A Bi-lingual, Multicultural Workforce

Greater Nogales has an extensive talent base supporting the logistics and supply chain hub, given its history of over 100 years of border commerce and multiple generations of families involved in the industry on both sides of the border.

With over 75% of the population speaking Spanish at home, the Nogales area is truly bi-lingual and bi-cultural – more than double the rate of the rest of Arizona or nationally.

 Talent - Language Place Of Birth

Ambos Nogales Workforce

Today, available regional workforce for activity in what’s known as Ambos Nogales—both Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona—has a median age of 35.8 with over 50% of the workforce between the ages of 18 and 64 years of age. The Ambos Nogales region draws on a population of more than 265,000 people. The population of Nogales, Sonora exceeds that of Nogales, Arizona by more than 4:1.

Talent - Age Distribition

Youth and Talent Fill the Pipeline

Nogales, AZ has an age distribution with a significantly higher percentage of future workforce (ages 5-19) than the overall US population. The fact this trend shifts after high school suggests that Nogales residents are leaving the community in young adulthood, but that there is young talent in the pipeline.


Adjacent Community Profiles

Two adjacent communities in Santa Cruz County offer distinct lifestyle options. Nogales is a well-established community incorporated in 1893 with an historic city center. The unincorporated Rio Rico, on the other hand, was a planned community of 39,000 acres with a 256-acre industrial park that was started in the 1960s.

Two Distinct Lifestyles Just Eight Miles Apart

The majority of the area workforce and its managers live in Nogales and Rio Rico. The populations of Rio Rico and Nogales differ by education level, home ownership and income, as well as language and ethnicity.

With a relatively similar population by size (around 20,000), but greater density than Rio Rico, Nogales serves as the economic, educational and cultural capital and the county seat of Santa Cruz County. Nogales is situated in a mountain pass at the narrowest point in the Santa Cruz River Valley in a high Sonoran Desert setting at an elevation of 3,865 feet.


Established as a trading post in 1880 by Russian immigrant and San Francisco merchant Jacob Isaacson and incorporated as a city in 1893, Nogales continued to flourish and develop a downtown area along what are now Grand and Morley Avenues. Here, unique shopping opportunities sit alongside historic and cultural sites. In fact, Nogales historic downtown includes 200 residential and commercial buildings on the National Historic Register. Outside of downtown, nationally recognized retailers are centered in Nogales.

Two pedestrian-friendly international border crossings located in downtown lead to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. One of these, the Morley Avenue Port of Entry, is the only exclusively pedestrian crossing on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rio Rico, on the other hand, was a planned community that experienced 10-fold growth from 1990 to 2000 as a result of NAFTA. This Sonoran desert community, at 3,800 feet above sea level, straddles the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains near the Santa Cruz River and the Sonoita Creek State Park. For an expanding workforce, Rio Rico offers alternatives for existing homes and the construction of modern custom homes, many with larger lot sizes than Nogales.

Talent - Population-Per-SM-Census

"A Greater Nogales" coalition in partnership with: