The Southwest region encompasses diverse ecosystems, cultures, and economies, reflecting a broad range of climateconditions, including the hottest and driest climate in the United States. Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah occupy one-fifth of U.S. land area, extending across globally unique ecosystems from the Sonoran Desert to the Sierra Nevada to the Pacific Coast. The region is home to 60 million people, with 9 out of 10 living in urban areas and the total population growing 30% faster than the national average. The Nation depends on the region for more than half of its specialty crops such as fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The Southwest also drives the U.S. technology sector, with more than 80% of the country’s technology capitalization located in California.
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