The 10 Most Dangerous And Worst Neighborhoods In Phoenix, AZ

The most dangerous and worst Phoenix neighborhoods are Alahambra and Central City for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

Worst Neighborhoods In Phoenix
Source: Public domain

Phoenix’s neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You’ve got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos.

It seems as if there’s a neighborhood for everyone in Phoenix.

And while the city consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Arizona thanks in part to tons of entertainment and jobs, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine in Phoenix. Some neighborhoods aren’t as safe as others.

So the question arises, which Phoenix neighborhoods are the most dangerous and which are the safest?

Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which Phoenix hoods need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Phoenix area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Desert View ranks way above the rest.

We examined 15 of Phoenix’s neighborhoods to find out the most dangerous places to live. These places don’t quite measure up to Phoenix’s reputation.

Table Of Contents: Top 10 | Methodology | Summary | Table

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Phoenix For 2024

  1. Alahambra
  2. Central City
  3. South Mountain
  4. Maryvale
  5. New Village
  6. Estrella
  7. Laveen
  8. North Mountain
  9. Encanto
  10. Deer Valley

So what’s the worst neighborhood to live in Phoenix for 2024? According to the most recent census data, Alahambra looks to be the worst neighborhood in Phoenix.

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

For more Arizona reading, check out:

The 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Phoenix For 2024

Alahambra Phoenix, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Ixnayonthetimmay | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 134,116
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,577
Property Crime Per 100k: 5,002
Median Home Value: $138,611 (worst)
Median Income: $43,225 (2nd worst)
More on Alahambra:  Data

Alahambra is situated north of downtown. I-17 basically bisects the neighborhood along a north-south axis. The top features of the neighborhood include Grand Canyon University, Washington Park, and the Palo Verde Golf Course.

Those are the highlights. Now for the lowlights, which come in the form of economic statistics. Like the other neighborhoods on this list, a shaky financial situation dogs most of the locals. Consider the $43,225 median income and the 5.4% unemployment rate.

Still, home prices in the area remain under control. The median home value hovers at $138,611, a fair buy considering the local incomes.

Central City Phoenix, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Cygnusloop99 | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,045
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,732
Property Crime Per 100k: 6,994
Median Home Value: $224,560 (7th worst)
Median Income: $43,152 (worst)
More on Central City:  Data

As you’d guess, Central City puts you in the middle of the action. You’ve got the downtown area, with all the amenities and cultural touchstones. You can visit places like Arizona State University or the Arizona Science Center.

But like many inner-city areas, living here forces a tradeoff. Along with the glitz and glamor, you also have to deal with issues of poverty and overcrowding. These represent the main challenges in this neighborhood. The locals struggle with an unemployment rate of 3.5% and a median income barely above $25,000.

South Mountain Phoenix, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Ciphers | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 131,125
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 979
Property Crime Per 100k: 3,478
Median Home Value: $195,674 (5th worst)
Median Income: $59,319 (4th worst)
More on South Mountain:  Data

South Mountain represents a borderland between the city and the desert beyond. As suggested by the name, it sits in the southernmost part of Phoenix, about 15 minutes from downtown. It also borders South Mountain Park and Preserve, with access to excellent hiking and breathtaking scenery.

The desert landscape makes this a great location for lovers of the outdoors. However, it’s not the ideal spot for lovers of top-paying jobs. They’ll have to look elsewhere. In South Mountain, the median income comes in at $59,319. At the same time, the unemployment rate stands at 3.6%.

Maryvale Phoenix, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Doc Searls from Santa Barbara, USA | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 247,287
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 925
Property Crime Per 100k: 3,238
Median Home Value: $165,803 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $52,445 (3rd worst)
More on Maryvale:  Data

Maryvale is located just south of Glendale and northwest of the central part of Phoenix. You’ll find plenty of shopping and restaurants, as well as a number of parks and other recreational spots. That gives residents plenty to do…if they can afford it.

That presents a problem in this neighborhood. A sluggish economy lands the area on this list as the number 4 worst spot in Phoenix for 2024.

Finding a job can be a slog in this part of town. The unemployment rate sits at a disheartening 4.5%. The salaries in Maryvale don’t inspire much cheering either. The median income stands at $52,445.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,653
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 184
Property Crime Per 100k: 1,815
Median Home Value: $172,650 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $96,497 (12th worst)
More on New Village:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 90,378
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 887
Property Crime Per 100k: 3,134
Median Home Value: $179,743 (4th worst)
Median Income: $59,617 (6th worst)
More on Estrella:  Data

Estrella sits in the eastern part of Phoenix, bordered on the north by I-10 and on the south by the Salt River. Head a little further east and you’ll find the Phoenix Raceway and the Estrella Mountain Regional Park. Stay in the neighborhood, though, and you’ll discover the number 6 worst spot in Phoenix for 2024.

A murky economic situation hampers life in the area. The unemployment rate hovers at 3.6%…not devastating but still elevated. Meanwhile, the median income stands at $59,617. At least residents can get a good deal on a house. The median home value comes in at an affordable $179,743.

Laveen Phoenix, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 65,011
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 737
Property Crime Per 100k: 2,826
Median Home Value: $243,961 (9th worst)
Median Income: $79,753 (10th worst)
More on Laveen:  Data

North Mountain Phoenix, AZ

Source: Flickr User Kevin Stuart | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 178,370
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 971
Property Crime Per 100k: 3,759
Median Home Value: $217,423 (6th worst)
Median Income: $62,524 (7th worst)
More on North Mountain:  Data

Encanto Phoenix, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 57,606
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,325
Property Crime Per 100k: 4,743
Median Home Value: $281,473 (10th worst)
Median Income: $59,323 (5th worst)
More on Encanto:  Data

Deer Valley Phoenix, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 183,274
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 526
Property Crime Per 100k: 2,774
Median Home Value: $227,767 (8th worst)
Median Income: $78,104 (9th worst)
More on Deer Valley:  Data

Methodology: How we determined the most dangerous Phoenix neighborhoods in 2024

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 places have the least amount of those things. We plugged the following criteria into Saturday Night Science to get the worst neighborhoods in Phoenix:

  • High crime (Estimated)
  • High unemployment (Less jobs)
  • Low median income (Less pay)
  • Low population density (No things to do)
  • Low home values (No one’s willing to pay to live here)

Then, we ranked each neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona for each of these criteria from worst to best.

Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criterion into a “Worst Score.”

The neighborhood with the lowest “Worst Score” ranks as the most dangerous neighborhood of Phoenix.

The article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2024. This report is our time ranking the worst neighborhoods to live in Phoenix.

Skip to the end to see the list of all 15 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.

Summary: The Worst Neighborhoods Around Phoenix

Well, there you have it — the worst of the neighborhoods in Phoenix with Alahambra landing at the bottom of the pack.

The worst neighborhoods in Phoenix are Alahambra, Central City, South Mountain, Maryvale, New Village, Estrella, Laveen, North Mountain, Encanto, and Deer Valley.

As mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Phoenix aren’t all bad. Desert View takes the cake as the best place to live in Phoenix.

The best neighborhoods in Phoenix are Desert View, North Gateway, Ahwatukee Foothills, Paradise Valley, and Camelback East.

We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Most Dangerous Neighborhoods To Live In Phoenix For 2024?

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Alahambra 134,116 $138,611 $43,225
2 Central City 60,045 $224,560 $43,152
3 South Mountain 131,125 $195,674 $59,319
4 Maryvale 247,287 $165,803 $52,445
5 New Village 5,653 $172,650 $96,497
6 Estrella 90,378 $179,743 $59,617
7 Laveen 65,011 $243,961 $79,753
8 North Mountain 178,370 $217,423 $62,524
9 Encanto 57,606 $281,473 $59,323
10 Deer Valley 183,274 $227,767 $78,104
11 Camelback East 149,454 $326,034 $78,091
12 Paradise Valley 179,199 $317,249 $84,698
13 Ahwatukee Foothills 81,820 $342,106 $102,537
14 North Gateway 22,664 $368,500 $122,092
15 Desert View 57,629 $425,209 $124,095
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

15 thoughts on “The 10 Most Dangerous And Worst Neighborhoods In Phoenix, AZ

  1. Somebody did look very well for one of the worst parts of Phoenix!Does “Sunnyslope”ring a funky bell? Now we are the poster scum for Drugs,Ho’s(drug-ho’s)

  2. This article contains very little fact and a whole lot of inaccurate data. Several of the areas mentioned din this article are in fact highly desirable and or up and coming neighborhoods in Phoenix. The trend to urbanize has transformed many of these older neighborhoods into trendy areas.

    I sincerely doubt that the author of this article has ever set foot in the areas they are commenting about. What is even sadder is that people will read this article and believe that their methodology is accurate.

    The definition of an expert is “one with the special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject”. This author possesses none of the expertise necessary to write an article of this nature.

  3. It’s pretty accurate, and the only urbanization I see is the light rail which makes it worse. I work and partly live in the North side luckily, and just driving 2 miles south it turns into a third world country. I don’t know if the author has actually been there, but I don’t blame them. The police actually advise people not to go to certain areas, specifically south mountain, at night because something will literally happen to you. Even during the day, if you drive in south phoenix and sit at a stop light for too long there’s a chance someone will try to steal your car.

    1. Oh dear. You don’t know what you are talking about. Stop lying to people. Many cars are parked outside their homes on not broken into even.
      Poor doesn’t equate to bad necessarily.

  4. The worst area in PHX, is Sunnyslope, it’s where all the dregs of society are, the lowest of the lows!! Dope Fiend central. Swindlers, hooligans, loser, failures!! A bad lot of lazy layabouts. Irresponsible people. A sorry bunch them slopers, as they proudly lable themselves!! Very run-down area, junky, slummy part of north Phx!!!

    1. Damn! I graduated from Sunnyslope High in 1977. It used to be nice. It was home. Had great times there as kid and made great friends, too. Even the Basha’s (BAYLESS?) home was up on top of a mountain in Sunnyslope. Things change!

    2. Not all areas of Sunnyslope are the “worst.” But, I will say that it wasn’t awful when it was first built up. My family moved into that area in 1954, and it was a lovely community of young families that grew up and all knew each other. As time went on, it did sink into the pits. However I do think there are still several parts of ‘Slope that are beautiful.

  5. The details as to why the cities were bad weren’t even explained??? It would have been nice if you elaborated more Mr expert. & I can’t see how paradise valley and Estrella made your list.

  6. Most of the comments I’ve read concerning this terribly inaccurate article seem to be made by snobs that probably have never set foot in any of these neighborhoods. Do me a favor, please, leave your snobby Scottsdale neighborhoods for a day and go visit some of these “ghettos.” You might find the areas and the people who live there aren’t scum like you Scottsdale snobs think.

  7. There are several areas of Phoenix that are bad, but the 3 areas in particular that I see, hear and read about all the time are just south of Metro Center, specifically the 27th ave corridor down to past buckeye. The West Side…35th to 99 avenues , Olive down to I 10. And as always, Broadway to Baseline 19th ave to 48th Street. These areas are where most of the Class 1-3 felonies are committed.

  8. I lived in Sunnyslope a few years ago as a young single female and never had an issue. Granted I wouldn’t walk my dog in my neighborhood after dark, but I had a home alarm system and never used it. I had more issues with homeless people when I lived in Midtown in the Ashland historic district. And since moving to a “quieter” neighborhood in Mesa I learned that someone was murdered in a complex across the street from me. So much for stats.

  9. LOL, what a bunch of BS. Your criteria is all wrong. Crime and violent crime need are the number one thing to be accounted for, but yet no mention. LOL. The more diverse! The worse!

  10. I am located in Estrella, this is my perspective on the rankings. I think that downtown is a highly desirable place so I disagree with Central City as #1, plus its close to Paradise Valley, Tempe, and Scottsdale on top of the many employment opportunities so that is absurd. Estrella, Laveen, and South Mountain are new communities and need time to develop. I imagine they will be highly desirable residential areas after the I-10 West Light Rail is complete by 2030 (which will connect the whole area) and as new amenities open due to more people moving. From my experience the lowest of the low are in Glendale specifically 85301…crazy a*s people over there.

  11. Having moved away from. PHX n SS in 1992, was kinda surprised it went so far downhill. It wasn’t great starting in 1990…Metro CTR was kinda plummeting…but there were some decent n-hoods. Sounds like NOW it’s a s-hole. I grad from SHS in 87, n my old HS buds tell me they live in Anthem…idk where that is, north I guess. Time to take out the trash….

  12. As a Central City veterano, I’d like to say that it’s old and kinda rough in the 90″s…I went back a few years ago and it’s like super cultural and hip. Since the dt area revamp with the baseball team it’s always been very visitor friendly. And the gangs are old, with an honor code. Something happens, you likely had it coming… not like the random wild west side.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *