These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Arizona For 2018


We used science and data to determine the best places to call home in Arizona for 2018.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Where are the best places in the state of Arizona?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Grand Canyon State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Arizona.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 54 places in Arizona, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Paradise Valley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Scottsdale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Gilbert (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Oro Valley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Sahuarita (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Chandler (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Fountain Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Litchfield Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Queen Creek (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Marana (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Paradise Valley if you’re thinking of moving to Arizona — it’s the best the Grand Canyon State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Arizona.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Arizona

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Phoenix with a population of 1,555,324 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 54 cities, 107 towns, and 126 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Arizona

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Arizona across a number of criteria from one to 54, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Arizona”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Arizona.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Paradise Valley at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Paradise Valley, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 13,833
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,332,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (2nd best)
More on Paradise Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taking its place as the 1st best place in Arizona is Paradise Valley. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Arizona.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 2.4% helps thing too.

Scottsdale, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 234,495
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $405,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th best)
More on Scottsdale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Scottsdale might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Scottsdale isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $405,500 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Arizona.

If Scottsdale can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (4.9% is the 8th highest in the state.

Gilbert, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 226,832
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $264,700 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (11th best)
More on Gilbert: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gilbert is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 3rd best place in Arizona?

Homes are priced around $264,700 and residents have the 44th shortest commute in Arizona.

Oro Valley, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 42,379
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $281,700 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (15th best)
More on Oro Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Oro Valley is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It’s safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It’s quite a gem tucked away in Arizona.

Sahuarita, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 27,780
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $178,000 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (4th best)
More on Sahuarita: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sahuarita ranks 5th on our list of best places to live in Arizona thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.

Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Arizona that we examined.

People have been flocking to Sahuarita over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

Chandler, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 242,131
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $248,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (10th best)
More on Chandler: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chandler has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Arizona. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Chandler is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Chandler residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Fountain Hills, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 23,863
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $361,000 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th best)
More on Fountain Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fountain Hills makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Arizona mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4.9% of folks are jobless, you can bet Fountain Hills residents are glad to live where they do.

Litchfield Park, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,449
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $279,100 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th best)
More on Litchfield Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Litchfield Park.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in Arizona and the median income comes in at $79,821.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Queen Creek, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 30,849
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $282,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (3rd best)
More on Queen Creek: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Queen Creek has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.

Just about everyone who wants a job in Queen Creek has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 2.8% and lowering. And the Queen Creek police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 44th lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

Marana, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 40,221
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $220,200 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (18th best)
More on Marana: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let’s take a look at why Marana is a great place to call home for 2018.

There’s low crime in Marana, and the residents here are gainfully employed (6.6% unemployment rate).

You can make Marana your home for only $220,200 which won’t be too hard on a $76,484 household salary.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Arizona

If you’re looking at areas in Arizona with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Paradise Valley made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Arizona

  1. Rio Verde (Pop. 1,946)
  2. Carefree (Pop. 3,580)
  3. Citrus Park (Pop. 4,832)
  4. Pinetop Country Club (Pop. 1,792)
  5. St. David (Pop. 1,709)
  6. Fort Valley (Pop. 1,157)
  7. Linden (Pop. 2,525)
  8. Eagar (Pop. 4,943)
  9. Tubac (Pop. 1,471)
  10. Clarkdale (Pop. 4,159)

Best Small Towns To Live In Arizona

  1. Parker Strip (Pop. 624)
  2. Round Valley (Pop. 580)
  3. Littletown (Pop. 645)
  4. Lazy Y U (Pop. 618)
  5. Sonoita (Pop. 851)
  6. Elgin (Pop. 148)
  7. Washington Park (Pop. 169)
  8. East Verde Estates (Pop. 284)
  9. Solomon (Pop. 285)
  10. Six Shooter Canyon (Pop. 902)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Arizona according to the data:

  1. Winslow (Pop. 9,539)
  2. Eloy (Pop. 17,128)
  3. South Tucson (Pop. 5,627)

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Arizona

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Paradise Valley 13,833 2.4% $1,332,600
2 Scottsdale 234,495 4.9% $405,500
3 Gilbert 226,832 5.4% $264,700
4 Oro Valley 42,379 6.3% $281,700
5 Sahuarita 27,780 4.1% $178,000
6 Chandler 242,131 5.0% $248,500
7 Fountain Hills 23,863 4.9% $361,000
8 Litchfield Park 5,449 4.9% $279,100
9 Queen Creek 30,849 2.8% $282,600
10 Marana 40,221 6.6% $220,200
11 Surprise 127,492 7.8% $197,600
12 Prescott 41,090 9.0% $283,500
13 Peoria 158,677 6.4% $208,200
14 Maricopa 45,473 6.2% $155,500
15 Sierra Vista 44,381 8.1% $178,000
16 Goodyear 72,629 4.2% $235,200
17 Tempe 174,708 6.0% $219,900
18 Mesa 470,456 6.9% $168,500
19 Flagstaff 69,270 7.0% $280,200
20 Wickenburg 6,766 0.4% $190,400
21 Prescott Valley 41,070 8.3% $176,400
22 Sedona 10,209 7.0% $419,700
23 Payson 15,297 7.7% $207,700
24 Safford 9,616 12.5% $136,600
25 Cave Creek 5,275 8.7% $453,300
26 Show Low 10,875 7.6% $136,500
27 Florence 26,221 12.9% $112,100
28 Avondale 80,631 6.9% $160,600
29 Chino Valley 11,015 4.8% $165,400
30 Yuma 93,704 11.7% $120,200
31 Kingman 28,586 8.2% $115,400
32 El Mirage 33,937 7.6% $124,800
33 Holbrook 5,011 6.6% $78,300
34 Glendale 239,943 7.2% $163,400
35 Phoenix 1,555,324 7.7% $178,200
36 Page 7,532 11.0% $157,500
37 Douglas 16,764 10.9% $87,700
38 Casa Grande 51,571 9.2% $122,900
39 Apache Junction 37,775 10.9% $89,600
40 Snowflake 5,643 8.8% $135,400
41 Globe 7,369 8.1% $117,900
42 Somerton 14,866 12.7% $112,800
43 Bisbee 5,330 5.7% $129,300
44 Camp Verde 11,096 9.8% $154,300
45 Cottonwood 11,598 8.6% $135,000
46 Nogales 20,355 12.4% $114,600
47 Tolleson 6,985 7.0% $154,500
48 Tucson 527,586 10.1% $132,200
49 Guadalupe 6,172 15.4% $82,200
50 San Luis 31,118 17.2% $112,100
51 Coolidge 12,073 13.1% $82,600
52 Winslow 9,539 16.8% $81,500
53 Eloy 17,128 11.9% $73,300
54 South Tucson 5,627 20.9% $74,100

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