Whether you're just starting to consider relocating for another state or you've already planned the logistics of your interstate move, uprooting your life and settling down somewhere new can be as stressful as it is exciting. To help you decide where to move and get to know your know state, our Where To Move in 2021 guide explores the unique attributes of some of the most popular states people move to, including cost of living, climate and geography, employment, and cultural attractions.
1. Fast facts
Find out where the over 270,000 Americans who moved to Arizona in 2018 relocated from.
We've collected data on house prices, household income, and cost of living for Phoenix.
Compare the Grand Canyon State's average temperature and precipitation against the national average.
Discover the best cities in the state for jobs and top industries in Arizona.
Learn about Arizona's's unique food and drink, arts and culture, outdoor activities, and sports.
|Total population: 7,278,717
Median age: 38.3
Largest city: Phoenix
With a growing job market and laid back culture, it’s easy to see why over 273,714 Americans relocated to the Grand Canyon State in 2018. Where do people come from?
2. Cost of Living in Arizona
*Cost of living data is not available at the state level. In this article, cost of living data is based on the largest city in the state.
House prices are approximately 2.6% higher in Phoenix—$260,200 compared to the national average of $240,500.
The median household income is about 14.4% lower than the national average and due to the higher cost of rent, the cost of living is slightly higher in Phoenix—about 5.2% higher overall.
Here's how the cost of living in Portland breaks down:
Cost of Living
|Phoenix, AZ||United States||Difference|
|Basic utilties (based on 915 sq ft apartment)||$103.34||$162.98||-57.7%|
|Food (per person, monthly)||$286.81||$323.75||-12.9%|
2. Arizona Climate and Geography
The Colorado Plateau covers most of the northern half of the state, featuring a series of flat lands, gorges, mountains, and valleys, including Black Mesa, Painted Desert, and Monument Valley. Arizona is also home to some tree-covered ranges of the Rocky Mountains, and of course, the Grand Canyon in the northwest corner of the state. Things get flatter as you move further south, where the rusty peaks of Sedona give way to the Sonoran Desert.
Thanks to its wide range of topography, Arizona is home to a diverse climate. The deserts in the south of the state are some of the hottest and driest places in the country, but the higher terrain of the Colorado Plateau in the northeast is much cooler, with cold winters and mild summers. Precipitation and a wider range of temperatures is also common in the higher-elevation mountain ranges.
- The Grand Canyon: Formed by the Colorado River over the course of 5 million years, the Grand Canyon stretches for 277 miles, reaching depths of a full mile.
- Humphreys Peak: Arizona’s highest point, at 12,633 feet.
- Monument Valley: Located on the Arizona-Utah border, this iconic cluster of vast sandstone buttes has been featured prominently in numerous films and television series’, including Forrest Gump and HBO’s Westworld.
4. Employment in Arizona
Forbes ranks Arizona as the 18th best state in the country for business, with 2.5% job growth.
Nine cities made WalletHub’s list of the best cities for jobs
- THE GOOD: Overall, Scottsdale is the sixth best city in the nation for jobs. Gilbert and Chandler have the highest median annual income (adjusted for cost of living) in the nation, alongside Virginia Beach, VA, Chesapeake, VA, and Plano, TX. Elsewhere in the state, Glendale exhibits the highest employment growth.
- THE BAD: Home prices are on the rise, with a projected increase of 8.1%.
Here’s how all nine cities rank:
Top industries in Arizona include:
Major employers and corporations with headquarters in Arizona include:
- Best Western
- Greyhound Bus LInes
- Honeywell Aerospace
5. Arizona Culture and Entertainment
Food and drink
Wine enthusiasts will feel right at home in the Grand Canyon State—Sedona wine country rivals California and Oregon’s lush wine-producing regions. Other regional delicacies include cactus jelly (cacti are common in the local cuisine), mesquite honey, and the Sonoran hot dog—a local favorite featuring a bacon-wrapped hot dog served on a crispy bun, topped with pinto beans, chopped onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos.
Arts and culture
Arizona is home to numerous festivals throughout the year, including art, craft, film, and music festivals celebrating a range of genres from classical to bluegrass. The Scottsdale Culinary Festival—a six-day celebration of gourmet food, restaurants, wines, and microbrews—is particularly popular, attracting over 35,000 visitors every year.
Like many of the states on this list, Arizona offers outdoor activities to suit any adventurer. There’s lots to explore beyond the Grand Canyon—Saguaro National Park near Tucson is perfect for experiencing the Arizona desert and eponymous saguaro cacti, and Sedona’s iconic red rock formations are home to a multitude of hiking and biking trails, as well as off-roading opportunities. But the Grand Canyon State isn’t all desert—get your ski fix at Mount Lemmon, ascending 9,150 feet, with skiing for all levels. You can also ski in Flagstaff, Alpine, and Tucson.
Pro sports fans have a number of teams to root for in Arizona, including the Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), the Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Phoenix Suns (NBA), and Arizona Coyotes (NHL). Baseball fans, in particular, will be glad to learn that Arizona hosts spring training for the MLB’s Cactus League in the last week of February.
College sports are also prevalent, with three state universities and one private university in NCAA Division I. In fact, the intense rivalry between Arizona State University and the University of Arizona predates Arizona’s statehood, and is one of the oldest rivalries in the NCAA.