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:
- Paradise Valley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Scottsdale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gilbert (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Oro Valley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sahuarita (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Chandler (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fountain Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Litchfield Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Queen Creek (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- 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.
For more Arizona reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Arizona
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Arizona
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Arizona
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’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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?
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
- Rio Verde (Pop. 1,946)
- Carefree (Pop. 3,580)
- Citrus Park (Pop. 4,832)
- Pinetop Country Club (Pop. 1,792)
- St. David (Pop. 1,709)
- Fort Valley (Pop. 1,157)
- Linden (Pop. 2,525)
- Eagar (Pop. 4,943)
- Tubac (Pop. 1,471)
- Clarkdale (Pop. 4,159)
Best Small Towns To Live In Arizona
- Parker Strip (Pop. 624)
- Round Valley (Pop. 580)
- Littletown (Pop. 645)
- Lazy Y U (Pop. 618)
- Sonoita (Pop. 851)
- Elgin (Pop. 148)
- Washington Park (Pop. 169)
- East Verde Estates (Pop. 284)
- Solomon (Pop. 285)
- Six Shooter Canyon (Pop. 902)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Arizona according to the data:
- Winslow (Pop. 9,539)
- Eloy (Pop. 17,128)
- South Tucson (Pop. 5,627)
For more Arizona reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Arizona
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Arizona For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Arizona
- 10 Safest Places In Arizona
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Arizona
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Arizona