The 10 Worst Places To Live In Arizona For 2024

The worst places to live in Arizona are Eloy and Coolidge for 2024 based on Friday Night Science.

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 52 of the state’s most populous cities (over 5,300 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Arizona:

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

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Arizona For 2024

  1. Eloy
  2. Coolidge
  3. Winslow
  4. Benson
  5. Nogales
  6. Snowflake
  7. San Luis
  8. Casa Grande
  9. Guadalupe
  10. Tucson

Worst Places To Live In Arizona Map

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

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. For example, the best place to live in Arizona is Paradise Valley.

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

Read below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city fared in 2024.

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 2024

Eloy, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Marine 69-71 | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 16,075
Average Home Price: $247,454
Median Income: $57,364
Unemployment Rate: 8.3%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0257
More on Eloy: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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 22nd most dangerous place you can live in Arizona.

Residents in Eloy have a 1 in 52.9 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 $247,454. That’s the 8th-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.

Coolidge, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Marine 69-71 | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 14,175
Average Home Price: $286,315
Median Income: $60,682
Unemployment Rate: 19.0%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0347
More on Coolidge: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Coolidge is only a half hour drive south of the outskirts of Chandler and ranks as the 2nd worst city on this list. However, there are some major differences in the quality of life between the two.

Coolidge has the 18th highest crime rate in Arizona, where residents have a 1 in 35.2 chance of being robbed every year. Homes are the 14th cheapest in the state ($286,315), and the uninsured rate here is far below average as well.

Winslow, AZ

Source: Public domain
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Population: 8,943
Average Home Price: $177,709
Median Income: $43,918
Unemployment Rate: 9.6%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0505
More on Winslow: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

If you’re a classic rock fan, you probably know Winslow from the Eagles song “Take It Easy.” In fact, the town has a statue commemorating the lyric: “Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona/And such a fine sight to see.” Unfortunately, reality doesn’t live up to the legend. Winslow stands as the number 3 worst location in Arizona.

The economy is the main problem in the area. The median income stands at $43,918. However, 31.6% of the town’s 8,943 residents live below the poverty level. 11.5% of them receive food stamps.

These financial hardships lead to other problems. The schools rate a score of 4/10 on Great Schools. The crime rate is more than 140% above the national average.

Benson, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Marine 69-71 | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 5,318
Average Home Price: $239,970
Median Income: $49,955
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0430
More on Benson: Data | Real Estate

Benson, located in Cochise County, has unfortunately earned a reputation as one of the worst places to live in the state. While it is true that Benson offers affordable real estate with a median home value of $239,970, the city struggles with several issues that impact its livability. One major concern is its crime rate, contributing to its reputation as one of Arizona’s more dangerous places to live.

Regarding safety, Benson experiences a higher-than-average crime rate, with specific statistics on violent crime and property crime currently unavailable. This lack of safety can be attributed to a combination of factors such as poverty levels, unemployment rates, and educational attainment.

Nogales, AZ

Source: Public domain
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Population: 19,761
Average Home Price: $205,633
Median Income: $36,682
Unemployment Rate: 13.1%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0379
More on Nogales: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Nogales is a little better off, but not by much.

The U.S. poverty line is $25,000 for a family of four. In Nogales, household incomes hover at just over $36,682. Which means most of Nogales is having trouble making ends meet. Especially when the unemployment rate is 13.1%.

Homes are very cheap here, and the public schools are just about as underfunded as those in San Luis. Nogales also sits on the Mexican border.

It’s beginning to look like Arizona is really the super rich, the middle class and the destitute.

Snowflake, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User w:en:User:Mikejames | GFDL
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Population: 6,192
Average Home Price: $326,502
Median Income: $71,029
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0694
More on Snowflake: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Snowflake has an ironic name. Typically, the average temperature in the area never drops below the high 40s. So, as you might guess, snowflakes are rare in Snowflake. That’s not all the community is missing. The town counts as the number 6 place you’d most want to avoid in Arizona.

Unfortunately, poverty is a major problem in the area. About 19.0% of the town’s 6,192 people live below the poverty line. Meanwhile, unemployment sits at 7.7% and the median income hovers at $71,029.

Snowflake sits in a rural part of the state, about three hours from Phoenix. It’s close to a few reservations, lying between the Fort Apache Reservation and the Hopi Reservation.

San Luis, AZ

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Population: 35,189
Average Home Price: $234,684
Median Income: $46,747
Unemployment Rate: 10.1%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0066
More on San Luis: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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 10.1% unemployment rate for a city of 35,189 people, that’s a sign that things aren’t just bad. They are downright depressing. That’s one 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.

Casa Grande, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Tony the Marine (talk) | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 55,186
Average Home Price: $324,372
Median Income: $64,535
Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0360
More on Casa Grande: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Guadalupe, AZ

Source: Wikipedia User Logan Antill/Original uploader was Tillman at en.wikipedia | CC BY 2.0
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Population: 5,335
Average Home Price: $259,445
Median Income: $56,423
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Crime Per Capita: inf
More on Guadalupe: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Guadalupe sits just outside of Phoenix, about 20 minutes from the center of the state’s biggest population center. Meanwhile, it’s also on the edge of the South Mountain Park and Reserve, providing access to abundant outdoor activities. Unfortunately, this great location comes with problems. Guadalupe also serves as the number 9 least appealing town in Arizona.

The economy is the main challenge for the 5,335 residents of Guadalupe. About 23.3% of them live below the poverty line. The median income sits at $56,423 and the unemployment rate hovers at 4.5%.

With such a limited tax base, Guadalupe also suffers from bad schools. They rank a score of 4/10 on Great Schools.

Tucson, AZ

Source: Public domain
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Population: 541,033
Average Home Price: $324,757
Median Income: $52,049
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0439
More on Tucson: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Methodology: How we determined the worst places to live in Arizona for 2024

To figure out the worst places to live in Arizona, we used Saturday Night Science to idenift 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 the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a more significant weight. If you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are typically 7x more common and bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 52 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 52 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 ten worst cities in Arizona. This article is an opinion based on facts meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2024. This list is our tenth time ranking the worst places to live in Arizona.

Summary: 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 little to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Eloy ranks as the worst city to live in Arizona for 2024.

The worst cities in Arizona are .

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

  1. Litchfield Park (Pop. 6,794)
  2. Oro Valley (Pop. 47,053)
  3. Paradise Valley (Pop. 12,672)

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Worst Places To Live In Arizona

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Price Median Income Crime Per Capita
1 Eloy 16,075 8.3% $247,454 $57,364 0.0257
2 Coolidge 14,175 19.0% $286,315 $60,682 0.0347
3 Winslow 8,943 9.6% $177,709 $43,918 0.0505
4 Benson 5,318 7.8% $239,970 $49,955 0.0430
5 Nogales 19,761 13.1% $205,633 $36,682 0.0379
6 Snowflake 6,192 7.7% $326,502 $71,029 0.0694
7 San Luis 35,189 10.1% $234,684 $46,747 0.0066
8 Casa Grande 55,186 6.8% $324,372 $64,535 0.0360
9 Guadalupe 5,335 4.5% $259,445 $56,423 inf
10 Tucson 541,033 6.5% $324,757 $52,049 0.0439
11 Tolleson 7,221 2.4% $389,180 $47,875 0.1221
12 Globe 7,230 3.2% $213,967 $64,516 0.0654
13 Apache Junction 38,855 8.9% $366,015 $56,209 0.0237
14 Yuma 96,314 7.7% $284,259 $59,312 0.0229
15 Glendale 248,083 5.7% $405,468 $66,375 0.0382
16 Sedona 9,739 7.7% $903,499 $62,901 0.0214
17 Phoenix 1,609,456 5.2% $417,187 $72,092 0.0379
18 Camp Verde 12,132 5.4% $408,890 $50,247 0.0159
19 Show Low 11,767 6.5% $418,453 $57,406 0.0275
20 Payson 16,363 7.0% $432,786 $60,095 0.0215
21 Douglas 16,301 12.0% $148,672 $41,594 0.0140
22 Avondale 89,214 4.8% $401,338 $76,496 0.0367
23 El Mirage 35,652 5.9% $355,004 $72,134 0.0177
24 Cottonwood 12,314 2.8% $385,989 $43,273 0.0245
25 Page 7,444 12.5% $358,463 $79,521 0.0520
26 Chino Valley 13,120 5.2% $477,451 $55,682 0.0063
27 Kingman 33,052 6.3% $265,190 $56,360 0.0373
28 Florence 25,783 7.6% $358,475 $74,025 0.0053
29 Goodyear 97,542 5.5% $479,397 $97,307 0.0223
30 Fountain Hills 23,739 5.1% $640,087 $100,317 inf
31 Safford 10,112 5.2% $244,967 $64,860 0.0349
32 Somerton 14,278 6.0% $257,097 $64,180 0.0062
33 Tempe 181,005 5.7% $474,681 $72,022 0.0509
34 Mesa 503,390 4.7% $431,607 $73,766 0.0224
35 Flagstaff 76,177 6.6% $630,887 $65,652 0.0335
36 Sierra Vista 45,212 5.7% $283,365 $70,899 0.0192
37 Peoria 191,292 3.9% $485,980 $86,759 0.0163
38 Maricopa 59,605 3.5% $361,705 $88,795 0.0106
39 Surprise 145,591 4.6% $432,141 $87,756 0.0161
40 Sahuarita 34,238 6.7% $360,541 $97,133 0.0108
41 Prescott Valley 47,015 4.2% $449,398 $66,617 0.0109
42 Marana 52,542 4.1% $431,013 $105,624 0.0252
43 Wickenburg 7,600 1.0% $526,044 $63,301 0.0218
44 Prescott 46,054 5.2% $591,042 $66,330 0.0180
45 Thatcher 5,281 5.6% $304,034 $71,591 0.0068
46 Queen Creek 61,788 4.3% $627,569 $127,182 0.0133
47 Chandler 275,618 3.8% $519,175 $99,374 0.0203
48 Scottsdale 240,537 3.5% $798,175 $104,197 0.0263
49 Gilbert 267,267 3.5% $566,231 $115,179 0.0118
50 Litchfield Park 6,794 2.1% $535,888 $117,601 0.0159
51 Oro Valley 47,053 2.9% $500,520 $101,394 0.0126
52 Paradise Valley 12,672 2.5% $3,234,281 $221,333 0.0152
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.

27 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Arizona For 2024

  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. Any time an article starts throwing “school spending” into the mix–I toss. This type of “rating” is crap.

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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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