Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912. Historically part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848. The southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase.
The state has a population of approximately 3 million. It is the 32nd most extensive and the 32nd most populous of the 50 United States. Located in the center of the state, Jackson is the state capital and largest city, with a population of approximately 175,000 people.