10 Best Places To Live In Arizona For 2019


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Arizona.

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To truly know what it means to live where it's the best in the West, one must experience the super safe, super beautiful, super awesome, best state of Arizona.

Arizona is known for its beautiful deserts, gigantic canyons, and majestic mountains. And folks, it doesn't end there.

The good people Arizona are always looking out for each other. They have placed sprinklers all over the state to help with the 'dry heat'. They've taken the rattle out of their pesky rattlesnakes. And don't get us started on how they've trained the scorpions and tarantulas to steer clear of humans.

Whether you're a Northern Arizona Lumberjack fan or a University of Arizona Wildcats fan, or just a fan of great cities, great weather, and great people, there's a city in Arizona for you.

Arizona has every type of city for every type of person. Hip millennial cities like Phoenix, cowboy and cowgirl cities like Winslow, and college cities like Tucson are great places to find work, raise families, and just plain enjoy life.

How did we determine the best places to live in Arizona for 2019?

Grab a carne asada burrito and a cold Corona and read on.

The cities in Arizona are known for their quirky "How the West Was Won,' western vibe with amazing local flare, and out-of-this-world Mexican restaurants.

And don't get us started on Arizona skies that go forever and sunshine that pulls even the grumpiest out of their slump.

Needless to say, it was very difficult to narrow down 54 of Arizona's best places to live to just ten.

What city is the best place to live in Arizona for 2019? Well according to the UC Census and FBI data we crunched, Paradise Valley is the best place to live in Arizona if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.

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:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Arizona For 2019

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

Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Paradise Valley is a wonderful place to live in this state.

The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don't hurt either!

While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Paradise Valley still holds its own in in Arizona.

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

There's two types of people who live in Scottsdale. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $405,500 home there.

Either way, you're set. Your kids go to great schools, there's a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Scottsdale is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

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

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

The crime rate in Gilbert isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $264,700 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Arizona.

If Gilbert can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (5.4% is the 11th highest in the state.

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 comes in at a close 4th. They have the 15th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 8th highest median income as well, which means the people in Oro Valley are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 8th best in the state.

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 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.

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

When you're looking at the best places you could live in Arizona, Chandler came in 6th. Let's see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Chandler has an impressive history for a place of just over 242,131 people. The median home costs a cool $248,500 and households make $74,329 which is good for 11th in Arizona.

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

In Fountain Hills, everyone loves to call Fountain Hills home! The median home value is the 5th highest in Arizona.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Grand Canyon State.

Fountain Hills should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

Litchfield Park, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/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

Litchfield Park is another great city in Arizona with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: " We feel incredibly safe in Litchfield Park. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it's wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things."

Enough said.

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

We think the motto in Queen Creek should be "Everything is greater in Queen Creek," and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Queen Creek has some of the highest home values in Arizona, and they're going up fast. Additionally, Queen Creek only has 780.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Queen Creek a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

Review Of Queen Creek by HomeSnacks User

Very low crime rate; neighborhoods are all tree lined; and there are lots of cafes and shopping.

The movie theater is my favorite place. You don't have to fight for a seat. However, the traffic is horrible. You can't get anywhere quickly. It takes along time to get anywhere. Theres street lights at every quarter mile I think

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

Crime is something that doesn't happen very often in Marana. Statistically the 15th safest place in the state, there were only 40 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It's really beautiful in Marana, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $76,484 a year, and homes are valued at more than $220,200.

What else could you possibly want if you're someone who likes the good things in life?

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 Cities 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.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Arizona? That would be Paradise Valley.

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.

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 the best place to live in Arizona for 2019.

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:

Where Are 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

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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