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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.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Arizona for 2019:
- 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)
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.
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
The 10 Best Places To Live In Arizona For 2019
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.
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.
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 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 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 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."
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.
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...
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.
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'.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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
- 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 Best Places To Retire In Arizona
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Arizona
- 10 Safest Places In Arizona
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Arizona