The 10 Best Scottsdale Suburbs To Live For 2021

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

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best Scottsdale suburbs.

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...

Here are the 10 best suburbs to live around Scottsdale for 2021:

  1. Paradise Valley
  2. Fountain Hills
  3. Carefree
  4. Gilbert
  5. Chandler
  6. Cave Creek
  7. Peoria
  8. Tempe
  9. Mesa
  10. El Mirage

What's the best suburb of Scottsdale? Paradise Valley ranks as the best suburb of Scottsdale for 2021 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.

Feel free to check out some more reading about Arizona:

The 10 Best Scottsdale Suburbs To Live For 2021

Paradise Valley, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,362
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $211,393
Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
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 $211,393 a year, which is the highest in the Scottsdale region. And only 2.15% are out of work. Homes average more than $1,516,200 each.

Fountain Hills, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,729
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $85,200
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
More on Fountain Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fountain Hills is the second best 'burb we looked at near Scottsdale for 2021.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 2.82% of residents lack insurance, good for best.

Carefree, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,811
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $79,152
Unemployment Rate: 0.2%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on Carefree: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Carefree, 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 Carefree.

Gilbert, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 243,254
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $96,857
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 5.3%
More on Gilbert: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gilbert ranks as the 4th best suburb of Scottsdale for 2021.

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


Population: 252,692
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $82,925
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 7.6%
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 $300,800. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Cave Creek, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,670
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $83,787
Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
Poverty Rate: 11.7%
More on Cave Creek: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cave Creek 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 5.24% which is 10th best in the area.

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

Peoria, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 168,196
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $75,323
Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Poverty Rate: 7.5%
More on Peoria: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Peoria.

Peoria 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 26.6 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Tempe, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 187,454
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $57,994
Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Poverty Rate: 19.8%
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 8.81% of people lack insurance, good for 8th in the area.

Mesa, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 499,720
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $58,181
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 14.8%
More on Mesa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Mesa?'


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.

El Mirage, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,333
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $58,216
Unemployment Rate: 5.6%
Poverty Rate: 15.3%
More on El Mirage: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2021 is El Mirage.

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.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Scottsdale for 2021

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 2015-2019 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 2021

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 14,362 $211,393
2 Fountain Hills, AZ 24,729 $85,200
3 Carefree, AZ 3,811 $79,152
4 Gilbert, AZ 243,254 $96,857
5 Chandler, AZ 252,692 $82,925
6 Cave Creek, AZ 5,670 $83,787
7 Peoria, AZ 168,196 $75,323
8 Tempe, AZ 187,454 $57,994
9 Mesa, AZ 499,720 $58,181
10 El Mirage, AZ 35,333 $58,216
11 Glendale, AZ 247,813 $55,020
12 Phoenix, AZ 1,633,017 $57,459
13 Apache Junction, AZ 40,592 $45,653
14 Tolleson, AZ 7,246 $45,952
15 Guadalupe, AZ 6,482 $38,125

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.