10 Worst Places To Live In Arizona For 2019

We used science and data to determine which cities in the Copper State are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Arizona.

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If you’ve ever been to Arizona, you know it’s a beautiful place. The desert landscapes are some of the prettiest places in the country, and the mountain areas have some of the best outdoor activities in the entire southwest.

But is it all great in the Copper State? Of course not. Just like every other state, Arizona has its trouble spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which cities in Arizona are the least desirable to live in.

Of course, you’ll most likely disagree if you see your town atop this list. But nonetheless, according to science, these cities are the worst places you could possibly live if you make Arizona your home. These places need a big hug right about now.

After analyzing 54 of the state’s most populous cities (over 5,000 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Arizona:

Here are the 10 worst places to live in Arizona for 2019:

  1. Eloy (Photos)
  2. South Tucson (Photos)
  3. Guadalupe (Photos)
  4. Winslow (Photos)
  5. San Luis (Photos)
  6. Coolidge (Photos)
  7. Globe (Photos)
  8. Cottonwood (Photos)
  9. Tolleson (Photos)
  10. Tucson (Photos)

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Arizona? That would be Eloy.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Arizona reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Arizona For 2019

Eloy, AZ

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Population: 17,537
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $80,600 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (5th worst)
More on Eloy:  Data | Photos

Eloy, along I-10 south of Chandler, is also a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Eloy is the 30th most dangerous place you can live in Arizona.

Residents in Eloy have a 1 in 34.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and sunglasses.

When you’re considering home prices, you can’t do much lower than in Eloy, where average homes are valued at only$80,600. That’s the 2nd-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.

South Tucson, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,624
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $77,700 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.4% (1st worst)
More on South Tucson:  Data | Photos

South Tucson needs some tough love as it ranks as the 2nd worst city to live in Arizona for 2019. There’s not a lot to do here, and when you factor in some of the lowest student support in the state and some of the worst weather, it’s not a place you might want to move to.

And the crime in South Tucson is the 10th highest in the state, where 1 in 19.0 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.

Guadalupe, AZ

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Population: 6,270
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $101,400 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.3% (3rd worst)
More on Guadalupe:  Data | Photos

Most of the rest of the cities on this list deserve to be on here due to their high crime numbers. Guadalupe is the 3rd most dangerous city in Arizona, according to the FBI. Residents had a 1 in 0.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s really high for Arizona, but not even the highest in the state.

Home values are the 8th cheapest in the state, and income levels are almost as low as you can get. Households in Guadalupe bring in just under $28,491 a year annually.

Winslow, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,517
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $87,800 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.6% (4th worst)
More on Winslow:  Data | Photos

Winslow is the 8th most dangerous place in the state of Arizona. That’s part of the reason it’s the 4th worst place in Arizona.

The fact remains, that when you’re within Winslow city limits, you have a 1 in 12.0 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?

Did you know Winslow also has the 4th highest unemployment rate in the state at 14.6%? Or that homes are only valued at $87,800?

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s little demand to live in Winslow.

San Luis, AZ

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Population: 31,509
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $112,200 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.9% (2nd worst)
More on San Luis:  Data | Photos

There are some bad places to live and some really, really bad places to live. According to the data, San Luis is one of the worst places you can live in Arizona. And quite possibly, one of the worst places you can live in, period. Let’s see why.

We’re not economists, but when you have a 15.9% unemployment rate for a city of 31,509 people, that’s a sign that things aren’t just bad. They are downright depressing. That’s by far the highest unemployment rate of any city we’ve analyzed.

Not only that, but the public school system is completely underfunded in San Luis. The students get the least amount of spending in the entire state, and at $7,000 each per year, that’s about half the national average.

The city has a prison in town, and it sits right next to the Mexican border. Crime is above average here, and perhaps the only reason crime isn’t higher is that there are most likely lots of border patrol agents in the area.

Coolidge, AZ

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Population: 12,221
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $88,200 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (14th worst)
More on Coolidge:  Data | Photos

Coolidge is only a half hour drive south of the outskirts of Chandler and ranks as the 6th worst city on this list. However, there are some major differences in the quality of life between the two.

Coolidge has the 20th highest crime rate in Arizona, where residents have a 1 in 23.1 chance of being robbed every year. Homes are the 6th cheapest in the state ($88,200), and the uninsured rate here is far below average as well.

Globe, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,341
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 11)
Median Home Value: $116,600 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (14th worst)
More on Globe:  Data | Photos

Things are starting to get progressively more ‘modern’ and in line with what you expect in a great state such as Arizona when we get to Globe. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 9.3% (which is really high), and the median income is $44,821. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.

Globe is tucked away in the canyons of the Superstition Mountains, near two large reservations.

Cottonwood, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,634
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $147,600 (23rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (21st worst)
More on Cottonwood:  Data | Photos

Cottonwood, part of Yavapai County, is the 8th worst place to live in Arizona for 2019.

Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $32,746, and crime 28th worst in Arizona.

Additionally, the poverty level is 20.4% in Cottonwood.

Tolleson, AZ

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,052
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $161,500 (25th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (46th worst)
More on Tolleson:  Data | Photos

Tthe small town of Tolleson has the 15th lowest income levels in the entire state. At $40,846, many of the people are having trouble making ends meet, and the unemployment rate is 4.1%. Additionally, 23.3% of the population lives below the poverty line.

The cost of a home here is bottom barrell at $161,500.

At least the crime is very minimal here.

Tucson, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 530,905
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $137,600 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (12th worst)
More on Tucson:  Data | Photos

Tucson is also a pretty crummy place to live, when you look at the numbers. Yes, we’re aware that it’s beautiful and “fun”. But that ignores important things like jobs and income.

Tucson residents earn the 12th-lowest salaries in the state. At $39,617 a year, people here most likely have a hard time getting ahead in life. And the average home costs are $137,600, which means there isn’t a lot of demand.

Crime is the 10th highest in Arizona per capita, and the unemployment rate here is 12th highest in the state, at 9.4%.

Review Of Tucson by HomeSnacks User

Crime is pretty stable, living in the city you always have to be careful. The great thing about Tucson it city but town feeling. You will always run into people you know and find nice people.

The university of Arizona is the heart of the city! The basketball is Tucson gold. You will find that everywhere you go someone is wearing Arizona wildcat shirt.

How we determined the worst places to live in Arizona for 2019

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 don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 54 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 54 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in Arizona — Eloy. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Arizona.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Arizona

If you’re looking at areas in Arizona with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Eloy ranks as the worst city to live in Arizona for 2019.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Arizona:

  1. Gilbert (Pop. 232,176)
  2. Scottsdale (Pop. 239,283)
  3. Paradise Valley (Pop. 13,961)

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Arizona?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Eloy 17,537 12.1% $80,600
2 South Tucson 5,624 16.4% $77,700
3 Guadalupe 6,270 15.3% $101,400
4 Winslow 9,517 14.6% $87,800
5 San Luis 31,509 15.9% $112,200
6 Coolidge 12,221 9.3% $88,200
7 Globe 7,341 9.3% $116,600
8 Cottonwood 11,634 8.2% $147,600
9 Tolleson 7,052 4.1% $161,500
10 Tucson 530,905 9.4% $137,600

27 thoughts on “10 Worst Places To Live In Arizona For 2019

  1. Honestly you should have put Wickenburg on the list. Forget what your study was based on. This town is actually called WICKEDburg. Extremely corrupt police, extremely high drug use, nothing really there for kids. Just a terrible place to live.

    1. Wicken is great for old-fart racist jackholes to sit around and bitch and moan about the “n*ggers and queers women and ‘Mescans ruining the country!” When the depression generation and racist/fascist snowbirds die out, Arizona will be a lot nicer place to live.

      1. thats funny when you say that racist and fascists should die off, but you have Hiroshima the place that got nuked by the us in 1945 in your name.

  2. I’m totally surprised that Safford didn’t make this list! Being a life long resident of this city I honestly can say it’s one of the worst!!

    1. Yeah, because who needs that pinko education about science and stuff anyway, right? Just send kids to tax dodging welfare mooch “churches” (aka, houses of the deluded)for some ‘Merican brainwashing.

  3. You listed my small AZ town in the worst. I love it here! I am not going to say where but wanted to thank you. Hopefully your negative review will keep others from moving here. Thank you!

  4. Arizona is one of the better states to live in.The weather is the dominate factor.Of course the diversity of the land is an attraction as mountains and desert are combined.

    The minus is you pay for the climate by lower wages.This is true of Florida also.

    Phoenix was a beautiful town when last I was saw it.Economics has effected most cities.Bus transportation was not abundant when I live in Phoenix so you need private transportation.

    It is only about 8 hrs to San Diego from Phoenix?You can go for a swim in the Pacific.

    Arizona and Florida are best choices.Both are similar in many ways.Florida has no mountains are desert.

    For personal reasons I prefer Arizona.If you don’t like one part of the state you can move to another.

    In the winter live in Phoenix.In the summer live in the mountains if you can.

    Prescott has the rodeo and is allot cooler than Phoenix in the summer.

    A motorbike is a good means of transportation.Of course there are a few cold months.You have to be careful when you ride a motorbike.

    Walter Haas—God Bless America

  5. El Mirage AZ is the # 1 speed trap white trash town in all the USA! Their ONLY source of income are traffic cameras operated by overweight ex cops from other loser towns. if you are 2 MPH over their speed traps they send you a $ 234 ticket within 2 days. They are really hard up! Best thing that could ever happen is if their cops all died of overdoses of burritos!

  6. Coolidge and eloy what a dump full of tweekers i know i used to work there!You can not go any where with out a begger asking for money.You go to Safeway you come out you’ll have something missing.Stanfield a dump tweeker town too.Sections of Maricopa getting bad.The south side of Casa Grande a dump. Sections of the west and east side of Casa Grande plenty of tweekers and gangs.Great place to live North West of Casa Grande.Beautiful homes good schools i know i own a home there.All the newer section of NW Casa Grande beautiful place to live .Chandler and Gilbert beautiful place to live i know i own homes there too.But Old Chandler close to Mesa very bad, tweeker town and gangs.

  7. You left out the toxic waste dump of the almost-a-ghost-town of Miami. Once the copper is tapped out here, it will take a hundred years to clean up the toxic crap left by the mines, but no one will want to, so it will just dry up and blow away, become even more haunted than it already is. Checklist: 1) Downwind site, just breathe in that radioactivity like my best friend did and get aplastic thyroid cancer and die, 2) Gateway to the Pinal mountains, site of US Govt spraying of Agnet Orange (yay!) 3) Mines poison everything in the area, hooray! 4) Suspicious number of “outlaw bikers” riding $30,000 bikes around town (Meth houses burning down abound) 5) Ignorant f*cks who support racists and traitors (Don’t worry, they hate everyone who’s not from there, including gays, blacks, women, etc.), Miami, the Original Sh*thole!

  8. thats funny when you say that racist and fascists should die off, but you have Hiroshima the place that got nuked by the us in 1945 in your name.

  9. After doing some research I am considering cancelling y eight night visit to Tucson in April. have always wanted to go there as I only saw it for a day in about 1980. Now I live on the border of Tampa and FL has been compared to AZ in terms of weather and low salaries. Maybe I should return to LA to visit but I am hesitant because it will cost me much more.

  10. Douglas AZ deserves mention. Low quality of life. Drug smugglers delight. Described as “Like Mexico without the good parts.” I feel it is the city with the open hand. Avoid at all cost.It has been said that” Douglas has the best cops that money can buy”.(Will Rogers)nothing good here move along. Note those who say great things about Douglas are lying for pay or want your money.

  11. Tucson stinks. Stuck here due to a job but trying to transfer to Phoenix. Too many needy and lazy people in Tucson. My neighbor threatened to run me over because I have no interest in talking to her and yet, I am being the one to have to move out of my apartment because the apartment manager supports her. She must be on disability which pays for most of her rent. She is younger then me (just by looking at her) and she doesn’t work. Another thing about Tucson, if one person does not like you for what ever reason, they will tell other people and before you know it, you are being shunned by other people. Go for a bike ride down the Rillito River Trail (The Loop) and you will be subjected to drug addicts trying to sell you drugs. Go to Sabino Canyon and people are smoking dope while they are hiking. Drugs, needy people, low income, homelessness run ramped in Tucson.

  12. Don’t forget to add #prescottaz to this list. The giant influx of elderly and retired groups have wrecked the economy, squashed diversity, saturated the job market with part time positions at minimum wage, driven up housing and the tax bracket, moved our schools to the 90th percentile in educational funding, and generally caused everything to get a little more creepy and leering or bitter and cynical. Dry, suffocating heat continues to hover in the 80s well into October as all of the traffic, concrete, and new buildings go in. Driving anywhere while simultaneously trying to avoid the swerving Buick’s and confused Oldsmobiles give you an immediate panic attack. Moved here in my 20s with an open heart. Now I barely make eye contact with anyone because it’s just a bunch of unpleasantness. Can’t wait to leave this closed minded, hot, and horrible place now ASAP in my 30s. IF YOU ARE BUSINESS-MINDED DO NOT MOVE HERE. Takes 20 minutes to get a coffee at Starbucks.

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