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

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.

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

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, 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 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, 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 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, 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 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.

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

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, 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’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, 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

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.

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

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.

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

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

  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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