Average age: 36
A historically jittery commodity, crude oil has seen calm prices for three years, and one big factor has been helping smooth the wrinkles: U.S. shale oil.
The Great Recession had devastating effects across the U.S. and few places were as hard hit as Arizona. The state was booming on the strength of its tourism and real estate markets during the 2000s. Median home prices jumped 70% between 2003 and 2006—only Nevada had bigger gains—fueling more building and construction jobs. Monthly unemployment was at 3.5% through much of 2007. But then the bottom fell out. Home prices plummeted more than 50% from their peak and 6% Arizona properties received foreclosure filings in 2009. Unemployment stubbornly remained in double-figures for most of 2009 and 2010 and only Nevada lost a higher percentage of jobs over the last five years. Household incomes declined at the fastest rate in the country since 2008.