Rugged, conservative, elderly, and rural — these are the sorts of adjectives people think of when they think “Arizonan.” These might have been true at one time, but the state is changing so fast that it’s hard to come up with a singular description that would fit the whole population of the state of Arizona. Yet here are 12 things outsiders always seems to get wrong about us.

1. We’re all old.

Granted, the state is home to a lot of retirees, but with the three major colleges, improving job market, and cheap cost of living, more and more of us are young — and not just young at heart!

2. We’re country folk — or at least desert dwellers.

Phoenix is huge and growing. It’s the fifth-largest city in the country now, and Tucson has almost a million people. By default, we can’t all be rural bumpkins.

3. We like the heat.

Very few of us actually enjoy when it’s 100-and-f*&$ out and our steering wheels peel our hand skin off. Plus, there’re plenty of Arizonans who wake up and have to scrape their windshield before snowshoeing to work (looking at you Northern Arizonans).

4. We’re water-phobes.

Any Arizonan worth their salt knows exactly where a sizeable body of water is and how to sneak in. It might be a human-made swimming pool or a natural water source, but we’re the first ones getting in.

5. We’re conservative thinkers.

Most Arizonans are open-minded. We’re younger, more urbane, and getting purpler by the minute. There’s room for all in this great big state.

6. We’re immune to the sting of venomous creatures.

No, we just know where not to step. Or sleep.

7. We’re New Mexicans.

Two different states, two different attitudes.

8. We’re all tan.

A ton of us are the kids or grandkids of pale Midwestern transplants, or we’re snowbirds who stayed. We can’t tan, even if we wanted to.

9. We all speak Spanish.

Not true. Too many of us can’t even pronounce the Spanish-language road we live on.

10. We can ride a horse.

Most of us can’t even drive a vehicle in anything resembling a legal manner, much less balance on a giant beast.

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