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

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

It's obvious why Scottsdale ranks 2nd in the state for best places to live: they have the 8th lowest unemployment rate and the 4th highest home values.

Plus, they're known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Scottsdale a great place to live.

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 consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren't any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let's see why Gilbert ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Gilbert are the 11th most expensive in the state of Arizona, with the average home worth a whopping $264,700. We're not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Gilbert if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Gilbert residents have the 3rd highest income in the state, and the 6th lowest crime numbers 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 ranks 4th 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 Oro Valley over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

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 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\Sahuarita had the 12th highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $69,333.

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

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

Chandler 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 Chandler. 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.

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

If you want to live in Arizona, you can't go wrong if you decide to make the Fountain Hills 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 $75,297 median income will do that).

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

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

If you don't have a job in Litchfield Park, you're most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get -- 4.9%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $79,821.

That's actually not a bad idea...

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

Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Queen Creek 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, Queen Creek still holds its own in in Arizona.

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

Marana is by far one of the best places to live in Arizona: the math proves it! This city has the 18th lowest unemployment rate and the 7th highest median income in all of Arizona.

Plus, the median home values are the 14th highest in the state. And if all of that isn't enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 15th lowest in the state, making Marana a safe and great place to live.

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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