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Safest Cities in Arizona

So you’re looking to live in the land of hot, sandy deserts, prickly cacti, red rocks, deep canyons, tall mountains and pine forests. But before you move to Arizona, you want to make sure you find the safest city possible. So, what are the safest cities in Arizona? We’ll break down the top 10 for you.

Top 10 Safest Cities in Arizona

Okay, here’s a quick view of the top 10 safest cities in Arizona:

  1. Florence
  2. Somerton
  3. Prescott Valley
  4. Sahuarita
  5. Gilbert
  6. San Luis
  7. Paradise Valley
  8. Maricopa
  9. Lake Havasu City
  10. Oro Valley

To rank these cities, we crunched data from the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Report.1 If you’re curious about how we did this or want more info on the data, check out our methodology section below.

For a closer look at each of the 10 safest cities, we’ll share the total amount of crimes and law enforcement workers (per 1,000 residents in a year) and cover some cool facts about the area so you can see if you might like living there.

Find expert agents to help you buy your home.

But before we start, know that the ultimate way to learn about any of these local areas is to talk to a real estate agent who actually lives in Arizona. The Arizona agents we trust are local experts and can tell you everything you’d want to know about each Arizona city—including the different neighborhoods, schools, commutes and cost of living.

Just keep in mind that certain laws like real estate steering prevent agents from giving their own personal advice or recommendations that could sway you. So keep doing your own research until you’re satisfied you’ve found a city you’re comfortable with.

Now rev up your dune buggy and let’s hit the desert!

1. Florence

Florence tops the charts as the city in Arizona with the lowest crime rate. Located about an hour southeast of Phoenix, Florence offers a small-town feel that’s full of history. Bustling your way through downtown Florence’s historic buildings will have you feeling like you just entered an old Western cowboy movie.

 

Florence

Arizona

U.S.

Population*

26,385

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes**

1.67

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes**

2.80

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes**

4.472

28.963

24.774

Law Enforcement**

1.405

3.176

2.97

*For each city, the population includes only city limits (not the greater metro area) as reported by the FBI.

**For each city, all crime and law enforcement numbers refer to the amount of crimes or law enforcement employees per 1,000 residents in a year.

2. Somerton

Tucked away in the southwestern corner of Arizona on the outskirts of Yuma is the city of Somerton. Rich with Hispanic culture, the city celebrates the Somerton Tamale Festival in December. At the festival, families gather to warm their bellies with a wide variety of tamales, including ones made with sweet and traditional white corn, green chili, beef, chicken, and pork.8

Since we’re talking about safest cities, it’d be a miss not to mention that a popular place to visit near Somerton is Yuma Territorial Prison State Historical Park. Built in 1875, the prison is seen as a living museum of the Old West.9

 

Somerton

Arizona

U.S.

Population

16,771

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes

2.15

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes

7.69

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes

9.8410

28.9611

24.7712

Law Enforcement

1.1913

3.1714

2.915

3. Prescott Valley

Not to be confused with the city of Prescott, which is several miles west, Prescott Valley is situated somewhere between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. Prescott Valley is another one of the safest cities in Arizona. The area includes a public high school, a couple middle schools, six public elementary schools and a bunch of private and charter schools too.16

In Prescott Valley, there are plenty of opportunities for the whole family to stay active with things like ballparks, swimming pools, golf courses and sports leagues. And of course, it also has fun trails to explore, like Glassford Hill Summit Trail—a two-mile hike with beautiful views that overlook the town.17 You might even get to see some deer, antelope or eagles. (Just look out for mountain lions!)

 

Prescott Valley

Arizona

U.S.

Population

46,700

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes

1.99

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes

10.15

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes

12.1418

28.9619

24.7720

Law Enforcement

1.9721

3.1722

2.923

4. Sahuarita

Just a little south of Tucson and a ways north of the Mexican border sits Sahuarita—a small town with the fourth-lowest Arizona crime rate. Sahuarita roughly translates to “little saguaro.”24 It was named that because saguaro cacti can be found sprinkled throughout the area, inviting you with their wide open prickly arms to give them a hug. (But don’t do that.)

Another cool fact about living in Sahuarita is that you have the Titan Missile Museum right next door. As the only remaining Titan II missile launch site open to the public, the museum lets you step back in time to experience what it was like living during the Cold War.25

 

Sahuarita

Arizona

U.S.

Population

30,928

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes

1.39

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes

11.15

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes

12.5426

28.9627

24.7728

Law Enforcement

1.7829

3.1730

2.931

5. Gilbert

Gilbert is a beautiful town located just southeast of Phoenix in the Valley of the Sun. As the fifth-largest city in Arizona, Gilbert has been recognized as a great place to raise a family and for ranking among the top school districts in America.32 Gilbert’s Water Tower Plaza hosts what is probably one of the best farmers markets in the Phoenix metro area.

 

Gilbert

Arizona

U.S.

Population

253,619

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes

0.97

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes

12.03

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes

1333

28.9634

24.7735

Law Enforcement

1.6136

3.1737

2.938

6. San Luis

As part of the Yuma metro area, San Luis is just south of Somerton and another one of the safest cities to live in Arizona. Like Somerton, San Luis is rich with cultural appeal as it toes the line of the Mexican border. There are a ton of diverse markets along the border where you can purchase Mexican souvenirs. And with close proximity to lakes along the Colorado River, you’ll have plenty of chances to go fishing, swimming and water skiing during those 100-degree summers.39

 

San Luis

Arizona

U.S.

Population

34,192

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes

0.97

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes

12.28

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes

13.2540

28.9641

24.7742

Law Enforcement

1.7343

3.1744

2.945

7. Paradise Valley

You knew a place with the name paradise had to make the list, right? Paradise Valley is northeast of Phoenix and is a pretty quiet area. That’s because most of the homes there are custom-built on massive private lots. And since these tend to be people’s second homes, the homeowners come in and out of town at different times throughout the year.

One downside is that this town is one of the most expensive places to live in Arizona. But if you’ve been following the Ramsey way—budgeting every dollar with discipline, living below your means, and building wealth like a Baby Steps Millionaire—then you might be ready to move to Paradise Valley and live and give like no one else!

 

Paradise Valley

Arizona

U.S.

Population

14,733

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes

0.68

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes

10.93

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes

11.6146

28.9647

24.7748

Law Enforcement

3.3949

3.1750

2.951

8. Maricopa

Just south of Phoenix sits the city of Maricopa. As the only city in the country bordered by two Native American communities, Maricopa is rich with an appreciation for cultural diversity. When the city was incorporated in 2003, the census listed it with a population of 1,040, which exploded to 15,934 during the next two years—making it one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. at the time.52 Maricopa offers stunning views of its evening sky. Living there gives you a front row seat to watch the desert sunset tuck itself beneath a silhouette of the rocky western mountains.

 

Maricopa

Arizona

U.S.

Population

50,881

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes

1.67

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes

11.87

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes

13.5453

28.9654

24.7755

Law Enforcement

1.7956

3.1757

2.958

9. Lake Havasu City

This city is located in western Arizona along the California border. As you might’ve guessed by the name, Lake Havasu City is one of Arizona’s best spots for water sports. The city’s beaches are surrounded by gorgeous mountain views, and the lake is a popular place to go fishing, paddle boarding, speed boating, jet skiing and even scuba diving!

 

L.H.C.

Arizona

U.S.

Population

55,413

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes

1.57

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes

12.09

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes

13.6659

28.9660

24.7761

Law Enforcement

1.9762

3.1763

2.964

10. Oro Valley

Just north of Tucson, Oro Valley closes out our list of safest places to live in Arizona. This town will take your breath away with its surrounding views of the Tortolita and Catalina Mountains and the Tucson skyline. Oro Valley offers tons of hiking paths for exploring and, thanks in part to its notable golf courses, is a great place to retire. The town is also earning a reputation as the “Upscale Tech Mecca of Southern Arizona” due to bioscience and high-tech companies bringing in quality jobs.65

 

Oro Valley

Arizona

U.S.

Population

45,970

7.3 million

328 million

Violent Crimes

0.48

4.55

3.67

Property Crimes

12.79

24.41

21.10

Total Crimes

13.2766

28.9667

24.7768

Law Enforcement

2.7469

3.1770

2.971

Now you know the 10 safest cities in the Grand Canyon State! Just remember, lists like this aren’t always the most accurate way to determine a city’s level of safety. So make sure to do enough research on the best places to live in Arizona to back up whatever you find online until you feel comfortable enough to make a decision.

Also, don’t forget to look into the cost of living in Arizona to make sure the city that interests you is affordable compared to where you live now. Safety and affordability are huge factors in where you call home. The biggest expense that’ll determine whether you can afford living somewhere new is the cost of housing.

To figure out your housing budget, use the 25% rule—never buy or rent a home that comes with a monthly payment that’s more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay. If you’re getting a mortgage, that 25% limit includes principal, interest, property taxes, home insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI), and homeowners association (HOA) fees. Use our mortgage calculator to enter your down payment amount and try out different home prices within your budget.

If you want a mortgage you can pay off fast, talk to the home loan specialists we trust at Churchill Mortgage about getting a 15-year fixed-rate conventional loan. Any other type of mortgage will drown you in interest and extra fees and keep you in debt for decades.

You’ll also want to keep the cost of moving in mind. Plenty of moves cost over $1,000, and that’s not an amount you can afford to just figure out down the road. You should make a budget for your move, and you may want to look at a service like PODS. Their convenient moving and storage containers make moving much more flexible and keep you from having to cram all the kids' toys into the back of your van.

Ready to Move to Arizona?

If you know the area in Arizona where you want to move, your next step is to work with a real estate agent. For a fast and easy way to find Arizona agents we trust, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. The agents we recommend have earned the right to be called RamseyTrusted by always serving with excellence.

Find an Arizona real estate agent we trust!

Methodology Breakdown: Here’s How We Got Our Data

Methodology is just a nerdy term to describe the method we used to find and rank the safest cities in Arizona. To do this, we took official crime stats reported by the FBI for cities with at least 7,000 residents (excluding any cities with incomplete data).72,73 The FBI splits crimes into two categories: 

  • Violent crimes. These are defined as murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.74
  • Property crimes. These include burglary, larceny (theft of personal property), motor vehicle theft and arson (setting fire to property).75

We counted up how many of these crimes happened in each city per 1,000 residents. Then, we calculated how many full-time law enforcement employees work in each city per 1,000 residents. (We consider that the fewer law enforcement employees there are, the safer the city is—since the city doesn’t need as many.)

Finally, we combined the total crime rate and number of law enforcement employees per 1,000 residents to get each city’s safety score. The safest cities had the lowest scores. And—voila!—that’s how it’s done.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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Conquer the real estate market.

Show Me Local Agents

Conquer the real estate market.

Don’t navigate the housing market alone. Work with a real estate agent who cares more about helping you find your dream home than about scoring a paycheck.
Show Me Local Agents

Conquer the real estate market.

Don’t navigate the housing market alone. Work with a real estate agent who cares more about helping you find your dream home than about scoring a paycheck.
Show Me Local Agents