Arizona’s 20 Safest Cities of 2020

Arizona Safest cities badge

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 20 Safest Cities in Arizona for 2020. See if your city made the list.

Arizona crime experience infographic; 8% violent crime, 22% property crime, 7% mass shooting

Both crime rates and levels of concern about safety in Arizona are on the decline. Whether you live in one of the state’s 20 safest cities or not, just calling The Grand Canyon State home puts you in a safer position this year than last.

See which cities are Arizona’s 20 safest in 2020.

Statewide, both violent and property crime rates decreased year over year. Arizona saw 4.7 violent crimes per 1,000 people in 2018; down from 5.1 the year before. Property crime saw an even bigger downturn—sliding from 29.1 incidents per 1,000 to 26.8.

Even though most afraid of break-ins, only 28% of Arizona respondents have a home security system.

Along with fewer statewide crimes, Arizona respondents to our 2020 State of Safety survey reported feeling less worried about their safety on a daily basis than they did in 2018. Participants who said they are highly concerned every day dropped seven percentage points year over year—from 47% to 40%.

Despite improvement year over year, Arizona still exceeds national violent and property crime rates (3.7 and 22.0, respectively).

Violent Crime in Arizona: Fear vs. Reality

Physical assault by a stranger topped the state’s list of violent crime worries for the second consecutive year. That lines up with crime statistics—aggravated assaults accounted for 69% of all violent crimes reported in Arizona.

  • Arizona is more worried about physical assault than the rest of the country, with 45% reporting high or very high concern compared to 40% nationwide.
  • Among the safest cities, aggravated assault made up 62% of all violent crimes reported.
  • Sexual assault by a stranger is the crime respondents felt was most likely to occur—30% named it highly likely.
  • There were 845 rapes reported by Arizona’s safest cities in 2018, making up 18% of the total violent crimes reported by those cities and 11% statewide.
  • Only 8% of survey respondents experienced a violent crime in the past 12 months—a decrease of 20% from last year.
Arizona crime stats infographic
Arizona crime stats infographic

Property Crime in Arizona: Fear vs. Reality

Arizona historically holds higher property crime rates than the national average, but rates are dropping year over year. In 2019, The Grand Canyon State had fewer people experience a property crime (22%) than the national average (26%).

  • Arizona’s biggest property crime fear is a break-in when the resident is not at home, with 62% naming it their top worry. That’s right on par with nationwide concern.
  • Break-ins when the resident is not at home is also the crime respondents felt was most likely to happen.
  • Even though folks worry about break-ins, burglaries accounted for only 14% of all property crimes among the safest cities.
  • 28% of people surveyed use a home security system, but the most prevalent forms of protection are security cameras and guard dogs, coming in at 33% each.
Arizona crime stats infographic
Arizona crime stats infographic

A Closer Look at Arizona’s Safest Cities of 2020

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • Two new cities broke into the top 20 this year: Sierra Vista and Mesa.
  • 60% of the safest cities improved in rank this year, due largely to the inclusion of property crime in safety scores.
  • Big cities perform well when it comes to safety in Arizona—six of the safest cities have more than 100,000 residents, and four of those are over 200,000.
  • All cities came in below both state (4.7) and national (3.7) violent crime rates.
  • Four cities saw fewer than one violent crime per 1,000 residents: San Luis, Oro Valley, Gilbert, and Marana.
  • Six cities had zero murders.
  • Apache Junction reported zero murders and zero counts of rape.
  • All of the safest cities are below the state’s property crime rate of 26.8, and only five are above the national rate of 22.
  • Florence, the top city, is the only one to report fewer than 10 property crimes. This city had just 4.9 incidents per 1,000.
Arizona safest cities heat map showing population and crime score

The 20 Safest Cities in Arizona

VC=Violent Crime
PC=Property Crime

Florence, Arizona
#1
Florence
(
+2
Up
)
  • Population
    25,987
  • Median Income
    $47,188
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.3, 0.7, 0.7
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    4.9, 4.8, 4.9
San Luis, Arizona
#2
San Luis
(
+6
Up
)
  • Population
    33,074
  • Median Income
    $33,767
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.2, 1.3, 1.2
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    14.3, 15.9, 13.2
Oro Valley, Arizona
#3
Oro Valley
(
-2
Down
)
  • Population
    44,844
  • Median Income
    $79,458
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 0.4, 0.7
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    13.6, 14.1, 14.8
Gilbert, Arizona
#4
Gilbert
  • Population
    247,463
  • Median Income
    $87,566
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.9, 0.9, 0.8
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    13.2, 13.9, 13.2
Sahuarita, Arizona
#5
Sahuarita
(
+2
Up
)
  • Population
    29,896
  • Median Income
    $73,174
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.3, 1.0, 0.9
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    11.6, 11.2, 14.5
Maricopa, Arizona
#6
Maricopa
(
+4
Up
)
  • Population
    48,660
  • Median Income
    $68,908
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.9, 1.9, 2.0
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    10.0, 12.7, 13.1
Surprise, Arizona
#7
Surprise
(
-1
Down
)
  • Population
    136,611
  • Median Income
    $62,927
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.2, 0.9, 1.0
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    15.4, 17.9, 19.0
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
#8
Lake Havasu City
(
+6
Up
)
  • Population
    54,678
  • Median Income
    $47,424
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.6, 2.2, 2.6
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    15.2, 21.6, 22.7
Prescott Valley, Arizona
#9
Prescott Valley
(
+2
Up
)
  • Population
    45,337
  • Median Income
    $45,684
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.5, 2.0, 1.8
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    17.1, 21.4, 23.2
Marana, Arizona
#10
Marana
(
-5
Down
)
  • Population
    46,447
  • Median Income
    $81,041
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.7, 0.9, 0.9
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    23.2, 26.2, 24.4
Buckeye, Arizona
#11
Buckeye
(
-9
Down
)
  • Population
    71,318
  • Median Income
    $61,469
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.8, 0.5, 0.5
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    18.9, 17.2, 15.9
Apache Junction, Arizona
#12
Apache Junction
  • Circle Population
    Population
    41,245
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $39,119
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    2.0, 2.0, 2.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    18.7, 23.7, 23.9
Scottsdale, Arizona
#13
Scottsdale
(
-4
Down
)
  • Population
    254,961
  • Median Income
    $80,306
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.7, 1.6, 1.5
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    22.3, 21.7, 23.7
Peoria, Arizona
#14
Peoria
(
+3
Up
)
  • Population
    170,177
  • Median Income
    $69,589
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    2.3, 2.5, 2.0
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    19.0, 20.4, 21.2
Chandler, Arizona
#15
Chandler
(
+3
Up
)
  • Population
    255,986
  • Median Income
    $77,278
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    2.4, 2.6, 2.1
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    21.2, 23.3, 23.1
Florence, Arizona
#16
El Mirage
(
-1
Down
)
  • Population
    35,733
  • Median Income
    $51,915
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    2.2, 2.4, 2.2
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    26.1, 28.2, 30.6
Prescott, Arizona
#17
Prescott
(
+4
Up
)
  • Population
    43,172
  • Median Income
    $50,812
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    3.2, 3.7, 4.0
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    20.8, 21.0, 21.8
Goodyear, Arizona
#18
Goodyear
(
+1
Up
)
  • Population
    82,159
  • Median Income
    $77,930
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    2.5, 2.6, 3.8
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    25.3, 28.7, 25.2
Sierra Vista, Arizona
#19
Sierra Vista
(
+5
Up
)
  • Population
    42,574
  • Median Income
    $58,839
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    2.4, 4.5, 2.0
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    26.3, 30.0, 29.7
Mesa, Arizona
#20
Mesa
(
+2
Up
)
  • Population
    504,873
  • Median Income
    $52,155
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    3.6, 4.2, 4.3
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    19.9, 21.7, 23.4

How We Determined the Safest Cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to Make a Safe Home Anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about your home security options, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems.

Didn't Find Your City in the Top 20?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, which is based on the median population of the state. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2018.

2020 Ranking

City

Population

Violent Crime (per 1,000)

Property Crime (per 1,000)

21

Nogales

19,973

2.1

30.5

22

Eloy

19,549

4.1

18

23

Avondale

85,204

3.4

32.1

24

Yuma

96,121

5.1

21.2

25

Bullhead City

40,354

3.7

35.8

26

Flagstaff

72,852

4.7

33.8

27

Kingman

29,669

4

38.8

28

Casa Grande

56,479

6.1

26.2

29

Glendale

249,799

4.7

40.8

30

Tempe

188,543

4.8

41.4

31

Phoenix

1,653,080

7.3

34.9

32

Tucson

537,392

7.4

49.5

Find the Safest Cities in Each State

Click on the state image below to check out the safest cities for each state.


Sources:

FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, “2018 Crime in the United States
SafeWise, “2020 State of Safety
US Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.