Paradise Valley, Queen Creek, Litchfield Park: These cities aren’t just some of the best places to live in Arizona. They are also home to some of the richest people in the Grand Canyon State.
Paradise Valley in particular houses the richest residents in the state thanks, in part, to a median household income of $173,487 and a ridiculously low poverty rate of 6.2%.
If you’re thinking of moving to one of these towns, you’ll probably need to start saving. The richest places in Arizona share common characteristics such as having a genius level populous, sky high home prices, and a Pleasantville level of married couples.
How did we come up with these mega wealthy cities? We analyzed Census data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey for the 57 places in Arizona with more than 5,000 people.
At the end of the day, here’s the set of the 10 richest places in Arizona for 2018:
- Paradise Valley (Photos)
- Queen Creek (Photos)
- Litchfield Park (Photos)
- Gilbert (Photos)
- Fountain Hills (Photos)
- Sahuarita (Photos)
- Goodyear (Photos)
- Scottsdale (Photos)
- Oro Valley (Photos)
- Marana (Photos)
For more on how we calculated the top ten, read on or skip to the end for the full list of the richest cities in Arizona.
How We Determined The Richest Places In Arizona For 2018
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the richest places is to simply identify personal incomes. After all, rich people have really high salaries.
However, we don’t believe that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the ‘richest places’. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2012-2016 American Community Survey:
- Poverty Level
- Median Household Income
- Unemployment Rate
Median household income is the most digestible way to understand how rich a place really is. The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for more people to become rich. If more people are employed, the richer the future looks.
After we collected the data for all 57 places with more than 5,000 people in Arizona, we ranked each place from 1 to 57 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the richest.
We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a ‘Rich Score’ with the place having the lowest overall Rich Score, Paradise Valley, crowned the ‘Richest Place In Arizona For 2018’.
You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 57 places.
1. Paradise Valley
Population: 13,833Median Income: $173,487
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 6.2%
2. Queen Creek
Population: 30,849Median Income: $90,687
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 7.8%
3. Litchfield Park
Population: 5,449Median Income: $79,821
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 5.3%
Litchfield Park is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is twenty miles northwest of Phoenix. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,476.
Population: 226,832Median Income: $85,581
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Poverty Rate: 6.2%
Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix, within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Once known as the ‘Hay Shipping Capital of the World’, Gilbert is currently the most populous incorporated town in the United States. It is the sixth-largest municipality in Arizona, and the fifth-largest in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area.
5. Fountain Hills
Population: 23,863Median Income: $75,297
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 5.5%
Fountain Hills is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. Known for its impressive fountain, once the tallest in the world, it borders on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The population is 22,489, as of the 2010 census. Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses it was the eighth fastest-growing place among cities and towns in Arizona.
Population: 27,780Median Income: $69,333
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 6.4%
Sahuarita /swrit/ is a town in Pima County, Arizona, United States. Sahuarita is located south of the Tohono O’odham Nation and abuts the north end of Green Valley, 15 miles (24 km) south of Tucson. The population was 25,259 at the 2010 census.
Population: 72,629Median Income: $74,417
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 7.9%
Goodyear (O’odham: Valin Thak) is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is a suburb of Phoenix and is in the Phoenix metropolitan area. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 65,275. Goodyear was the third fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size between 1990 and 2000 (with an increase of 245.2%). The July 1, 2015, MAG population estimate was 79,003.
Population: 234,495Median Income: $76,543
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 9.2%
Scottsdale (O’odham: Vaai S-vaon; Yaqui: Eskatel) is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, adjacent to the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after founder Winfield Scott and incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000, the 2015 population of the city is estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as ‘a desert version of Miami’s South Beach’ and as having ‘plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene.’ Its slogan is ‘The West’s Most Western Town.’
9. Oro Valley
Population: 42,379Median Income: $75,966
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Poverty Rate: 7.4%
Oro Valley, incorporated in 1974, is a suburban town located 6 miles (9.7 km) north of Tucson, Arizona, United States in Pima County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 41,011, an increase from 29,700 in 2000 census. Dubbed the ‘Upscale Tech Mecca’ of Southern Arizona by the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, Oro Valley is home to over 10 high tech firms and has a median household income nearly 50% higher than the U.S. median. The town is located approximately 110 miles (180 km) southeast of the state capital of Phoenix.
Population: 40,221Median Income: $76,484
Unemployment Rate: 6.6%
Poverty Rate: 7.5%
Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size from 1990 to 2000.
There You Have It – The Richest Places In Arizona For 2018
Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the richest places in Arizona, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Arizona.
When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very top of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.
If you’re curious enough, here are the poorest cities in Arizona, according to data:
Poorest: South Tucson
2nd Poorest: Nogales
3rd Poorest: San Luis
For more Arizona reading , check out:
Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In Arizona
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