10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Arizona For 2018

We used science and data to determine which cities in Arizona have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.


According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Arizona? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Grand Canyon State:

  1. Douglas (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Coolidge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Maricopa (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Somerton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Florence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Prescott (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Sahuarita (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Chandler (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Scottsdale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Avondale (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Arizona, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out some more reading about Arizona and the best places for families in the country:

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How do you determine which place is best for families in Arizona anyways?

To give you the places in Arizona which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Grand Canyon State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Arizona, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Arizona, that meant a total of 37 cities.

Read on to see why Douglas is where all the families are headed, while Goodyear is probably a place made for singles.

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Douglas, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,764
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 59
Closest Major City: Tucson
Households with kids: 44.6%
More on Douglas: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Douglas is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States that lies in the north-west to south-east running San Bernardino Valley within which runs the Rio San Bernardino. Douglas has a border crossing with Mexico at Agua Prieta and a history of mining.

Coolidge, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,073
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Gilbert
Households with kids: 41.3%
More on Coolidge: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Coolidge is a city in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the city’s population is 11,825.

Maricopa, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 45,473
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: Chandler
Households with kids: 42.0%
More on Maricopa: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Maricopa is a city in the Gila River Valley in the State of Arizona. With an estimated 48,602 residents as of 2015, Maricopa is the second most populous incorporated city in Pinal County and eighteenth most populous in Arizona. Maricopa forms part of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Somerton, AZ

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Population: 14,866
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Chula Vista
Households with kids: 61.5%
More on Somerton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Somerton is a city in Yuma County, Arizona, United States.

Somerton has an annual Tamale Festival that benefits students from the area who will be attending Arizona State University. More than 20,000 visitors attend the festival each year. The festival is put together by The El Diablito Arizona State University Alumni chapter.

Florence, AZ

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Population: 26,221
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Gilbert
Households with kids: 17.5%
More on Florence: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Florence is a town, 61 miles southeast of Phoenix, in Pinal County of Arizona, United States. Florence, which is the county seat of Pinal County, is one of the oldest towns in that county and is regarded as a National Historic District with over 25 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The population of Florence was 30,770 at the 2015 census.

Prescott, AZ

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Population: 41,090
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Scottsdale
Households with kids: 14.2%
More on Prescott: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Prescott is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 39,843. The city is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the capital in 1889.

Sahuarita, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,780
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Tucson
Households with kids: 40.9%
More on Sahuarita: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Sahuarita is a town in Pima County, Arizona, United States. Sahuarita is located south of the Tohono O’odham Nation and abuts the north end of Green Valley, 15 miles south of Tucson. The population was 25,259 at the 2010 census.

Chandler, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 242,131
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 74
Households with kids: 38.4%
More on Chandler: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. As of July 2015, the population was 260,828 according to the United States Census Bureau, According to the city’s official website, Chandler’s Transportation & Development Department estimated the population, as of May 2016, to be 247,328. It also has satellite locations for many technology companies, including Intel and Orbital ATK.

Scottsdale, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 234,495
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 84
Households with kids: 20.0%
More on Scottsdale: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, adjacent to the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after founder Winfield Scott and incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000, the 2015 population of the city is estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” and as having “plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene.” Its slogan is “The West’s Most Western Town.”

Avondale, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 80,631
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Glendale
Households with kids: 46.9%
More on Avondale: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

There You Have It – The Best Places To Grow Up In Arizona

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Arizona ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Arizona according to the data:

  1. Goodyear
  2. Cottonwood
  3. Casa Grande

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Arizona

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Douglas 16,764 41
2 Coolidge 12,073 60
3 Maricopa 45,473 44
4 Somerton 14,866 55
5 Florence 26,221 57
6 Prescott 41,090 68
7 Sahuarita 27,780 57
8 Chandler 242,131 75
9 Scottsdale 234,495 76
10 Avondale 80,631 38
11 Peoria 158,677 47
12 Nogales 20,355 53
13 Show Low 10,875 59
14 Gilbert 226,832 48
15 Kingman 28,586 47
16 Paradise Valley 13,833 31
17 Camp Verde 11,096 55
18 Surprise 127,492 50
19 Apache Junction 37,775 36
20 Flagstaff 69,270 65
21 El Mirage 33,937 34
22 Mesa 470,456 73
23 Sierra Vista 44,381 47
24 San Luis 31,118 57
25 Oro Valley 42,379 54
26 Tempe 174,708 78
27 Glendale 239,943 77
28 Payson 15,297 40
29 Prescott Valley 41,070 35
30 Tucson 527,586 100
31 Chino Valley 11,015 61
32 Phoenix 1,555,324 100
33 Eloy 17,128 34
34 Marana 40,221 32
35 Casa Grande 51,571 34
36 Cottonwood 11,598 58
37 Goodyear 72,629 33

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