The 10 Best Places To Live In Arizona For 2024

The best places to live in Arizona for 2024 are Paradise Valley, Litchfield Park, and Oro Valley. Find out where your city or town ranks.

Whether you’re a Northern Arizona Lumberjack fan, a University of Arizona Wildcats fan, or just a fan of great cities, weather, and people, there’s a place in Arizonafor you.

Hip millennial cities like Phoenix, cowboy and cowgirl cities like Winslow, and college cities like Tucson are great places to work, raise families, and enjoy life.

It was challenging to narrow down 52 of Arizona’s best places to live to just ten, but we did using Saturday Night Science. We compared crime, incomes, home prices, and education, among other factors, among the 52 places in Arizona.

Grab a carne asada burrito and a cold Corona, and read on.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Table | Map | Methodology | Summary

What city is the best place to live in Arizona for 2024? According to the US Census and FBI data, Paradise Valley is the best place to live in Arizona.

What follows is a breakdown of the top ten best places in Arizona, a detailed methodology, and a complete list of every place in the Copper State.

For more reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Arizona For 2024

Best Places To Live In Arizona Map

Paradise Valley, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Tony the Marine (talk) | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Paradise Valley Arizona
Population 12,672 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 1
Median Home Value $3,234,281 $423,568
Median Income $221,333 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 2.5% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0152 0.0281

More on Paradise Valley: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

We don’t know about you, but anytime we see “Paradise” in a name we get pretty excited. And, folks, everyone should be excited about Arizona’s #1 best place to live, Paradise Valley.

Located directly North of Scottsdale, this affluent, small town in Maricopa County scored a perfect 10/10 SnackAbility Score with an emphasis on jobs, homes, and great schools.

Paradise Valley has the 4th unemployment rate on the list and the jobs that residents talk about at the neighborhood bar-be-ques require a degree. Matter of fact, if we had a “Smartest Places in Arizona” list Paradise Valley would probably be number one, too, as it has the largest number of residents with a Bachelors, Master, and/or Professional Degree on our list. You’re also going to need that degree to make the household median income of $221,333/year to live comfortably because Paradise Valley has the 1st median home price in the state. In fact, be prepared to pay $3,234,281 to fit in here.

Litchfield Park, AZ

Source: Public domain
Stat Litchfield Park Arizona
Population 6,794 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 11
Median Home Value $535,888 $423,568
Median Income $117,601 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 2.1% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0159 0.0281

More on Litchfield Park: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Litchfield Park, located in Maricopa County near Phoenix, is the 2 best place to live in Arizona. The city’s 6,794 residents benefit from a heritage linked to Goodyear Tire & Rubber and its founder, Paul Weeks Litchfield.

Housing values at $535,888 and a median income of 117,601 reflect the area’s appeal and economic health. Low crime rates highlight the city’s focus on safety. The city’s advantageous location near Phoenix provides access to city amenities, while local gems like the Wigwam Resort contribute to the area’s allure.

Oro Valley, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User The original uploader was Danman083 at English Wikipedia | GFDL
Stat Oro Valley Arizona
Population 47,053 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 3
Median Home Value $500,520 $423,568
Median Income $101,394 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 2.9% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0126 0.0281

More on Oro Valley: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Just a stone’s throw North of Tucson is Arizona’s 3rd best place to live, Oro Valley. This desert playground for both old and young alike is a highly sought after suburb of residents who make $101,394/year and live in homes that cost $500,520.

Incidentally, the unemployment rate in Oro Valley is quite a bit above the national average at 2.9%, so don’t pack up the “fam” and move to this desert oasis until you have a direct connection to an Oro Valley job opportunity.

When you are ready to live in Oro Valley, know that your family is going to be safe, as this city in Pima County is one of the top safest places in Arizona with a crime rate 50% below the national average. And when it comes time to send your kids off to school each day, they will be going to some of the best schools in the state: Oro Valley scored a 9.5/10 for education on our SnackAbility scale.

Gilbert, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Tony the Marine (talk) | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Gilbert Arizona
Population 267,267 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 2
Median Home Value $566,231 $423,568
Median Income $115,179 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 3.5% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0118 0.0281

More on Gilbert: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

“Gilbert: Clean, Safe, Vibrant” has a new adjective to add to this motto, they are Arizona’s 4th “Best” place to live.

Once the “Hay Shipping Capital of the World,” the 267,267 residents who live here know what it means to work and it shows. Besides its rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center, the Gilbert’s unemployment rate is 3.5% making it one of the most competitive job markets on our list.

Speaking of jobs and income, Gilbert’s 4th highest income in the state landed it on the list of the richest places in Arizona’s for 2024. You’re going to need to earn a median household income $115,179/year to afford Gilbert’s median home price of $566,231 and the city’s overall cost of living. That high income will also come in handy when you want to partake in all of the cool things that Gilbert has to offer. Yes, a high performing mountain bike to ride the expert trails at San Tan Mountain Regional Park is not only neccessary, it will cost you.

Scottsdale, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Joseph Plotz | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Scottsdale Arizona
Population 240,537 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 4
Median Home Value $798,175 $423,568
Median Income $104,197 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 3.5% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0263 0.0281

More on Scottsdale: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Scottsdale is not only Arizona’s 5th best place to live, it’s one of Arizona’s fanciest places. So, when the census reported that the median household income in “The West’s Most Western Town,” was the 6th in the state at $104,197/year, we did not bat an eye. So, don’t be surprised if you find an eclectic mix of people who might ask you to make the 20 minute trek to Phoenix to hike Camelback Mountain during the day only to top it off with one of Scottsdale’s top Michelin Star restaurants for an evening of fine dining.

To keep an affluent place of this nature safe, the city of Scottsdale has pulled out all of the stops: the crime rate here is 7% the national average and that is thanks to the efforts of the Greater Phoenix Police Department.

Queen Creek, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Tony the Marine | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Queen Creek Arizona
Population 61,788 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 17
Median Home Value $627,569 $423,568
Median Income $127,182 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 4.3% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0133 0.0281

More on Queen Creek: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Queen Creek, a thriving suburb in the southeastern part of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, offers its 61,788 residents a quality lifestyle marked by a 127,182 median income and $627,569 median home price. Its strong job market is set to expand with the opening of a major battery factory in 2025.

Education is a priority, with an 44 percentage of adults holding advanced degrees. The town’s history, originating from the “Rittenhouse” railroad stop, is celebrated at the San Tan Historical Society Museuml. Strategically located in both Maricopa and Pinal counties, Queen Creek provides the convenience of city amenities while fostering a tight-knit community culture.

Chandler, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Ixnayonthetimmay | GFDL
Stat Chandler Arizona
Population 275,618 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 5
Median Home Value $519,175 $423,568
Median Income $99,374 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 3.8% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0203 0.0281

More on Chandler: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

There are a bunch of reasons that Chandler is the 7th best city in Arizona. To list all of them, would require its own article.

For one, this city in Maricopa County has over 50 parks–yes, you read that right–for 275,618 residents. To put it in perspective, you could visit a different park here every month for five years. (We recommend you start with Desert Breeze Park because it has everything: bike trails, water features, and playgrounds.) However, this is not the only reason Chandler scored a 9.5/10 on our SnackAbility scale for amenities, it also has some pretty great shopping and dining.

But, what really sets Chandler apart is the number of educated residents keeping the cost of living here down. If you want to be part of the “cool Chandler kids,” you better come to the table with a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree as over half the residents here have a college degree. A degree will not only help you seem smart amongst your peers, it will also help you make the median household income of $99,374year. And that, friends, will help you pay Chandler’s median home price of $519,175.

Prescott, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Zereshk | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Prescott Arizona
Population 46,054 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 6
Median Home Value $591,042 $423,568
Median Income $66,330 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 5.2% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0180 0.0281

More on Prescott: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

You’ve probably seen Prescott in the headlines for many things. Just recently, KTAR News covered the most expensive places to live in Arizona and Prescott was named one of the top cities. And since money makes the world go round, it should be no surprise that Prescott is also the 8th best place to live in The Valentine State.

Prescott residents don’t just have their hands on some of the biggest piggy banks, the median household income here is $66,330/year. But, when you’re done working hard for that money, you’ll get to play in one of the biggest year-round playgrounds in Arizona. The Prescott National Forest is in their backyard and Flagstaff and Sedona are in their back pocket. So, if you find yourself with nothing to do in Prescott it’s your own fault.

Marana, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Phillip Capper | CC BY 2.0
Stat Marana Arizona
Population 52,542 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 8
Median Home Value $431,013 $423,568
Median Income $105,624 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 4.1% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0252 0.0281

More on Marana: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

There are no complaints in the “Marana department” as this place is the 9th best place to live in Arizona. And the reason the residents in Marana are so content, their cost of living is not much higher than the national average making it the 2best place to buy a home. If buying a home isn’t in your budget, Marana’s average rent is $1,579/month.

But, don’t get it twisted, you’re going to need to make $105,624/year to live comfortably in Marana. And while Marana’s overall unemployment rate is the 13th in the state at 4.1%, the highest paying jobs are in healthcare. So, if a Professional Degree is not in your foreseeable future but living in Marana is, get to know the job market here so that you don’t miss out: Marana has been one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona for the past 10 years. Its proximity to Tucson and the 10 FWY has made it very desirable and competitive for “thirty-somethings” who want to live that small town life with big city nightlife a 30 minute Uber ride away.

Wickenburg, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Tony the Marine (talk) | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Wickenburg Arizona
Population 7,600 7,172,282
Rank Last Year 15
Median Home Value $526,044 $423,568
Median Income $63,301 $72,581
Unemployment Rate 1.0% 5.4%
Crime Per Capita 0.0218 0.0281

More on Wickenburg: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Wickenburg, the 10 best place to live in Arizona, offers a mix of historic charm and modern conveniences to its 7,600 residents. Located in Maricopa County, the town provides affordable housing with a $1,076 median rent that matches the local 63,301 incomes. The economy is buoyed by sectors such as healthcare, offering ample job opportunities and contributing to a low 1.0% unemployment rate, placing it at 1st in the state.

Wickenburg’s residents enjoy an average 22 commute time and can access outdoor activities like Hassayampa River.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Arizona

Best Places To Live In Arizona Size Requirement

Before we even started to collect data on the best places to live in Arizona, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Phoenix, with a population of 1,609,456, against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So, to create our ranking, we broke the best 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 filter left 52 cities, 107 towns, and 126 small towns.

We then decided no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Arizona have more of everything, and therefore, you need over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best.’

Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Arizona

Now that we had our set of the best possible cities, it was time to rank them using Saturday Night Science.

We ranked each place in Arizona across a number of criteria from one to 52, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, crowning the city posting the lowest overall score, the “Best Place To Live In Arizona.”

The criteria we looked to determine the best places were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data, FBI Crime Data, and Zillow. We updated this article for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking Arizona’s best places to live.

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.

Summary: The Best Places 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.

The best places to live in Arizona are Paradise Valley, Litchfield Park, Oro Valley, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, Chandler, Prescott, Marana, and Wickenburg.

Paradise Valley made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Arizona for 2024.

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Arizona according to the data:

  1. Nogales (Pop. 19,761)
  2. Winslow (Pop. 8,943)
  3. Eloy (Pop. 16,075)

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Best Places To Live In Arizona Table

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value Median Income Rent Crime Per Capita
1 Paradise Valley 12,672 2.5% $3,234,281 $221,333 $3,501 0.0152
2 Litchfield Park 6,794 2.1% $535,888 $117,601 $1,900 0.0159
3 Oro Valley 47,053 2.9% $500,520 $101,394 $1,555 0.0126
4 Gilbert 267,267 3.5% $566,231 $115,179 $1,839 0.0118
5 Scottsdale 240,537 3.5% $798,175 $104,197 $1,768 0.0263
6 Queen Creek 61,788 4.3% $627,569 $127,182 $2,030 0.0133
7 Chandler 275,618 3.8% $519,175 $99,374 $1,675 0.0203
8 Prescott 46,054 5.2% $591,042 $66,330 $1,085 0.0180
9 Marana 52,542 4.1% $431,013 $105,624 $1,579 0.0252
10 Wickenburg 7,600 1.0% $526,044 $63,301 $1,076 0.0218
11 Surprise 145,591 4.6% $432,141 $87,756 $1,822 0.0161
12 Peoria 191,292 3.9% $485,980 $86,759 $1,638 0.0163
13 Prescott Valley 47,015 4.2% $449,398 $66,617 $1,348 0.0109
14 Sahuarita 34,238 6.7% $360,541 $97,133 $1,546 0.0108
15 Maricopa 59,605 3.5% $361,705 $88,795 $1,768 0.0106
16 Thatcher 5,281 5.6% $304,034 $71,591 $960 0.0068
17 Fountain Hills 23,739 5.1% $640,087 $100,317 $1,624 inf
18 Goodyear 97,542 5.5% $479,397 $97,307 $1,711 0.0223
19 Sierra Vista 45,212 5.7% $283,365 $70,899 $1,080 0.0192
20 Flagstaff 76,177 6.6% $630,887 $65,652 $1,469 0.0335
21 Mesa 503,390 4.7% $431,607 $73,766 $1,352 0.0224
22 Tempe 181,005 5.7% $474,681 $72,022 $1,472 0.0509
23 Chino Valley 13,120 5.2% $477,451 $55,682 $1,100 0.0063
24 Florence 25,783 7.6% $358,475 $74,025 $1,069 0.0053
25 Payson 16,363 7.0% $432,786 $60,095 $1,280 0.0215
26 Avondale 89,214 4.8% $401,338 $76,496 $1,562 0.0367
27 Sedona 9,739 7.7% $903,499 $62,901 $1,377 0.0214
28 Safford 10,112 5.2% $244,967 $64,860 $885 0.0349
29 Somerton 14,278 6.0% $257,097 $64,180 $951 0.0062
30 Show Low 11,767 6.5% $418,453 $57,406 $1,080 0.0275
31 Page 7,444 12.5% $358,463 $79,521 $1,046 0.0520
32 El Mirage 35,652 5.9% $355,004 $72,134 $1,606 0.0177
33 Kingman 33,052 6.3% $265,190 $56,360 $999 0.0373
34 Cottonwood 12,314 2.8% $385,989 $43,273 $996 0.0245
35 Phoenix 1,609,456 5.2% $417,187 $72,092 $1,322 0.0379
36 Apache Junction 38,855 8.9% $366,015 $56,209 $939 0.0237
37 Glendale 248,083 5.7% $405,468 $66,375 $1,268 0.0382
38 Camp Verde 12,132 5.4% $408,890 $50,247 $903 0.0159
39 Yuma 96,314 7.7% $284,259 $59,312 $1,028 0.0229
40 Douglas 16,301 12.0% $148,672 $41,594 $714 0.0140
41 Casa Grande 55,186 6.8% $324,372 $64,535 $1,224 0.0360
42 Tolleson 7,221 2.4% $389,180 $47,875 $1,121 0.1221
43 Tucson 541,033 6.5% $324,757 $52,049 $991 0.0439
44 Globe 7,230 3.2% $213,967 $64,516 $876 0.0654
45 Guadalupe 5,335 4.5% $259,445 $56,423 $809 inf
46 Benson 5,318 7.8% $239,970 $49,955 $743 0.0430
47 Snowflake 6,192 7.7% $326,502 $71,029 $1,262 0.0694
48 San Luis 35,189 10.1% $234,684 $46,747 $823 0.0066
49 Coolidge 14,175 19.0% $286,315 $60,682 $967 0.0347
50 Nogales 19,761 13.1% $205,633 $36,682 $652 0.0379
51 Winslow 8,943 9.6% $177,709 $43,918 $848 0.0505
52 Eloy 16,075 8.3% $247,454 $57,364 $893 0.0257

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.