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.
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 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.
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
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.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Arizona For 2019
If you don’t have a job in Paradise Valley, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 2.4%. 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 $173,487.
That’s actually not a bad idea…
Scottsdale has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Arizona. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Scottsdale is a real gem.
With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Scottsdale residents to work is significantly higher than average.
If you want to live in Arizona, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Gilbert 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 $85,581 median income will do that).
Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Gilbert as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Gilbert.
Well, I guess technically 6.3% of Oro Valley residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 15th closest of any city in Arizona.
You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.
In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Oro Valley also ranked well for crime (7th) and median income ($75,966).
Sahuarita isn’t just the nicest place to live in Arizona – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.
It’s got the 4th lowest unemployment rate, the 12th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.
When you’re looking at science and data, Sahuarita definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.
Chandler 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.
Fountain Hills makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Arizona mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.
And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4.9% of folks are jobless, you can bet Fountain Hills residents are glad to live where they do.
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 Litchfield Park.
Litchfield Park ranked impressively high for its crime rate (44th overall) and its short commute times (42nd).
We think that’s worth the price of admission.
Queen Creek had the 3rd lowest unemployment of any place in our research (2.8%) and the 44th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Queen Creek is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.
Marana ranks as the 10th best place in Arizona for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.
Marana has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Marana’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $76,484 a year.
The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂
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
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Arizona