Is Arizona safe to live in? Arizona is a state known for its desert climate, with mild winters and hot summers, and one of the coolest flags ever. This is the place to be for those tired of shoveling snow and spending their summers in high humidity. As for its overall safety, this question, and many others will be answered in this text.
The information provided below has been cultivated with the goal of educating those looking to move to this state by providing information on Arizona home security and the safest cities in Arizona. Every city listed has its crime rates per 100,000 inhabitants listed in parenthesis in the heading. Further down, you’ll find info on the population, median income and age, house prices, and more detailed crime data, as well as the negatives of living in each place.
Keep in mind that the national average for property crime is 2,362 per 100,000 people, while for violent crime that number is 383. When it comes to Arizona’s averages, property crime sits at 2,915, while the violent crime average for the state is 508 instances per 100,000 people.
The Top 15 Safest Cities in Arizona
(Property: 480; Violent: 74)
With more than 25 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Florence is not only one of the safest towns in the state but also one of the oldest ones in Arizona. It’s regarded as a National Historic District. It’s also home to multiple state, federal, county, and private prisons, interestingly enough.
26,066 people make up the Florence, AZ, population. The median income in the town is $48,000, while the median age is 39.4 years. According to real estate data, an average home is valued at $207,000.
Residents have a lot to enjoy in a town with more than 25 historic buildings; from the high schools to the bridges, the list has everyone’s interests covered. Those who decide to stay here permanently are drawn by the reasonable cost of living, which is just 0.3% higher than the US average, and the fact that this place is the answer to the question, What is the safest city to live in Arizona?
According to crime data from last year, 123 property crimes (94 thefts, 20 burglaries, 9 vehicle thefts) and 19 violent crimes (19 assaults) were reported in Florence.
Even the safest cities have some negative sides. For Florence, AZ, those negatives include the unemployment rate of 5.4% and its low public education investments.
(Property: 1,386; Violent: 86)
Gilbert was once a farming town that made its way to becoming the “Hay Shipping Capital of the World” during the early 1900s. The city was incorporated in 1920, and today it’s the sixth-largest city in the state and practically the safest place to live in the Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan area.
It has a population of 232,176, a median income of $81,000, and a median age of 32.6 years. Buying a house here typically costs around $340,000, average home prices show.
Water parks, historic grain containers, and outdoor recreation areas are what bring people to Gilbert. The proximity to downtown Phoenix is its main upside and the main reason behind the 111.65% population spike in the last two decades. Gilbert also has an unemployment rate of just 3.4%, which appeals to those searching for work.
The Gilbert, AZ, crime rate is another major contributor to this city’s popularity; during 2018, 3,355 property crimes (2,754 thefts, 466 burglaries, 135 vehicle thefts) were reported. There were also 207 violent crimes (112 assaults, 51 robberies, 39 rapes, 5 murders).
The downside of living in Gilbert is its poorly funded public education, as well as the cost of living, which is 27.2% higher than the national average.
(Property: 1,416; Violent: 38)
Located just outside of Tucson, Oro Valley was incorporated in 1974. The town has been referred to as the state’s “Upscale Tech Mecca,” since it has more than 10 high-tech firms, not to mention a household income almost 50% higher than the US median. It’s also one of the main golfing centers in the country and one of the best places to retire in Arizona.
The town has a population of 42,889, a median income of $75,000, and a median age of 49.9 years, driven up by the retirees moving here to enjoy their golden years. An average home in Oro Valley is priced at $311,000.
Beautiful nature and 10 golf courses and resorts are Oro Valley’s main attractions. Even though most of the new arrivals have already retired, Oro Valley manages to bring in some younger people with its unemployment rate of 4.3% and crime rates that make it one of the safest cities in Arizona.
Last year’s report shows that 626 property crimes (531 thefts, 81 burglaries, 14 vehicle thefts) were reported in Oro Valley, together with 17 violent crimes (11 assaults, 4 robberies, 2 rapes), which are exceptional numbers for a city of its size and population.
Oro Valley does come with some negatives, most notably its cost of living (20.3% above average). The municipality invests a bit more in public education than the previous two on this list, but the figures are still 30% lower than the average US investments in this sector.
(Property: 1,716; Violent: 48)
Buckeye is another Phoenix suburb and the seventh fastest growing city in America, according to 2016’s data. The town was first named Sidney, but the name was changed in 1910. Today, it’s one of the safest places to live in Arizona.
62,090 people live in the city. Their median income is $58,000, the median age is 31.5 years, and an average home in Buckeye is valued at $219,000.
The city has a zoo and all the other necessary amenities for a comfortable life, while being surrounded by some of the prettiest sights on Earth, particularly the White Tank Mountain Regional Park. Its proximity to Phoenix is Buckeye’s greatest advantage, together with the low crime rates that the city experiences.
The Buckeye, AZ, crime rate report for 2018 shows that the city had 1,152 property crimes (940 thefts, 148 burglaries, 64 vehicle thefts), as well as 32 violent crimes (10 assaults, 15 robberies, 3 rapes, 4 murders).
The downside of living in this city is the unemployment rate of 5.1% (the state average is 4.7%), and the slightly increased cost of living sitting at 13% above the national average, which some might find tolerable. Public education in Buckeye is severely underfunded.
(Property: 1,117; Violent: 95)
15 miles south of Tucson you’ll find Sahuarita, one of the safest towns in Arizona. The area in which the town is located was inhabited as early as 200 AD; however, it took until 1994 for Sahuarita to become officially incorporated. It has a population of 28,257. The median income in Sahuarita is $65,000, the median age is 35.1 years, and an average home price is estimated at around $195,000.
Tourists come here to see the Titan Missile Museum, remnants of a top-secret missile silo from the Cold War. Gamblers also gladly come to Sahuarita, as the town has one of the best casinos in the area. The unemployment rate of 3.7%, the cost of living just 2.9% higher than the US average, and crime rates that are good enough to rate it as one of the safest cities in the US are what bring new inhabitants to Sahuarita.
328 property (277 thefts, 36 burglaries, 15 vehicle thefts) and 28 violent crimes (15 assaults, 3 robberies, 10 rapes) were reported during last year. Violent crime is 81% lower than the Arizona average, making this town one of the first choices for families.
Sahuarita shares the same public education funding issues as the rest of Arizona—the only thing those moving here will have to settle for.
(Property: 1,518; Violent: 41)
Paradise Valley is a true dream destination for those looking to retire or move somewhere nice with their family. This is probably the most desirable town in the state, and it commonly tops lists of the best places to live in Arizona. According to last year’s data, it is the wealthiest municipality in the state.
13,961 people are lucky enough to call Paradise Valley their home. Their median income is $134,000, the median age is 52.4 years, and an average home in the city is valued at a whopping $1,734,000.
Golf courses and luxury resorts surrounded by endless trails and nature are what bring visitors to Paradise Valley. The unemployment rate of 4.1%, one of the best-funded public school systems in the state, and low crime rates are what make people move here and make this place their permanent residence.
Paradise Valley had 222 property crimes (155 thefts, 63 burglaries, 4 vehicle thefts) and just 6 violent ones (3 assaults, 1 robbery, 2 rapes) last year, making it one of the safest small towns in Arizona.
As evident by the average home value, it costs a lot to move to Paradise Valley. The cost of living in this town is 256.7% higher than the US average, which is probably the reason the town’s population has increased by just 2.17% in the last 20 years.
(Property: 1,061; Violent: 126)
Located in Yuma County, Somerton is a special little city. Its economy is primarily based on agriculture, medical services, and tourism.
Somerton has 15,508 residents and a median income of $31,178, and it is one of the cities with the youngest population, as the median age sits at 26.9 years. An average house in this part of Arizona will set you back $140,000. When it comes to this Arizona, Somerton is constantly included in answers to the question, What are the safest cities to live in?
The city has a small-town feel, with a historic downtown and tons of special events throughout the year, which bring visitors from all over Yuma County. Casinos, a golf course, and many other amenities centered around Cocopah heritage are available to tourists and residents. Somerton’s population has increased by 113.43% since 2000, mostly due to the low cost of living (5% below average) and the exemplary crime rates that this city shows year after year.
In 2018, Somerton was one of the safest Arizona cities; 160 property crimes (96 thefts, 39 burglaries, 25 vehicle thefts) were reported, together with 19 crimes that were classified as violent (18 assaults, 1 robbery).
Unfortunately, Somerton shares its low unemployment rate with Yuma County. For this city, it sits at 16.9% and represents the biggest issue with living in Somerton.
(Property: 1,593; Violent: 134)
San Luis was established in 1930, and it was the second fastest growing city in the state from 1990 to 2000. The city owes its prominence to the border-crossing station that was established at the same time as the city itself. Can it be your answer to what is the best city to live in Arizona?
The city has 31,509 inhabitants, a median income of $31,000, and a low median age of 27.1 years. An average home in San Luis can be acquired for $134,000.
There’s not much to do in San Luis, and its border location is mostly responsible for the visitor traffic it gets. Those who decide to move here do so mostly because the city is extremely affordable, with a cost of living 6.6% below the US average and some of the lowest real estate prices in the country. San Luis is also among the cities in Arizona with the lowest crime rates.
Reports show that it had 523 property (325 thefts, 122 burglaries, 76 vehicle thefts) and 44 violent crimes (35 assaults, 6 robberies, 3 rapes) last year, but is this enough to make up for the massive negatives that come with living in this city?
San Luis currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the US, with 36.9% of the work-ready population being unemployed.
(Property: 1,789; Violent: 89)
The city of Surprise was founded in 1938 by Flora Mae Statler, who gave the city its name because she “would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much.” She’d certainly be surprised today, as it has become one of the fastest-growing Arizona cities, with a population increase of 320% since 2000.
Surprise has a population of 129,000, a median income of $59,000, while the median age is 38.7 years. An average home is priced at $246,000.
Its location right next to Phoenix makes Surprise one of the most interesting places to visit and live in; all of the amenities of a big city are at your disposal, while you’re just steps away from nature, where you can take long walks and clear your head. The city has become a bedroom community for those working in Phoenix, as it is much safer and cheaper to live in.
Surprise is one of the safest cities in Arizona, according to last year’s crime report. It had 2,421 property crimes (2,018 thefts, 228 burglaries, 175 vehicle thefts), and 120 violent crimes (53 assaults, 47 robberies, 18 rapes, 2 murders).
The city has two main flaws: its unemployment rate and its public schools. The unemployment rate is 4.6%, which is below the state average, but way above its neighboring cities. Public schools in the city spend 82% less money per student compared to the US average.
(Property: 1,272; Violent: 192)
Maricopa is the eighteenth most populous city in the state. It consists of three cities that grew together to become one of the main relay stations on the regional train route during the late 1800s. Maricopa was one of the best places to live in Arizona in 2018, and it retains the title in 2019.
There are 46,248 people living in Maricopa. Their median income is $65,000, and the median age is 33.8 years. An average home in the city costs around $200,000.
This is not the most interesting city in the world, but it does have a few things to keep visitors occupied. The Dwarf Car Museum is one of them, and besides the nature that surrounds it, it’s the most amusing thing about Maricopa. The city has had a population growth of 4,346.92% since 2000, mostly due to its affordability and low crime rates. The cost of living is just 5.6% higher than the average value for the US.
Maricopa was also one of the safest cities in Arizona for 2018; 604 property crimes (473 thefts, 87 burglaries, 44 vehicle thefts) and 91 violent crimes (66 assaults, 14 robberies, 10 rapes, 1 murder) were reported during the year.
The points that go against moving to Maricopa include the slightly concerning unemployment rate (4.6%) and the underfunded public schools.
(Property: 2,041; Violent: 250)
One of the major Phoenix suburbs and the sixth largest city in Arizona, Peoria is a place where teams such as the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners hold their spring training.
Peoria, AZ, has a population of 161,383, a median income of $63,000, and a median age of 39.2 years. The market value of an average home in the city is $280,000.
The city is surrounded by nature, and it doesn’t feel like you’re just miles away from downtown Phoenix. This is what brings visitors and new residents to Peoria. Nearby Lake Pleasant and the park that surrounds it provide a large recreation area for those who like to spend their time outdoors.
Despite being one of the largest cities, Peoria is one of the top contenders for the title of the best place to live in Arizona. It has pleasant weather during the winter, which is more than enough to bring people over. In addition, job searches aren’t too much of a hustle, as the unemployment rate is 3.9%.
When it comes to crime, Peoria shows impressive numbers for a city of its size; it had 3,385 property crimes last year (2,615 thefts, 533 burglaries, 237 vehicle thefts), as well as 414 violent crimes (266 assaults, 78 robberies, 66 rapes, 4 murders).
The cost of living in one of the largest cities in Arizona is 20.3% higher than the national average.
(Property: 2,330; Violent: 259)
Chandler is another Phoenix suburb, and it’s the place where Intel built its first factory. These days, the company has four locations in the city and employs more than 11,000 of its residents.
There are 245,160 Chandlerites. Their median income is $72,000, the median age is 34.6 years, and an average home in the city is valued at $303,000.
What makes Chandler one of the best cities in Arizona is the combination of peacefulness that the surrounding nature provides and the conveniences of living just outside one of the largest cities in the US. Museums and restaurants are just minutes away from Veterans Oasis Park, one of the best outdoor recreation areas in the region. Those who decide to move to Chandler will find the unemployment rate of 3.6% to be a great advantage.
It’s also one of the safest places in the state. The Chandler, AZ, crime rate report for 2018 tells us that the city had 5,809 property crimes (4,653 thefts, 784 burglaries, 372 vehicle thefts) and 647 crimes of the violent variety (370 assaults, 142 robberies, 130 rapes, 5 murders).
One thing that those new to the city will have to keep up with is the cost of living; Chandler is 23.2% more costly to live in than an average city in the US.
(Property: 2,883; Violent: 216)
Nogales is the largest border community in Arizona. A city with the same name is found on the Mexican side of the border, except the Mexican counterpart has nearly 10 times the population.
With 20,233 residents, Nogales isn’t much larger than some of the Arizona towns listed previously. This city has a median income of $27,000, a median age of 33.2 years, and an average home value of $122,000.
There’s not much to do in Nogales except visit the local museum, and most of the city’s traffic comes from people crossing the border. Luckily, it’s just an hour away from Tucson, which is this city’s biggest advantage. The cost of living is another one of the advantages of living in Nogales, as it’s 19.5% lower than the US average.
The Nogales, AZ, crime is the third reason people choose to move to this city; last year, 573 property (385 thefts, 68 burglaries, 120 vehicle thefts) and 43 violent crimes (42 assaults, 1 robbery) were reported. These numbers are impressive for a border town, as they are notorious for their high crime rates.
Another issue that many border towns share is a high unemployment rate. Nogales is not an exception, with 9.3% of the work-ready residents unable to find a job.
(Property: 2,101; Violent: 365)
Prescott is one of the safest cities when it comes to crime and one of the most dangerous cities in Arizona when it comes to flood risk. The first flood in the area was recorded when the first gold mining camps were swept away in 1863. The most recent one occurred last year, fortunately with no casualties.
Still, 41,468 people choose to live in Prescott. Their median income is $45,000, the median age is 55.4 years, and an average house costs $356,000.
Along with being one of the safest places to live in Arizona, Prescott certainly will appeal to nature enthusiasts. Lynx, Goldwater, and Watson Lakes are located near the city, and they are all great for fishing, boating, hiking, and camping. Visitors are advised not to miss seeing Whiskey Row, a block of the city that all of the saloons were once located in.
Apart from the history and nature that Prescott is famous for, the city’s crime rates are what make it a great choice for anyone searching for a new home. The Prescott, AZ, crime rate data shows that the city had 903 property (757 thefts, 121 burglaries, 25 vehicle thefts) and 157 violent crimes (131 assaults, 15 robberies, 11 rapes) last year.
This city is a popular place for retirement, so the unemployment rate of 4.9% doesn’t mean much to most of the new residents, but it still represents a negative side to Prescott. The cost of living is 27% higher than the national average, which might be a deal breaker for some.
(Property: 2,172; Violent: 416)
What are the safest neighborhoods in Phoenix, AZ? Mesa, a great answer to this question, is the largest suburban city by population in the US and the third largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix and Tucson. Still, it has managed to maintain impressive crime numbers over the years and remain one of the safest cities in the state.
Mesa has 479,317 people living in it, a median income of $48,000, and a median age of 35.8 years. The average home in the city costs $238,000.
The Arizona Museum of Natural History, the Mesa Country Club, and the Fort McDowell Casino are just some of the things you’ll find in one of the largest Arizona cities by population. Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus is the reason more and more young people come to Mesa. What gets them to stay is the abundance of amenities, the unemployment rate of 4.1%, and the city’s low crime.
10,692 property crimes (7,930 thefts, 1,878 burglaries, 884 vehicle thefts) and 2,047 violent crimes (1,318 assaults, 454 robberies, 252 rapes, 23 murders) were included in last year’s Mesa, AZ, crime rate statistics.
The 5 Most Popular Cities in Arizona Ranked by Safety
(Property: 2,172; Violent: 157)
Once referred to as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” by The New York Times, Scottdale is one of Arizona’s most attractive cities for young people. The city is famous for its nightlife and the cultural events held throughout the year.
Scottsdale has a population of 239,283, a median income of $72,000, a median age of 46.1 years, and an average home value of $483,000. What makes it one of the most desirable places on this list of cities in Arizona?
Numerous nightclubs and resorts are what bring the younger crowd to Scottsdale, but this city has much more to offer than nightlife and partying. Ballet and other cultural events bring in the more serious crowd. Those who feel drawn to this city and decide to make it their home will find the unemployment rate of 3.4%, decent public schools, and low crime rates to be Scottsdale’s positives.
The Scottsdale, AZ, crime rate figures for 2018 included the following numbers: 5,470 property crimes (4,346 thefts, 878 burglaries, 246 vehicle thefts) and just 396 violent crimes (188 assaults, 100 robberies, 103 rapes, 5 murders).
Living in a city that has this much to offer comes at a price; the cost of living in Scottsdale is 48.7% higher than the US average.
(Property: 2,717; Violent: 514)
Yuma is a city located in the southwest corner of Arizona, and it would be fair to say it’s a military city. The largest employers in the area are the Marine Air Station and Yuma Proving Ground, one of the largest military installations in the world. It’s also one of the cheapest places to live in Arizona.
It is a city of 93,851 people. The median income is $44,000, the median age sits at 30.4 years, and an average home is estimated to cost around $159,000.
The Yuma Territorial Prison is the place that visitors shouldn’t miss seeing when in Yuma. The local art center is also worth paying a visit. Besides these two spots, there’s not much to do in the city. Most of those who move here are military personnel or people attracted by the cost of living (5.5% below average).
The Yuma, AZ, crime rate is a common cause for confusion and a dilemma among those considering the place. Property crime in the city is below the state average, with 2,595 crimes (1,874 thefts, 502 burglaries, 219 vehicle thefts) reported last year. On the other hand, the violent crime exceeds the averages, with 491 (347 assaults, 90 robberies, 49 rapes, 5 murders) reported in 2018.
The main negative to living in Yuma, besides the violent crime rates, is the difficulty finding work outside the military; the unemployment rate in the city is 11%.
(Property: 3,983; Violent: 306)
What cities in Arizona have the best weather? If you find yourself asking this question, and you thrive in warm summers, Avondale is the place for you. This city was once a farming center for cotton and alfalfa, but it turned into a bedroom community for Phoenix during the last few decades.
Avondale has 81,590 residents, a median income of $57,000, and a median age of 29.8 years. Those planning to buy property in this city should plan on spending around $223,000, average prices show.
Those who like living with tons of restaurants, museums, and parks near them will find Avondale to be one of the worst cities to live in Arizona. There simply aren’t many amenities, as the population of the city spends most of their days in Phoenix. What gets them to live in Avondale is the slightly lower cost of living and the significantly lower crime rate.
During 2018, 3,347 property crimes (2,633 thefts, 480 burglaries, 244 vehicle thefts) and 257 violent crimes (127 assaults, 97 robberies, 27 rapes, 6 murders) were reported. The Avondale, AZ, crime rate is exemplary when it comes to violent crime.
Property crime, on the other hand, is a downside to living in this city. However, people tend to prefer Avondale to Phoenix, which has significantly higher violent crime numbers, as you’ll see below.
(Property: 3,671; Violent: 761)
Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona. It also has the largest population in the state and the fifth largest in the US. The city started its journey in 1867 as a farming community, and today it is the only state capital in the US with more than a million residents. So is Phoenix a safe place to visit?
The city has a population of 1,574,421. The median income is $46,000, the median age is 32.9 years, and an average home is valued at $248,000.
Those visiting Phoenix shouldn’t miss out on seeing the museums, such as the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Arizona Science Center. The Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo are also places that tourists and locals gladly visit. Phoenix has an unemployment rate of 4.2% and a reasonable cost of living for a city of its size (13% higher than average), which is more than enough to consider it your new home.
The Phoenix crime rate, on the other hand, is a deterrent. Last year, the city had 60,353 property crimes (39,899 thefts, 12,801 burglaries, 7,653 vehicle thefts), as well as 12,511 crimes classified as violent (7,919 assaults, 3,293 robberies, 1,142 rapes, 157 murders).
Choosing Phoenix as your home would be much easier if it were a bit safer. Property and violent crimes are the city’s main flaw, with both of them being more than 50% higher than Arizona’s averages.
(Property: 5,252; Violent: 802)
Welcome to Tucson, one of the worst places to live in Arizona when it comes to crime. It is also home to the University of Arizona, one of the top 50 public schools in the country. The city has a population of 530,905, a median income of $37,000, and a median age of 33.3 years. Houses in Tucson have an average value of $189,000.
Saguaro National Park, the Desert Museum, and Mission San Xavier del Bac are the things everyone visiting Tucson must see. Even though it’s one of the biggest and most popular cities in Arizona, the cost of living in Tucson is 0.6% lower than the US average. The unemployment rate of 4.6% is on the border between good and bad, but it can be considered as a positive, keeping in mind the size of the city and its population. Public schools in the city receive the same funding as most others in the US. All of these factors bring new residents to Tucson.
What keeps them on their toes is the Tucson crime rate. Last year, the city had 27,956 property crimes (21,125 thefts, 4,424 burglaries, 2,407 vehicle thefts), 121% over the national average. Violent crime in the city also exceeded the averages by a high margin (109%), with 4,268 reported crimes (2,293 assaults, 1,431 robberies, 498 rapes, 46 murders).
Tucson isn’t even close to being considered a safe city, which is the main reason why a move there shouldn’t be suggested. It’s less safe than New York City and Los Angeles.
Arizona draws you in with its low cost of living, warm winters, and lovely historical places. Before moving there, remember that those warm winters come with hot summers.
Those who can handle Arizona’s heat won’t make a mistake by choosing this state as their new home. We hope that this list of the safest cities in Arizona makes the tough task of choosing the right city a little bit easier.