The 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.

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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, 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.

Most people think that Arizona is filled with a bunch of snowbirds, California transplants, and anyone escaping the Midwest chill; but if you live in Arizona, you know there’s so much more.

Let’s start with the good people of the state with sunsets that seem to go on forever.

The good people, here, are alway 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.

But what about those fun facts that only Arizonans know that make the cities in their state the best?

We think they would go something like this: they have some of the most authentic Mexican food this side of the border, you can mountain bike in the Sonoran Desert and ski in Flagstaff all in the same day, and they have some of the coolest, off the beaten path, artsy cities like Sedona and Prescott.

It doesn’t end there, folks.

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.

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.

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 culture 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

Things can’t get much better than in the town of Paradise Valley. The crime is the 9th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Paradise Valley make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.

The median home costs a cool $1,332,600 and households make $173,487 which is good for 1st in Arizona.

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

Scottsdale has a really low crime rate (12th lowest) and only 4.9% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($76,543). 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 Scottsdale.

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 a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.

Home prices clock in at $264,700 and households earn a median salary of $85,581. One could get used to that.

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

We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Oro Valley one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.

They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Oro Valley.

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 ranks as the 5th best place in Arizona for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.

Sahuarita has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Sahuarita’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $69,333 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

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

The Chandler has the 10th lowest unemployment rate in Arizona. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Chandler is higher than the national average and households make $74,329 per year.

We’d move to Chandler if we could in a heart beat.

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

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Fountain Hills.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in Arizona and the median income comes in at $75,297.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

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

The Town of Litchfield Park might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Litchfield Park isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $279,100 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Arizona.

If Litchfield Park can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (4.9% is the 8th highest in the state.

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

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Queen Creek.

Queen Creek ranked impressively high for its crime rate (44th overall) and its short commute times (53rd).

We think that’s worth the price of admission.

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 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 Marana. 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.

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 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

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