Best Scottsdale Suburbs To Live For 2020


We analyzed over 15 places around Scottsdale to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Scottsdale suburbs.

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Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Scottsdale are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

What's the best suburb of Scottsdale? Paradise Valley ranks as the best suburb of Scottsdale for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Paradise Valley, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Scottsdale 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.
Or feel free to check out some more reading about Arizona:

The 10 Best Scottsdale Suburbs To Live For 2020

Paradise Valley, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 14,215
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $204,145
Unemployment Rate: 1.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
More on Paradise Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Paradise Valley is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Scottsdale area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Paradise Valley."

Everyone here is rich; families average $204,145 a year, which is the 1st highest in the Scottsdale region. And only 1.37% are out of work. Homes average more than $1,505,300 each.

Carefree, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,749
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $97,773
Unemployment Rate: 0.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.1%
More on Carefree: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Carefree is the second best 'burb we looked at near Scottsdale for 2020.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 4.94% of residents lack insurance, good for 3rd best.

Fountain Hills, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 24,490
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $81,537
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Rate: 4.1%
More on Fountain Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Fountain Hills, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Scottsdale metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Fountain Hills.

Gilbert, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 237,484
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $92,350
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.9%
More on Gilbert: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gilbert ranks as the 4th best suburb of Scottsdale for 2020.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Gilbert and the schools are some of the best around.

Chandler, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 248,631
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $80,716
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 8.5%
More on Chandler: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Chandler.

Chandler gets kudos for having the 6th most expensive homes in the Scottsdale area, where houses sell for an average of $285,000. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Peoria, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 164,572
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $73,039
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Poverty Rate: 7.3%
More on Peoria: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Peoria is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 5.5% which is 9th best in the area.

According to online reports, Peoria is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Scottsdale area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Review Of Peoria by HomeSnacks User

It was mainly suburban areas there so not much as far as crime, but being in the big city you always have the chance of something happening.

I really liked going to the outdoor malls and all the wonderful mexican food restaraunts. One restaraunt to look out for is Filibertos mexican food. The bad thing is that it is the suburbs so there isn't much to do as in activities.

Cave Creek, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,569
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $85,529
Unemployment Rate: 8.2%
Poverty Rate: 11.5%
More on Cave Creek: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Cave Creek.

Cave Creek schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 12.6 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Tempe, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 183,652
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,210
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Poverty Rate: 21.3%
More on Tempe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tempe is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 10.11% of people lack insurance, good for 9th in the area.

Review Of Tempe by HomeSnacks User

I like Tempe because it's where I grew up. It's pretty central to a lot of places. The Phoenix Zoo and Downtown Phoenix are very close to Tempe as well. Tempe is home to Arizona State University too. There are lots of neighborhood parks and activities that happen year round in Downtown Tempe.

Favorite places are Tempe Town Lake. The neighborhoods in South Tempe are really nice. Some bad things are that so many people are moving here and there is a lot of development which is good for a city's growth but it has taken away the small town feel that we had here when I was kid.

Mesa, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 491,194
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,700
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Poverty Rate: 15.5%
More on Mesa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Mesa?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Review Of Mesa by HomeSnacks User

The crime rate in my neighborhood is low. The schools are great. And there are plenty to do. There's a water park, laser tag, movies, bowling, and an arcade, not to mention libraries and parks.

Water parks and swimming pools are a great way to keep cool.

Glendale, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 245,514
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $52,314
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Poverty Rate: 18.6%
More on Glendale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Glendale.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

Review Of Glendale by HomeSnacks User

We looked all around the Phoenix area before selecting Glendale. Close proximity to medical help was a must, as was easy access to shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities. Although we no longer have children in school, good schools were also a priority. To our surprise the church we were interested in, happens to almost be across the street. Having the feeling of space and being near the mountains was important to us as well, during our search. Our neighbors are wonderful and we have a lovely mountain view from our back patio. A quick drive/walk gets one to hiking and other outdoor activities. At this time, it does not feel as congested as other parts of the Phoenix area. City water was also a priority as some of the builders we looked at are subsidizing water costs. Later on that could become an expensive proposition. When asked what is not to like, I am still thinking about it and haven't come up with anything.

Our neighborhood nests up to a mountain and there is this wonderful feeling of openness. Homes and subdivisions around us are all well maintained and attractive. It seems all around there are beautiful views in every direction. On the downside, traffic here is crazy near the 101 access. At first we thought all of the wild, fast and rude drivers were in some of the more well to do areas, where we had vacationed, but it turns out they are out in force everywhere. At least AZ has tried to plan ahead for roads/routes to try to handle the traffic. Some of the large cities in the Midwest pale in comparison on that issue.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Scottsdale for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Scottsdale was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2014-2018 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Scottsdale.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 15 suburbs to evaluate around Scottsdale.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 15 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Scottsdale." We're lookin' at you, Paradise Valley. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Scottsdale 'Burbs of 2020

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Scottsdale, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Scottsdale Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Paradise Valley, AZ 14,215 $204,145
2 Carefree, AZ 3,749 $97,773
3 Fountain Hills, AZ 24,490 $81,537
4 Gilbert, AZ 237,484 $92,350
5 Chandler, AZ 248,631 $80,716
6 Peoria, AZ 164,572 $73,039
7 Cave Creek, AZ 5,569 $85,529
8 Tempe, AZ 183,652 $54,210
9 Mesa, AZ 491,194 $54,700
10 Glendale, AZ 245,514 $52,314
11 El Mirage, AZ 35,004 $54,646
12 Phoenix, AZ 1,610,071 $54,765
13 Tolleson, AZ 7,184 $42,935
14 Apache Junction, AZ 39,674 $42,115
15 Guadalupe, AZ 6,405 $32,298

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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