Arizona is the sixth-largest state in the United States. Home to both expansive cities and spectacular scenery, this Southwestern state is a powerhouse of beauty, with a climate to suit sun-worshippers and a diverse mix of cultures and peoples. It’s home to more than 7 million inhabitants, and if you’re thinking of joining them, you’ll want to find out more about the Grand Canyon State.
To help you, we’ve put together a guide to life in Arizona to show you what you can expect if you move there. Learn more about what it’s like to live in Arizona.
Arizona’s Major Cities
The most densely populated area of Arizona is the state capital, Phoenix. With more than 1.6 million people and counting, Phoenix is the fifth most populous city in the United States. It’s a sprawling metropolis that contains 15 separate urban communities or neighborhoods.
Despite its large size, Phoenix is a reasonably cheap city to live in, with a cost of living that’s 5% less than the national average. A well-respected university calls home here. Anyone looking for various bars, restaurants, and nightclubs will love life in Phoenix.
Phoenix has a reputation for attracting diverse people, and it has a plethora of wonderful neighborhoods to choose from. Other great places to live in Arizona include Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, and Scottsdale, each of which has much to offer its residents. Scottsdale is a little more expensive than other places in the state, but it has excellent access to golf resorts. Tucson tends to suit young professionals and families, while Chandler provides a good combination of nightlife and family-friendly activities.
The Great Outdoors
Arizona is a great place to live if you’re looking for outdoor adventure. It’s a popular place for people interested in rock climbing and mountaineering, but you’ll also discover boating, fishing, horseback riding, off-roading, skiing, and snowboarding. Beyond its central urban hubs, Arizona is famous worldwide as the home of the incredible Grand Canyon. It’s an absolute must-see attraction. You can hike, ride a mule, camp out, go rafting down the Colorado River, or stand and admire the dazzling views.
While it’s worth a visit (as close to 6 million tourists each year would agree), you’ll find other beautiful parks and getaways around Arizona. When you live in Arizona, you’ll be lucky enough to be within driving distance of both the Petrified Forest National Park and the Saguaro National Park, which is home to some giant cacti in the United States.
You can also visit the famous Monument Valley Tribal Park, a vast valley that stretches for 92,000 acres along the state border of Arizona and Utah. It’s worth heading to Utah to see the famous “Forrest Gump Point,” a site immortalized in the 1994 Tom Hanks film. During your time in Arizona, you should also visit Antelope Canyon. Take a tour around this canyon to get a sense of the unstoppable erosive power of streams and rivers.
In addition to its deep canyons and vast areas of desert, Arizona is home to almost 200 mountain ranges. From the San Francisco Peaks to the White Mountains, the ranges in this state contain some of the highest mountaintops in the United States. These mountain peaks are second only to those in the Rocky Mountains.
A Warm Desert Climate
Excluding the high, mountainous areas in the north of Arizona, the climate in this state is typically warm and sunny. When you move here, you can expect at least 300 days of sunshine every year, and even during the winter months, temperatures rarely drop below 45 degrees at night. Much of the state is also dry and arid, meaning you won’t be caught out in the rain without an umbrella too often.
Something you should consider before you move to Arizona is whether you can cope with the heat. In summer, temperatures easily soar to well over 100 degrees, and it’s fairly frequent for residents to suffer from heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and sunstroke. If you’re not used to high temperatures, you may find it challenging to live in this state’s hottest areas. Consider finding a home in the northern regions of the state.
Arizona has a strong economy, and those relocating to Phoenix can find work here. Phoenix is well suited to people who want to work in real estate or financial services, while Scottsdale is better for jobs in tourism. Head to Tucson if you’re going to work in the aerospace and defense sector. It’s one of the country’s top five best areas for this industry.
The unemployment rate in Arizona is currently around 7.9%, which is significantly lower than the neighboring states of Nevada (12.8%) and California (10.1%). In addition to real estate, tourism, and aerospace, Arizona has a booming copper industry and produces as much as 60% of America’s total copper.
More opportunities are likely to arrive soon, with tech giants such as Uber and Apple set to build new factories in Arizona over the coming years.
Culture and Diversity
Thanks to its shared border with Mexico, Arizona has a large population of Hispanics. More than 20% of Arizona residents speak Spanish as their first language. The state also houses a notable settlement of Puerto Ricans.
This multiculturalism has led to a distinctive combination of the Mexican, American, and Native American cultures. You can easily find authentic and delicious Mexican food, and the many Native American sites offer a simple way to learn more about the state’s cultural history.
If you’re thinking about moving to Arizona, you’ll need to consider many factors. You’ll need to find a place to live, a place to work, and activities to do to keep you busy in your spare time. Luckily, Arizona has elements that appeal to its diverse residents who make their homes in the state’s communities.