Cities and towns are the economic engines of the state of Arizona. What does that mean? The numbers are quite amazing. Out of a state with more than 114,000 square miles and a population of around 6.4 million people, more than 5 million 79 percentlive in one of our 91 incorporated cities and towns. And, when it comes to employment statistics, 83 percent of the states workforce lives in a city or town. Together, the economic activity within cities and towns produces around 91 percent of the state income tax and 93 percent of the states sales tax proceeds. No wonder that cities and towns mean business in Arizona.
Moreover, Arizona cities and towns serve a critical role in attracting and retaining businesses to our state from Intel, Raytheon, Honeywell and First Solar, to the local bakery on your corner. When site selectors look to relocate or expand their businesses, theyre not just looking at what land might be available at what price, but also the quality of the local workforce, infrastructure to support their project, local school districts, quality of life, local and state tax rates, as well as the local economy. Arizona is ripe for business activity in the summer of 2012, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity ranked Arizona the no. 1 most entrepreneurial state, with 520 startups per 100,000 adults.
According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona ranked second in overall workforce by CNBC for its educated workers. The cost of doing business in our state is also low: Arizona represents the seventh lowest in the nation in average workers compensation costs. We also have the third lowest number of state and local government employees per 100 residents, according to the Beacon Hill Institute. What does that mean? It means in your city or town, weve got a focus on business. Cities and towns are actively engaged with several regional economic development entities and the Arizona Commerce Authority to ensure were doing all we can to bring jobs to Arizona. And, were partnering with businesses in all phases of the development process to create an environment that lets local businesses do what they do best.