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:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Arizona
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Arizona
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family 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.
Paradise Valley has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Arizona.
The unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest in the state at 2.4%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $173,487, and the average cost of a home is $1,332,600. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.
We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Paradise Valley one of America’s gems.
Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Scottsdale 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, Scottsdale still holds its own in in Arizona.
Gilbert is feeling the love as it ranks as the 3rd best city to live in Arizona for 2016.
It ranked highly because of its high incomes (3rd overall) and low crime (6th overall and one of the best in the top ten).
We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In Arizona”.
Oro Valley is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 4th best place in Arizona?
Homes are priced around $281,700 and residents have the 47th shortest commute in Arizona.
Sahuarita 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 Sahuarita 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 Sahuarita residents to work is significantly higher than average.
You might be surprised to see the Town of Chandler so high on the list. Unless you live in Chandler.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 5.0%, Chandler residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Arizona. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Chandler is doing quite well.
Let’s be honest — Chandler is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Fountain Hills’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 9th highest, making Fountain Hills a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.
Additionally, Fountain Hills has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.
Litchfield Park has a really low crime rate (44th lowest) and only 4.9% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($79,821). And that goes a long way.
The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Litchfield Park.
The crime is the 44th lowest in the state in Queen Creek, and there were only 158 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.
The schools are some of the best in Arizona, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Queen Creek earn $90,687 a year.
It’s obvious why Marana ranks 10th in the state for best places to live: they have the 18th lowest unemployment rate and the 14th highest home values.
Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Marana a great place to live.
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:
- 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