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Santa Cruz County's population as of Census 2020 was 47,669, up 0.5% from 2010. Santa Cruz County's population is projected to reach 56,633 in 2025 and 66,286 in 2055, according to pre-Census 2020 projections by Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.
UNEMPLOYMENT: Santa Cruz County's unemployment rate in 2021 was 8.7% (down from 11.2% in 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic). At the peak of COVID business closures, the unemployment rate in Santa Cruz County hit a high of 16.1% in April 2020. Santa Cruz County’s unemployment rate of 8.7% in 2021 was higher than the statewide rate of 4.9% and the nationwide rate of 5.3%.
NONFARM PAYROLL EMPLOYMENT: Santa Cruz County gained 325 jobs in 2021 for annual job growth of 2.6%. The private sector added 300 jobs (3.4%), while the government sector grew by 25 jobs (0.7%). In the private sector, goods-producing jobs were up by 25 (4.2%) while service jobs grew by 275 (3.3%).
Note: Labor force, employment, unemployment, and jobs data on this page are updated annually. For the most recent monthly labor market data, visit Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity
PERSONAL INCOME: In 2020, Santa Cruz County had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $42,204. This PCPI ranked 8th in the state and was 85% of the state average, $49,648, and 71% of the national average, $59,510. The 2020 PCPI reflected an increase of 10.3% from 2019. The 2019-2020 state change was 8.4% and the national change was 6.2%. In 2010, the PCPI of Santa Cruz County was $29,362 and ranked 7th in the state. The 2010-2020 compound annual growth rate of PCPI was 3.7%. The compound annual growth rate for the state was 3.9% and for the nation was 3.9%.
WAGES: The average annual wage in Santa Cruz County in 2021 was $48,834 ($23.48 hourly), which was 89% of the Arizona statewide average wage of $55,170 ($26.53 hourly) and 84% of the national average wage of $58,260 ($28.01 hourly). Santa Cruz County's average wage in 2021 was up 2.2% from 2020.
MAJOR INDUSTRY SALES: In 2021, Santa Cruz County's retail sales were up 14.6% following a COVID-related decline of 7.6% in 2020. Restaurant & bar sales were up 25.2% in 2021 after falling 19.6% the year prior. Santa Cruz County hotel/motel receipts were up 43.8% in 2021, rebounding from a 30.7% drop in 2020. Sales across industries were impacted by record-low border crossings from Mexico into the U.S. at the Nogales port of entry in 2020, the first year of the pandemic. Sales rebounded strongly as the border reopened.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: In 2020, Santa Cruz County produced $2,037,328 in current-dollar total GDP*. This GDP ranked 11th in the state and accounted for 0.5% of the state total. In 2010, the total GDP of Santa Cruz County was $1,419,558 and ranked 13th in the state. In 2020, Santa Cruz County real GDP fell 1.9%; the 2019-2020 state change was -1.0%. The 2010-2020 compound annual growth rate for Santa Cruz County real GDP was 1.6%; the compound annual growth rate for the state was 2.1%.
*GDP estimates are in thousands of dollars.
HOME PRICES & DAYS ON MARKET: In March 2022, the median price of homes sold in Santa Cruz County was $288,500, according to National Association of Realtors. That was up 25.7% from March 2021. The median days on market in March was 71, the same as in March 2021. As of May 2022, there were 795 homes listed for sale in Santa Cruz County, down from 887 in June 2021 (Santa Cruz County, AZ Real Estate Market).
NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION: In 2021, there were 272 permits issued for new single-family homes in Santa Cruz County, up from 188 in 2020. New home permits in 2021 were at their highest level since 2007.
In 2021, visits to state and national parks in Santa Cruz County mostly rebounded after COVID-related declines in 2020. The exception was Patagonia Lake, which saw visits drop 14.8% in 2021 after increasing 0.2% in 2020. Visits to Tubac Presidio were up 40.2% in 2021 following a 39.7% decline in 2020. Visits to Tumacacori were up 40.6% in 2021, after falling 40.2% in 2020.
According to research by Dean Runyan Associates for Arizona Office of Tourism, Santa Cruz County's travel industry (including business and leisure travel) generated $190.8 million in direct spending in 2021, up 60.9% following a 49.5% COVID-related decline in 2020. Santa Cruz County's travel industry supported 1,900 jobs countywide in 2021 (up 11.1% after falling 5.3% the year prior) with associated household earnings of $55.8 million (up 13.2% following a 4.3% drop the previous year).
BORDER CROSSINGS: In 2021, pedestrian border crossings from Mexico into the US at the Nogales port of entry in Santa Cruz County were up 23.7% after falling 58.5% in 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic. The number of personal vehicle passengers through the Nogales port was up by 31.2% in 2021, following a 47.3% drop in 2020. Despite the increases in 2021, both pedestrian and vehicle passenger crossings remained at near-record lows (with the record lows set in 2020, with records back to 1996).
INTERNATIONAL TRADE: In 2021, the value of exports passing through Santa Cruz County's Nogales port of entry totaled $9.8 billion, up 16.1% from 2020. Imports through the port came in at $14.8 billion (up 9.9%). At the separate Nogales Customs District n.e.c., port of entry, the value of exports in 2021 was $95.4 million (up 50%) while imports totaled $292.2 million (down 53. 4%).
In 2021, bank deposits in Santa Cruz County (as of June 30) were down 0.3 percent from the year prior. That was on the heels of a 20.1% gain in 2020 - its fastest rate of increase since 1997. Total deposits, which topped $1 billion for the first time ever in 2020, were helped along by COVID stimulus payments in 2020 and 2021.