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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
Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Paradise Valley 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, Paradise Valley still holds its own in in Arizona.
There's two types of people who live in Scottsdale. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $405,500 home there.
Either way, you're set. Your kids go to great schools, there's a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Scottsdale is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.
The Town of Gilbert might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.
The crime rate in Gilbert isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $264,700 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Arizona.
If Gilbert can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (5.4% is the 11th highest in the state.
Oro Valley comes in at a close 4th. They have the 15th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 8th highest median income as well, which means the people in Oro Valley are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 8th best in the state.
Sahuarita is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It's safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.
It's quite a gem tucked away in Arizona.
When you're looking at the best places you could live in Arizona, Chandler came in 6th. Let's see why.
It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.
Plus, Chandler has an impressive history for a place of just over 242,131 people. The median home costs a cool $248,500 and households make $74,329 which is good for 11th in Arizona.
In Fountain Hills, everyone loves to call Fountain Hills home! The median home value is the 5th 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.
Fountain Hills should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
Litchfield Park 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 Litchfield Park. 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."
We think the motto in Queen Creek should be "Everything is greater in Queen Creek," and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Queen Creek has some of the highest home values in Arizona, and they're going up fast. Additionally, Queen Creek only has 780.0% of its residents living in poverty.
Crime is also well below the state average, making Queen Creek a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.
Crime is something that doesn't happen very often in Marana. Statistically the 15th safest place in the state, there were only 40 violent crimes in the entire city last year.
It's really beautiful in Marana, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $76,484 a year, and homes are valued at more than $220,200.
What else could you possibly want if you're someone who likes the good things in life?
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