Phoenix has become notorious for its crime rate, but don’t let that fool you into believing the entire city is unsafe. Phoenix is, after all, a massive city with 1.66 million people covering a whopping 517 square miles! That’s almost the same size as Los Angeles while New York City has just 300 square miles of land.
Phoenix is so large that it’s divided into 15 urban villages, each more like a city all its own. You’ll have no trouble finding safe areas to live in Phoenix where you will feel secure and protected. Here’s a comprehensive guide to Phoenix safe neighborhoods to explore.
Crime Stats in Phoenix
While Phoenix isn’t the most dangerous city in the United States, it does have a higher-than-average crime rate. The property crime and violent crime rates in Phoenix are above average for the United States. In the most dangerous Phoenix urban village, Central Village or downtown Phoenix, the crime rate is 4 times higher than the U.S. average.
Per 100,000 people, Phoenix had 470 violent crimes and 2,800 property crimes in 2017. That compares to 326 violent crimes/100k in Chicago and 593 violent crimes in Houston, Texas.
Out of the 15 major cities in the Valley, Phoenix has the highest crime rate followed by Tempe and Glendale while Paradise Valley has the lowest crime rate.
While Phoenix may have one of the highest crime rates in the country, that doesn’t mean it needs to be a dangerous place to live. In fact, there are many safe areas to live in Phoenix with much of the crime concentrated in the downtown area and adjacent neighborhoods.
Safest Neighborhoods in Phoenix
While Phoenix has a high crime rate overall, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of safe places to live in Phoenix. It’s all about knowing which neighborhoods in Phoenix are safe and which you should avoid. Here are the safest neighborhoods to live in Phoenix that should be on your list.
Desert View is While it’s close with North Gateway, Desert View definitely tops the list of safest Phoenix neighborhoods. Desert View Village has a crime rate 69% lower than Phoenix as a whole and 49% below the national average. When it comes to violent crime, Desert View is 68% lower than the national average. There are about 1,300 crimes reported per 100k people in Desert View compared to 4,200 per 100k across Phoenix and 2,580/100k in the United States. The overwhelming majority of crime in Desert View is property crime.
Desert View is one of the smaller urban villages in Phoenix with a population of about 50,000. Safety isn’t all Desert View has to offer; it’s known for its lush and vast swath of the Sonoran Desert with beautiful mountain views. Desert View includes a mix of rural space and an urban core with attractions like the Cave Buttes Recreational Area.
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Most people in Desert View live in the more urban area to the south along the border with Paradise Valley Village. The scenic Desert Ridge area here is home to luxury condo developments like Village at Aviano, where you can get a two-car garage and up to 2,150 square feet in multi-level living for $360k to $540k, and La Verne Condominiums.
Like Desert View, North Gateway Village is a fairly small Phoenix neighborhood with one of the lowest crime rates. North Gateway has 65% less crime than Phoenix as a whole with a crime rate 42% lower than the national average. There are about 1,500 crimes reported per 100k people in North Gateway, the overwhelming majority of which is property crime.
North Gateway is located just west of Desert View. I-17 runs through the middle of the neighborhood along with Routes 303 and 74. North Gateway contains part of the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve with other open space like Bronco Butte but it’s mostly made up of master-planned communities. The village also has two commercial districts that supply jobs, shopping, and entertainment to the community. The North Black Canyon Corridor along I-17 and the North Gateway Village Core, a high-density development with open spaces designed for pedestrians. Development is underway to transform the village core into a center packed with restaurants, office space, retail, and medical space near the planned hockey arena.
As the plans for North Gateway continue, the neighborhood will transform into a more lively community with more attractions for residents who are looking for a fun but safe neighborhood in Phoenix.
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Ahwatukee Foothills Village has a population of about 77,000 and it’s the southernmost neighborhood of Phoenix. It’s also one of the safest areas in Phoenix with a crime rate 57% below the Phoenix average and 30% below the national average. Violent crime is 44% lower than the national average in Ahwatukee Foothills.
This beautiful neighborhood is popular with families, retirees, and outdoor enthusiasts with mostly master-planned communities built around lakes and golf courses. There are tons of trails to explore in the East Valley region with other opportunities for outdoor recreation.
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Ahwatukee was first developed in the 1970s. Originally planned as a retirement community, it was instead turned into a mix of family housing, retirement living, and light commercial areas. Ahwatukee Foothills is a great place to find new construction in Phoenix like the popular Rosewood developments and the upscale Shea Homes Vantage Condominiums with community amenities like a spa, pool, clubhouse, and fitness center.
Located south of Desert View Village, Paradise Valley is one of the safest areas of Phoenix. The crime rate in Paradise Valley is just below the national average and 41% lower than average for Phoenix. There are about 2,500 reported crimes per 100k people every year, most of which are property crime.
Do you love hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding? You’ll love Paradise Valley, a beautiful and safe neighborhood in Phoenix that offers a good mix of outdoor recreation, shopping, and employment opportunities. The village core is built around the Paradise Valley Mall and Kierland Commons, two of the region’s primary shopping destinations.
Looking for one of the safest neighborhoods in Phoenix that doesn’t sacrifice nearby amenities and employment? Look no further than Deer Valley which has a crime rate 17% lower than the Phoenix average.
Deer Valley Village is a vibrant community nestled between North Gateway, Desert View, Paradise Valley, and North Mountain. Home to the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, the community has a great deal of industrial space that makes it a popular destination for businesses and employment. Living in Deer Valley, you can enjoy a short commute to the region’s top industrial jobs.
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Deer Valley also has many master-planned communities and retail areas. Norterra Mall is the neighborhood’s primary shopping destination while the main recreational attractions are the large Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix water park and amusement park, the largest in Arizona, and Castles N’ Coasters.
High Crime Areas of Phoenix
As you can see from the high crime rate in Phoenix and the safety rating of the neighborhoods above, a great deal of crime in Phoenix occurs in a handful of neighborhoods. If you’re considered about finding the safest areas in Phoenix to live, these neighborhoods probably won’t make the cut.
- Central City. This neighborhood has the highest crime rate in Phoenix with almost 10,000 crimes per 100,000 people, 136% higher than the already high crime rate in Phoenix. This makes sense as the core of Central City is Downtown Phoenix.
- Alhambra. North of Encanto Village, Alhambra is known for its mature, single-family communities and historic homes and it’s one of the largest Phoenix neighborhoods with 135,000 residents. It’s also one of the high crime areas of Phoenix with a crime rate 62% higher than the Phoenix average.
- Encanto. This village, located between Central City and Alhambra, has a crime rate 50% higher than the Phoenix average with 6,300 crimes per 100k people.
Safest Phoenix Neighborhoods FAQs
Is downtown Phoenix safe?
While there are some safer communities in Central City, downtown Phoenix is generally a high crime area with the city’s highest crime rate.
What parts of Phoenix should I avoid?
As a general rule, downtown Phoenix and surrounding villages of Encanta and Alhambra have the highest crime rates in Phoenix.
What are the safest neighborhoods in Phoenix?
The northern communities of Deer Valley, Desert View, North Gateway, and Paradise Valley as well as Ahwatukee Foothills in the south are very safe Phoenix neighborhoods.
Map of Safest Neighborhoods in Phoenix
Have you settled on the ultimate Phoenix neighborhood to call home? Once you’ve chosen a safe community with the amenities you’re looking for, call the award-winning Phoenix movers at Mentors Moving & Storage to get started with a free moving estimate.