The 10 Best Tempe Suburbs To Live For 2021

We analyzed over 19 places around Tempe to identify the most kickass place to live.

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

  1. Paradise Valley
  2. Fountain Hills
  3. Scottsdale
  4. Queen Creek
  5. Gilbert
  6. Litchfield Park
  7. Chandler
  8. Santa Cruz
  9. Goodyear
  10. Goodyear

What's the best suburb of Tempe? Paradise Valley ranks as the best suburb of Tempe 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 Tempe '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 Tempe 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 Tempe 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 Tempe 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: 4 (Up 2)
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 Tempe for 2021.

It ranks 5th for incomes in the area and only 2.82% of residents lack insurance, good for best.

Scottsdale, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 250,602
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $88,213
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 7.6%
More on Scottsdale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Queen Creek, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 43,129
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $105,729
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 4.7%
More on Queen Creek: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Queen Creek ranks as the 4th best suburb of Tempe for 2021.

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

Gilbert, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 243,254
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $96,857
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 5.3%
More on Gilbert: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Gilbert.

Gilbert gets kudos for having the 6th most expensive homes in the Tempe area, where houses sell for an average of $328,700. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Litchfield Park, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,073
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $83,156
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Rate: 8.8%
More on Litchfield Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Litchfield Park 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 4.27% which is 9th best in the area.

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

Chandler, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 252,692
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $82,925
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 7.6%
More on Chandler: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Chandler 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 8.5 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

8. Santa CruzSanta Cruz Location In California

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 64,522
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $77,921
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Poverty Rate: 20.9%
More on Santa Cruz: Real Estate

Santa Cruz 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 4.72% of people lack insurance, good for 4th in the area.

Goodyear, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 80,371
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $83,866
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 8.0%
More on Goodyear: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Goodyear?'


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.

Goodyear, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 80,371
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $83,866
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 8.0%
More on Goodyear: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2021 is Goodyear.

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 Tempe for 2021

Figuring out the best suburbs around Tempe 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 Tempe.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 6,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 21 suburbs to evaluate around Tempe.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 21 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 Tempe." 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 Tempe '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 Tempe, 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 Tempe Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Paradise Valley, AZ 14,362 $211,393
2 Fountain Hills, AZ 24,729 $85,200
3 Scottsdale, AZ 250,602 $88,213
4 Queen Creek, AZ 43,129 $105,729
5 Gilbert, AZ 243,254 $96,857
6 Litchfield Park, AZ 6,073 $83,156
7 Chandler, AZ 252,692 $82,925
8 Santa Cruz, AZ 64,522 $77,921
9 Goodyear, AZ 80,371 $83,866
10 Goodyear, AZ 80,371 $83,866
11 Goodyear, AZ 80,371 $83,866
12 Goodyear, AZ 80,371 $83,866
13 Maricopa, AZ 48,629 $74,515
14 Mesa, AZ 499,720 $58,181
15 Avondale, AZ 84,736 $61,825
16 El Mirage, AZ 35,333 $58,216
17 Phoenix, AZ 1,633,017 $57,459
18 Glendale, AZ 247,813 $55,020
19 Tolleson, AZ 7,246 $45,952
20 Apache Junction, AZ 40,592 $45,653
21 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.