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 on 4-6-2018 with a video. Article continues below video.

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

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:

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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, 113 towns, and 242 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.

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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.

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1. Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley, Arizona

Population: 13,833
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $1,332,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (2nd best)
More on Paradise Valley: Real Estate | Data
When you look at the numbers, Paradise Valley is far and away, the best place in Arizona. The crime rate is very low, and so are the unemployment numbers. Only 2nd of Paradise Valley residents are without a job, which is very low.

Plus, the children in Paradise Valley schools receive a ton of support, financially. And when you feel so cosy in your backyard, you’re never out of things to do. It’s basically a little gem tucked away in Arizona.

2. Scottsdale

Scottsdale, Arizona

Population: 234,495
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Values: $405,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th best)
More on Scottsdale: Real Estate | Data
In Scottsdale, everyone loves to call Scottsdale home! The median home value is the 4th 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.

Scottsdale should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

3. Gilbert

Gilbert, Arizona

Population: 226,832
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $264,700 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (11th best)
More on Gilbert: Real Estate | Data
Gilbert has a strong showing in our best places to live in Arizona analysis, coming it at 3rd best.

It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.

If you’re thinking of moving to Arizona, Gilbert is a great option.

4. Oro Valley

Oro Valley, Arizona

Population: 42,379
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Values: $281,700 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (15th best)
More on Oro Valley: Real Estate | Data
If you want to live in Arizona, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Oro Valley area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $75,966 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Oro Valley as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Oro Valley.

5. Sahuarita

Sahuarita, Arizona

Population: 27,780
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Values: $178,000 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (4th best)
More on Sahuarita: Real Estate | Data
If you want to live in Arizona, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Sahuarita area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $69,333 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Sahuarita as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Sahuarita.

6. Chandler

Chandler, Arizona

Population: 242,131
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Values: $248,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (10th best)
More on Chandler: Real Estate | Data
Chandler is feeling the love as it ranks as the 6th best city to live in Arizona for 2015.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (11th overall) and low crime (18th 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”.

7. Fountain Hills

Fountain Hills, Arizona

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

8. Litchfield Park

Litchfield Park, Arizona

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,449
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Home Values: $279,100 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th best)
More on Litchfield Park: Real Estate | Data
In Litchfield Park, everyone loves to call Litchfield Park home! The median home value is the 10th 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.

Litchfield Park should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

9. Queen Creek

Queen Creek, Arizona

Population: 30,849
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 8)
Home Values: $282,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (3rd best)
More on Queen Creek: Real Estate | Data
Queen Creek is known for having a great education system and has the 53rd shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Queen Creek is the 3rd lowest in Arizona and the median income is the 2nd highest in the state.

10. Marana

Marana, Arizona

Population: 40,221
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Home Values: $220,200 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (17th best)
More on Marana: Real Estate | Data
Marana has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Marana had the 7th highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $76,484.

Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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. Morenci (Pop. 1,742)
  2. Bagdad (Pop. 1,734)
  3. Rio Verde (Pop. 1,946)
  4. Carefree (Pop. 3,580)
  5. Pinetop Country Club (Pop. 1,792)
  6. Citrus Park (Pop. 4,832)
  7. St. David (Pop. 1,709)
  8. Fort Valley (Pop. 1,157)
  9. Linden (Pop. 2,525)
  10. Eagar (Pop. 4,943)

Best Small Towns To Live In Arizona

  1. Ko Vaya (Pop. 23)
  2. Oxbow Estates (Pop. 111)
  3. Palominas (Pop. 134)
  4. Kohls Ranch (Pop. 101)
  5. Pinion Pines (Pop. 249)
  6. Geronimo Estates (Pop. 112)
  7. Greer (Pop. 42)
  8. Parker Strip (Pop. 624)
  9. Nolic (Pop. 30)
  10. Cutter (Pop. 45)

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

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

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities 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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