 inches of snow, and is sunny approximately 272 days during the year. The average high in the hottest month of July is 94.0 degrees and the average low in January is 27.8 degrees.
By 1910, the County had a population of approximately 16,000 people. It rose rapidly to over 24,000 by 1920 and remained somewhat constant for the next 40 years. The 1970 U.S. Census showed a population of nearly 37,000, which reflected the beginning of new, rapid migrations to the County that continued through the end of the 20th Century. During the 2000 U.S. Census, the population was counted at 165,000. The most recent Census in 2020 showed us that Yavapai County experienced another period of growth with a population of 236,209.
The bulk of the population and the labor force are located in the eight incorporated towns and cities which include Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Jerome, Clarkdale, Sedona, Cottonwood, and Camp Verde. The County’s newest municipality is the Town of Dewey-Humboldt, which incorporated in 2004.