You might have heard of its booming economy and its range of climates, and you most certainly have heard of one or two of its geological features, but how much do you really know about the pros and cons of living in the Grand Canyon state? Here we delve into what to expect from Arizona:
Advantages of Living in Arizona
1.) A decent cost of living. The cost of living is pretty reasonable. On average, it’s 5% less than the rest of the US. That, combined with a median household income of around $56,000, means a family moving to Arizona from a more expensive state can expect to make a saving.
2.) Phoenix is booming. Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing industrial centers in the US, and there are always jobs to be filled. The industries that are on the up include manufacturing and aerospace. Healthcare, transportation, and the government remain the biggest public employers in the state.
3.) There’s a climate for everyone. Arizona is most commonly associated with deserts and canyons, but in the North of the state, there is also a large area of pine and spruce forest. There are other stunning geological features such as the San Francisco mountain range, and in Tucson and Alpine, you can even go skiing!
4.) The Grand Canyon. At over 200 miles long, and in some places over 20 miles wide and a mile deep, Arizona is home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world: The Grand Canyon. The Colorado River has cut through the rock for twenty million years, leaving a stunning geological marvel for us all to admire.
5.) The Navajo Nation has its home in Arizona. Around one-quarter of the state is Indian reservation: lands belonging to Native American peoples, the largest of which is the Navajo Nation. With a population of over 300,000, it is the largest indigenous group in the US.
6.) Sporting and cultural activities abound. Arizona has a proud tradition of big sporting teams: the Cardinals in football, the Diamondbacks in baseball, and the Suns in basketball. Thanks to the weather, a lot of open-air concerts and cultural events take place throughout the year, and the state boasts plenty of museums too.
7.) Town planning is done right. The metropolitan area of Phoenix has been logically planned and built, and the same goes for other urban areas and highways in the state. The grid system is simple and easy to follow without using a GPS.
8.) A state for the young. Unlike in retirement states like Florida, Phoenix has a median age of 33 years old and getting more youthful as time passes and the population increases. IF you’re looking for somewhere with a young vibe, Phoenix is the place to be.
Disadvantages to Living in Arizona
1.) A barren state. Despite some areas of outstanding beauty, most of the state is barren, especially in the South. Even in the North, if you want to be surrounded by green grass and trees, then Arizona probably isn’t right for you.
2.) Phoenix or Tucson, that’s it! The two metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson account for five-sixths of the state’s entire population, so that tells you everything you need to know about the economy. If you want to work, you’ll have a choice between those two, and that’s it.
3.) Water’s running out. The booming population in urban areas is putting a strain on Arizona’s water supply. The Colorado River gives Arizona 36% of its water and has been experiencing a drought for the last 19 consecutive years.
4.) The heat can be unbearable. We’re talking 106 degrees Fahrenheit in summer, and still very mild in the winter. It is above average temperatures, even in the Northern section. The other side of the heat is that it means lots of northerners have holiday homes in the state, so in the winter, malls, and restaurants become severely overcrowded.
5.) Creepy crawlies are abundant. Arizona might not have the bugs and insects that other more humid, tropical states do, but it certainly has its fair share of scorpions, snakes, and spiders.
6.) Crime is relatively high. Arizona is reportedly the tenth most violent state in which to live, which is slightly alarming. Being a conservative-leaning state in most issues, gun ownership is prevalent too. That might not be an issue for some, but will be for others.
7.) Individual income isn’t great. While I mentioned previously that household income was comparatively decent, the individual average salary of $40,000 puts Arizona in 39th place out of the 50 states. That’s not a very good showing. It does also have a state income tax, unlike some other states.