Often referred to as “The Grand Canyon State,” Arizona is celebrated as a fantastic place to start anew. With its awe-inspiring natural beauty, affordable cost of living, stable housing prices, abundant job prospects, and high-quality healthcare and education, it’s no wonder that Arizona has become a top choice for young professionals, families, and retirees seeking a fresh start.
Low Cost of Living
One of Arizona’s standout features is its notably affordable cost of living. In fact, the cost of living here is approximately 5% lower than the national average. Housing prices, in particular, are reasonable, making it a budget-friendly choice for residents. When comparing it to cities like San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Miami, and even the state of Florida, it becomes evident that Arizona is significantly more budget-friendly.
For instance, living in Arizona is a staggering 77% cheaper than residing in San Francisco, and 34% cheaper than New York City. To comfortably live in Arizona, an annual pre-tax income of around $63,520 or $5,293 per month is recommended. Additionally, the housing market in Arizona is quite robust, providing residents with the opportunity to secure quality homes without breaking the bank.
Thriving Job Market
Arizona’s robust job market is a magnet for individuals seeking employment and career advancement. Dubbed the “Silicon Desert,” Arizona has attracted high-tech companies such as Apple and Uber, offering an affordable alternative to Silicon Valley in California. The state’s economy encompasses diverse sectors, with aerospace, semiconductor manufacturing, agriculture, mining, healthcare, and tourism leading the way.
Low unemployment rates and projected job growth make Arizona an attractive destination for job seekers. Prominent companies, including Petsmart, Kyocera Solar, Banner Health, Circle K, and Wells Fargo, strengthen the state’s thriving job market.
A Rich Native American Culture
Arizona’s rich history spans more than 12,000 years, with the state being home to 22 federally recognized tribes. These native communities play a significant role in shaping Arizona’s art and culture. Approximately a quarter of Arizona’s land is set aside as protected reservations, including the expansive Navajo Nation—the largest reservation in the country. Visitors and residents alike are encouraged to partake in cultural experiences and attractions, celebrating the legacy and heritage of Arizona’s indigenous peoples.
Beyond the Desert
Arizona’s diverse landscapes extend well beyond its deserts, including the Sonoran, Mojave, Chihuahuan, and Great Basin deserts. From the iconic red rocks in Sedona to the mountainous terrain in Flagstaff, and expansive canyons in the northwest, the state offers a wide range of natural wonders, making it an amazing place to live and visit.
The expansive canyons in the northwest corner of the state, including the legendary Grand Canyon, add to the rich tapestry of Arizona’s scenery. With 433 cities that range from sprawling metropolises to charming small towns, Arizona’s geographical diversity never ceases to inspire.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Life in Arizona is filled with endless outdoor activities. From thrilling desert hikes to adventurous river rafting in the Colorado River, there’s no shortage of unique outdoor opportunities to explore in the state. Notable attractions include:
- The Grand Canyon: This iconic natural formation offers over 277 miles of adventure, encompassing hiking, rafting, biking, and more.
- Horseshoe Bend: A mesmerizing horseshoe-shaped meander along the Colorado River in Page, Arizona.
- Havasu Falls: Located within the Grand Canyon, a 10-mile hike leads to this breathtaking waterfall.
- Antelope Canyon: A sandstone slot canyon found in Page, Arizona, featuring sections within the Navajo Reservation.
- Monument Valley: Situated on the Arizona-Utah border within the Navajo Reservation, this 30,000-acre park is renowned for its striking sandstone buttes.
Arizona’s cuisine is a delightful fusion of Hispanic and Native American influences. The state boasts award-winning restaurants, cozy cafes, and innovative eateries. Must-try delicacies include chimichangas, prickly pear margaritas, fry bread, and Sonoran hot dogs. Top-rated dining establishments in Arizona include Atlas Bistro, Cafe Monarch, Reserve, Kai Restaurant, and Beckett’s Table, each offering unique culinary experiences.
The Weather Varies
Arizona’s vast expanse translates to a diverse climate, with half the state classified as semi-arid, a third as arid, and the remaining third experiencing a humid climate. This results in weather extremes that vary depending on location and season. Summers in Arizona are characteristically hot and dry, with temperatures soaring from 40°F to 105°F.
The state’s reputation for intense summer heat and a relentless dry climate has earned it a place among the hottest states in the United States. In fact, Phoenix, Arizona, recorded a scorching 122°F in 1990. Yet, some regions like Flagstaff receive an annual snowfall of up to 75 inches, offering a welcome respite from the heat.
Watch Out for Creepy Critters
While Arizona’s natural beauty is captivating, it’s also home to various wildlife and insects not found in other regions of the country. Caution is essential when exploring the wilderness. Some of the state’s most dangerous creatures include Rattlesnakes, Gila Monsters, Scorpions, Africanized Bees, Tarantulas, Black Widow Spiders, and the Sonoran Desert Toad.
High Crime Rate
Unfortunately, Arizona has a higher-than-average crime rate, particularly violent crime, compared to states of similar size. In 2020, the state reported 513 murders, ranking it 20th in the country for murder rate. Instances of rape, aggravated assault, and robbery have also increased, with some cities, including Page, Winslow, Holbrook, Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson, experiencing higher crime rates. Residents are advised to remain vigilant, secure their surroundings, and avoid poorly lit areas.
Get Ready to Drive
While some larger Arizona cities offer public transportation, owning a vehicle is a common and practical choice for getting around this expansive state. The vast distances between places often make walking or relying solely on public transit less convenient. While owning a car may involve additional expenses, the flexibility and convenience it offers are well worth the investment.
Pros and Cons of Living in Arizona
- Low cost of living
- Affordable housing
- Diverse landscapes
- Varied climate
- Abundant outdoor activities
- Thriving job market
- Rich Native American culture
- Delicious Southwestern cuisine
- High crime rate
- Diverse dangerous wildlife
- Low walkability score
- Extreme summer heat
- High tourism influx
Great Place to Retire
Even though Arizona primarily appeals to young professionals and families, it also draws retirees with its warm, dry climate and scenic beauty. The absence of seasonal allergies adds to its allure, and retirees can enjoy a serene life close to pristine natural areas.
Arizona’s tax-friendly policy, exempting social security income from taxation, sweetens the deal. With over 300 high-quality golf courses scattered across the state, there’s no better place to unwind after years of hard work.
Q : Why move to Arizona?
A : Move to Arizona for diverse weather, affordability, jobs, natural beauty, culture, and food. Just be aware of crime and hot summers.
Q : What’s it like to live in Arizona?
A : What is it like to live in Arizona? To be honest, living in Arizona is a distinctive experience marked by intense summers, mild winters, affordable housing, a booming job market, a vibrant Native American culture, and a wide array of outdoor activities. However, it’s important to note the high crime rate in some areas and the sweltering heat of summer.
Q : Is Arizona good place to live?
A : We’re often asked “is Arizona a nice place to live”. The answer, is a resounding yes, thanks to its low cost of living, diverse landscapes, thriving job market, and rich cultural heritage.
Q : What are some pros and cons of Arizona?
A : Pros of living in Arizona: Diverse landscapes, outdoor activities, job opportunities, culture, and unique cuisine; Cons of living in Arizona: Scorching summers, high crime in some areas.
Q : Is Arizona a good state to live in?
A : Living in Arizona can be pretty great. It offers many benefits, including a diverse climate, lower cost of living, a thriving job market, stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural experiences, and delicious southwestern cuisine.
Q : What are the key differences between Florida vs Arizona living?
A : Both offer distinct benefits. Florida has a tropical climate and beautiful beaches, while Arizona boasts diverse landscapes and lower humidity. Choose based on your climate and lifestyle preferences.