It might not seem like it compared to other major cities in the United States, but Phoenix is home to nearly two million residents. The city is spread out, surrounded by gorgeous mountain views, and is under new construction frequently to accommodate the influx of new residents each year.
According to the U.S. News Report, Phoenix ranks number 40 of the Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2021.
However, despite its praise and growing population, you can’t know what to expect from living in Phoenix if you haven’t been there before. For instance, as a Black individual, professional, or family, how are you supposed to know what neighborhoods in Phoenix are the best for you?
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the best Phoenix neighborhoods for young Black professionals, Black families, and singles below to help you easily navigate a potential move to the Phoenix area.
Even though Phoenix is not a super-condensed urban landscape like other cities, families still might want to escape the city limits for more peace and access to other school districts. You might want to consider the Gilbert, Chandler, or Queen Creek neighborhoods in Phoenix’s suburbs for Black families.
Gilbert is the move for younger families who still want access to nightlife options, high-quality restaurants, and entertainment. Its main street is littered with fun things to do, both family-friendly and for adults.
The neighborhood also has relatively low crime rates across the board when compared to the national average. For example, the national average crime rate for burglaries is 500 while Gilbert’s is only 158. This exemplary crime rating makes it an ideal place to raise a family safely.
Gilbert also offers families access to high-quality education. According to Niche, schools like K-5 Great Hearts Academies and Gilbert Classical Academy High School are ranked in the top 15 Best Public Schools in Arizona for elementary and high school.
According to Niche, Chandler ranks number two in Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in the Phoenix Area. It’s also ranked as number four for Best Public Schools in Arizona, making it a prime choice for families moving to the area searching for quality education.
Like Gilbert, Chandler has a bustling main strip with restaurants, shops, and entertainment. In addition, the neighborhood offers residents a dense suburban feel, making the suburb a desirable option for families who don’t want to live in the city but don’t want to give up the urban lifestyle yet.
Families will find many casual walking trails within the suburb, a park and accompanying dog park, gated communities, and plenty of shopping centers. If someone in the family needs to commute to work, they don’t have to roll along with heavy traffic for an hour or two to get to the city. Instead, Phoenix is only a 24-minute drive away.
Even though Queen Creek is the furthest community from Phoenix at nearly 40 miles away, it remains one of the region’s best suburbs to raise a family because of its access to high-quality schools and safety.
Although the area provides a more rural feel due to its removal from the city, families can take pleasure in the many parks in the area. Plus, Queen Creek is close to many hiking trails, San Tan Mountains Regional Park, and the San Tan Valley outdoor shopping center.
If you’re a young Black single or professional, you might want to live close to a lot of other residents close to your age and entertainment option. If that’s the case, you might want to consider either Camelback East or Encanto.
Nestled between Scottsdale and Downtown Phoenix, Camelback East is an optimal neighborhood for Black singles and young professionals because of its diversity, affordability, and access to many bars, restaurants, and entertainment spots.
The median age for the area is between 25 and 30, meaning you’ll find plenty of other young Phoenix residents in the area. Plus, the average rent in the area is an affordable $1,100 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. According to Niche, Camelback East is ranked as the number one neighborhood in Phoenix for young professionals.
For young Black professionals and singles wanting to live closer to the heart of Downtown Phoenix without spending as much, Encanto offers a more affordable yet comparable option. The average rent in the neighborhood is only $965 for a one-bedroom apartment.
Encanto is also the second most diverse neighborhood in Phoenix, with a healthy mix of ethnic and economic backgrounds in the residents. Not to mention, Encanto is within walking distance of various shops, eateries, entertainment venues, and other desirable amenities for young singles and professionals.
Unfortunately, Phoenix has higher crime rates than the national average, possibly due mainly to drug trafficking in the area. For instance, the national average crime rate for generalized crime reports is around 2,580 per 100,000 people. However, in Phoenix, the crime rate is about 4,225 per 100,000 people.
Although, you might want to keep in mind that crime rates vary depending on your area within the city limits. Just because the general crime rate is higher than the national average does not mean that every neighborhood in Phoenix will be rampant with crime.
One area you might want to steer away from when it comes down to crime is Phoenix’s center city. The downtown hub has a crime rate 233% higher than neighboring communities.
Phoenix is not the most diverse city in the U.S. by far, but it does have some ethnic variety. With a large-scale population of nearly two million, 41% of residents are White, 40% are Hispanic, 7% are Black or African-American, and 4% are of Asian descent.
Probably because of the high Hispanic population, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the city, with 80.6% of the population able to speak the language. Phoenix also has a high percentage of residents born outside of the U.S., about 58% or 978K.
Also, concerning the population, the median age for a native Phoenix resident is 31 years old. Although, the average age is bound to fluctuate with the amount of Californians moving to the area. Plus, you might notice some suburban areas surrounding Phoenix have a higher median age due to the number of retirement communities outside of the city.
While every neighborhood offers something different for everyone, Paradise Valley Village and Desert View are regarded as some of the best Phoenix Neighborhoods.
Located just a few miles north of Phoenix’s city center, Desert View transports residents to a dense suburban community close to numerous parks and outdoor recreation sites. Although the neighborhood is North of the city, it’s a quick commute to many neighboring towns, including Scottsdale, Carefree, Cave Creek, Anthem, and Peoria.
Ranked as the second-best neighborhood in Phoenix, Desert View offers much safer residential communities than downtown Phoenix.
Paradise Valley Village is North of Phoenix’s center city and Scottsdale, an affluent Arizona city. The neighborhood offers residents easy access to both towns while maintaining a dense suburban feel rather than a middle of the city atmosphere.
Paradise Valley Village is also considerably safer than central Phoenix because of its distance. However, residents can still revel in the entertainment scene, restaurants, shops, and outdoor recreation. According to Niche, Paradise Valley Village is ranked as the third best neighborhood to live in Phoenix.
At the end of the day, the best neighborhood in Phoenix for black people depends on what you’re looking for in a community. We’ve only tried to make the search for you more manageable by providing a range of choice suburbs and neighborhoods in the region alongside general demographic info for Phoenix.
While we couldn’t cover every aspect of every Phoenix neighborhood, you surely can’t go wrong with any of the ones we mentioned above.