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.

Join HomeSnacks
This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.
Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

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

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.

Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

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.

Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

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.

Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

1. Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley, Arizona

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,833
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $1,332,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (2nd best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 234,495
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Values: $405,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 226,832
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $264,700 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (11th best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 42,379
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Values: $281,700 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (15th best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,780
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Values: $178,000 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (4th best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 242,131
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Values: $248,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (10th best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 23,863
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Home Values: $361,000 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th best)
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: Wikipedia

Population: 5,449
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Home Values: $279,100 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,849
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 8)
Home Values: $282,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (3rd best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,221
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Home Values: $220,200 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (17th best)
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

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Paradise Valley 1 1 13,833 2.4% $1,332,600
Scottsdale 2 4 234,495 4.9% $405,500
Gilbert 3 3 226,832 5.4% $264,700
Oro Valley 4 2 42,379 6.3% $281,700
Sahuarita 5 5 27,780 4.1% $178,000
Chandler 6 6 242,131 5.0% $248,500
Fountain Hills 7 10 23,863 4.9% $361,000
Litchfield Park 8 12 5,449 4.9% $279,100
Queen Creek 9 17 30,849 2.8% $282,600
Marana 10 8 40,221 6.6% $220,200
Surprise 11 11 127,492 7.8% $197,600
Prescott 12 16 41,090 9.0% $283,500
Peoria 13 9 158,677 6.4% $208,200
Maricopa 14 13 45,473 6.2% $155,500
Sierra Vista 15 15 44,381 8.1% $178,000
Goodyear 16 14 72,629 4.2% $235,200
Tempe 17 18 174,708 6.0% $219,900
Mesa 18 22 470,456 6.9% $168,500
Flagstaff 19 21 69,270 7.0% $280,200
Wickenburg 20 19 6,766 0.4% $190,400
Prescott Valley 21 25 41,070 8.3% $176,400
Sedona 22 7 10,209 7.0% $419,700
Payson 23 23 15,297 7.7% $207,700
Safford 24 27 9,616 12.5% $136,600
Cave Creek 25 20 5,275 8.7% $453,300
Show Low 26 33 10,875 7.6% $136,500
Florence 27 24 26,221 12.9% $112,100
Avondale 28 29 80,631 6.9% $160,600
Chino Valley 29 31 11,015 4.8% $165,400
Yuma 30 39 93,704 11.7% $120,200
Kingman 31 30 28,586 8.2% $115,400
El Mirage 32 32 33,937 7.6% $124,800
Holbrook 33 5,011 6.6% $78,300
Glendale 34 37 239,943 7.2% $163,400
Phoenix 35 38 1,555,324 7.7% $178,200
Page 36 28 7,532 11.0% $157,500
Douglas 37 51 16,764 10.9% $87,700
Casa Grande 38 35 51,571 9.2% $122,900
Apache Junction 39 46 37,775 10.9% $89,600
Snowflake 40 33 5,643 8.8% $135,400
Globe 41 44 7,369 8.1% $117,900
Somerton 42 43 14,866 12.7% $112,800
Bisbee 43 35 5,330 5.7% $129,300
Camp Verde 44 47 11,096 9.8% $154,300
Cottonwood 45 41 11,598 8.6% $135,000
Nogales 46 40 20,355 12.4% $114,600
Tolleson 47 53 6,985 7.0% $154,500
Tucson 48 45 527,586 10.1% $132,200
Guadalupe 49 49 6,172 15.4% $82,200
San Luis 50 48 31,118 17.2% $112,100
Coolidge 51 50 12,073 13.1% $82,600
Winslow 52 52 9,539 16.8% $81,500
Eloy 53 54 17,128 11.9% $73,300
South Tucson 54 55 5,627 20.9% $74,100

Like HomeSnacks on Facebook:

Facebook Discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *