The Arizona Report paints our state by the numbers. It’s not the pretty picture one hopes to see.
The scoreboard compares us with others on three critical measures of a state’s well-being that Thinking Arizona has examined in recent editions. Arizona comes up short on the economy, in education, and even on the environment.
The overall pattern is distressing. Arizona, now the 15th largest state, is no backwater. Yet we treat ourselves as one. Our performance raises serious questions, beginning with why this happens.
Explore this edition. Try out the Arizona Report. Plug in whatever other states to compare. See how Arizona does.
If education is an accelerator for economic growth, perhaps the environment should be the brake.
Phoenix has raced ahead, and has the dirty air to show for it. As a result, it’s constantly fighting tickets from the Environmental Protection Agency.
By comparison, Tucson’s economy has merely coasted. Meanwhile though the air has cleared. It gets plaudits for this from the American Lung Association, as do Prescott and Flagstaff.
That’s to be lauded, but it’s Phoenix that counts. A bad-air day in Maricopa County affects 60 percent of Arizonans. Few other metro areas dominate their respective states to the same degree.
The concentrated effect on so many residents causes Arizona to fall down in comparing air quality across the states.