These Are The 10 Worst Gilbert Suburbs For 2018


We used science and data to determine which Gilbert suburbs are the real pits.

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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Gilbert.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Gilbert ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Gilbert area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Gilbert proper, although Paradise Valley certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Gilbert are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

We examined the 17 biggest suburbs of Gilbert to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Arizona lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Gilbert in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Gilbert for 2018:

  1. Coolidge (Photos)
  2. Guadalupe (Photos)
  3. Apache Junction (Photos)
  4. Casa Grande (Photos)
  5. Phoenix (Photos)
  6. Florence (Photos)
  7. Glendale (Photos)
  8. Mesa (Photos)
  9. Tempe (Photos)
  10. Maricopa (Photos)

Read on to see how we determined the places around Gilbert that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Arizona check out the best places in Arizona overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Gilbert too.

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Gilbert for 2018

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Gilbert.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 6,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 17 suburbs to evaluate around Gilbert.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 17 in each category, where 1 was the “worst”.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the “Worst Suburb near Gilbert.” We’re lookin’ at you, Coolidge.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

1. Coolidge

Coolidge, Arizona

Population: 12,073
Unemployment Rate: 13.1%
Median Home Price: $82,600
Median Income: $36,932
More on Coolidge: Data | Jobs

We’ll get the ball rolling with Coolidge, the absolute worst place to live around Gilbert according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Coolidge beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Gilbert area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 2nd worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Coolidge.

You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

2. Guadalupe

Guadalupe, Arizona

Population: 6,172
Unemployment Rate: 15.4%
Median Home Price: $82,200
Median Income: $30,326
More on Guadalupe: Data | Jobs

Welcome to Guadalupe. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 13.3 miles to Gilbert. Income levels here are the 1st lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $30,326 a year, which doesn’t go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

3. Apache Junction

Apache Junction, Arizona

Population: 37,775
Unemployment Rate: 10.9%
Median Home Price: $89,600
Median Income: $38,053
More on Apache Junction: Data | Jobs

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Gilbert suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Apache Junction on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Gilbert suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Casa Grande

Casa Grande, Arizona

Population: 51,571
Unemployment Rate: 9.2%
Median Home Price: $122,900
Median Income: $46,017
More on Casa Grande: Data | Jobs

If you live in Casa Grande, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest Gilbert suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 5th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Gilbert. Remember, we looked at 17 cities for this study.

Casa Grande is about 27.9 miles to downtown.

5. Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona

Source: Public domain

Population: 1,555,324
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Median Home Price: $178,200
Median Income: $49,328
More on Phoenix: Data | Jobs

Phoenix has the distinction of being a Gilbert suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Phoenix has the 9th lowest home values in the metro Gilbert area, where the median price is $178,200. To put that into perspective, in Paradise Valley, the median income is $173,487, which is the best in the area.

Phoenix has an unemployment rate of 7.7% which ranks 7th worst.

6. Florence

Florence, Arizona

Population: 26,221
Unemployment Rate: 12.9%
Median Home Price: $112,100
Median Income: $48,919
More on Florence: Data | Jobs

Florence has 26,221 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 15.3%.

7. Glendale

Glendale, Arizona

Population: 239,943
Unemployment Rate: 7.2%
Median Home Price: $163,400
Median Income: $46,817
More on Glendale: Data | Jobs

Ah, Glendale. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Gilbert.

It’s the place with the 8th most out of work residents in the Gilbert metro area (7.2%).

8. Mesa

Mesa, Arizona

Population: 470,456
Unemployment Rate: 6.9%
Median Home Price: $168,500
Median Income: $50,615
More on Mesa: Data | Jobs

Mesa is a city about 6.5 miles from Gilbert, but Gilbert probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You’d be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Mesa has the 4th most uninsured people, 9th worst incomes, and has the 9th highest unemployment rate (6.9%) in the entire Gilbert metro area.

Homes only cost $168,500 for a reason. That’s cheap for Gilbert standards.

9. Tempe

Tempe, Arizona

Population: 174,708
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Median Home Price: $219,900
Median Income: $50,474
More on Tempe: Data | Jobs

If you absolutely have to live near Gilbert, then Tempe might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Gilbert suburb.

About 6.0% of residents are out of work.

10. Maricopa

Maricopa, Arizona

Population: 45,473
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Median Home Price: $155,500
Median Income: $68,888
More on Maricopa: Data | Jobs

Rounding out the ten worst Gilbert suburbs to call home is Maricopa.

Located 24.1 miles outside the city, Maricopas is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 10th highest unemployment rate (6.2%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Gilbert where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Gilbert with Coolidge casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Gilbert aren’t all bad. Paradise Valley takes the cake as the best place to live around Gilbert.

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Gilbert Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Coolidge 12,073 13.1% $82,600 $36,932
2 Guadalupe 6,172 15.4% $82,200 $30,326
3 Apache Junction 37,775 10.9% $89,600 $38,053
4 Casa Grande 51,571 9.2% $122,900 $46,017
5 Phoenix 1,555,324 7.7% $178,200 $49,328
6 Florence 26,221 12.9% $112,100 $48,919
7 Glendale 239,943 7.2% $163,400 $46,817
8 Mesa 470,456 6.9% $168,500 $50,615
9 Tempe 174,708 6.0% $219,900 $50,474
10 Maricopa 45,473 6.2% $155,500 $68,888
11 Santa Cruz 63,310 8.5% $707,600 $62,471
12 Goodyear 72,629 4.2% $235,200 $74,417
13 Chandler 242,131 5.0% $248,500 $74,329
14 Scottsdale 234,495 4.9% $405,500 $76,543
15 Queen Creek 30,849 2.8% $282,600 $90,687
16 Fountain Hills 23,863 4.9% $361,000 $75,297
17 Paradise Valley 13,833 2.4% $1,332,600 $173,487

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.

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