The sunniest city in the world - Yuma, Arizona -
yuma arizona

The sunniest city in the world – Yuma, Arizona

When I moved to London 10 years ago, I never would have thought that I will learn to appreciate every glimpse of sunshine as much as I do now… Indeed, as residents of this great city (or the whole country for that matter), we are not very blessed when it comes to clear skies. According to, on average, London gets 1,460 hours of sunshine every year. That is only %33.3 (if we only take into account 12 hours of daylight on average)… But if I am honest with you, it feels like it is much less than that.

I would not be able to tell you know many times over these 10 years the topic of “moving to a hot city or country” came up in conversations with thousands of people. Yes, Londoners are craving for sunshine and the difference it makes to the whole city and people’s moods when is actually there – is remarkable.

Therefore, as a an admirer of urban life, I decided to find out what is the sunniest city on our planet.

As we constantly hear about massive fires in Australia or have an image of a “yellow” urban scenery somewhere in Asia or Africa, my initial guesses were indeed cities located in these continents. But I was wrong.

According to International Business Times, the sunniest city in the world is actually located in Arizona state of the US and is called Yuma.

History of Yuma

The history of what is know as Yuma today has started in 1540. While travelling through this area, Spanish explorer Hernando de Alarcon noticed that there is a perfect crossing spot through the Colorado River. As it was relatively a narrow (~1,000 feet/304 metres), he knew that this would be an ideal spot for a city.

Later the crossing was used multiple times by military troops and other discoverers, including Father Francisco Garces who used it as a part of his quest to find a land route to California. Since the discovery, Mr Garces organised a few trips through the crossing.  However, the last one was fatal.  The whole crew, including Garces himself, were killed by the uprising of Native Americans.

Only in the mid 19th century, followed by the rediscovery of the crossing by Kit Carson, it has become a permanent settlement and was mostly know for its popularity amongst California gold seekers.

The national identity of what is as known as Yuma today has changed multiple times over the years: for a period of time it belonged to Spain, then Mexico and only in 1854 it has become a part of the US after the Gadsden Purchase.

Similarly to national dependence, Yuma had a few different names since the settlement was established:

  • 1854 – 1858 Colorado City
  • 1858 – 1873 Arizona City

Only in 1873 Territorial Legislature confirmed the current name of it and Yuma was officially established.

Yuma today

Image Credits: Ernesto Girelli

Image Credits: Ernesto Girelli

Image Credits: Ernesto Girelli

yuma arizona
Image Credits: Ernesto Girelli

Today Yuma has around 100,000 residents, and is one of the biggest cities in Arizona, especially in the south west of the the state. Even though the population of the city is growing, the unemployment rate of Yuma Metropolitan Statistical Area remains the highest in the US – %23,8 (census of 2014).

Acording to the official tourism website of Yuma these are some of latest major developments:

In 2009, the Heritage Area’s master plan projects earned the Governor’s Arizona Preservation Award as the “most significant contribution toward the preservation of some aspect of the natural, cultural or aesthetic legacy of Arizona.”  These projects included:

  • Renovation and reopening of the historic Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge (2002)
  • Development of West Wetlands Park (first phase opened 2002)
  • Development of the East Wetlands environmental restoration area (begun 2004)
  • Development of more than 10 miles of paved and lighted trails on the river and East Main Canal
  • Design and development of Gateway Park (opened 2007)
  • Public/private development of Pivot Point Conference Center (opened Nov. 2008) and Hilton Garden Inn at Pivot Point (opened May 2009)
  • Development of Pivot Point Interpretative Plaza, a free public exhibit area on the site where the first railroad train entered Arizona in 1877 (opened June 2010).

For more information visit Yuma’s official website, or as mentioned above, the official tourist information website.


Yuma has always been known for its extreme climate. With an average annual temperature being 75.7 °F (24.3 °C) Yuma is the driest modern city with the lowest frequency of precipitation. Approximately 175 days a year temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C), while the hottest day ever recorded was the 28th of July 1995, when a temperature reached 124 °F (51 °C).

Interesting fact: you can fry an egg at 130 °F (55 °C). That’s how hot it is.

And now the most important figure: according to Yuma has an average of 11 hours of sunshine per day and 4015 hours a year! Which in other words means that it is sunny more than 91% of the time (excluding nights). If we look back to this figure in London – %33.3, Yuma is nearly %60 ahead.

While our short glimpses of sunshine are condensed into a few months of the summer season, Yumans enjoy it throughout the year.


If you are planning a trip to Yuma, do not forget to book a hotel in advance by clicking here. Prices start at $55 per night for 2 adults.

To see what the temperature in the sunniest city on Earth is at this particular moment click here.

Looking at the opposite side of the spectrum, do you know what is the coldest city on Earth? Have a look at our article –  Coldest city on Earth – City of Yakutsk, Russia.

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