Thinking of moving to Arizona? Best known as “The Grand Canyon State,” over 7 million people call this state home. And it’s no surprise with easy access to nature, great weather, and lively cities. If you are considering moving to Arizona but don’t know where you want to live, we’ve got you covered. We compiled a list of the fastest-growing cities in Arizona that saw the greatest population increase over a 5-year span from 2017 to 2021. From Queen Creek to Chandler, see what cities made the list.
#1: Queen Creek, AZ
First on our list is Queen Creek, AZ, which is well-known for its beautiful mountain views and more than 10,000 acres of hiking and horseback riding trails. Queen Creek currently has a population of around 66,350, which is an increase of 53% from 2017.
Many people call this city home because of its great parks, including Mansel Carter Oasis Park and Desert Mountain Park. While living in Queen Creek, locals can also check out the diverse art and entertainment scene with entertainment venues such as the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center. There are also many unique restaurants to try, such as Uncle Bear’s Grill & Tap, Barrio Queen, and Sushi Creek.
#2: Buckeye, AZ
Known for its wildlife and outdoor recreation, including hiking, mountain biking, and camping, Buckeye, AZ, is number two on the list of the fastest-growing cities in Arizona. Buckeye saw a 48% increase in population to its current population of nearly 101,350.
There are a handful of great things to do in the city, such as reading a book at Skyline Regional Park, Sundance Park, or Buckeye Town Park to savoring a bite at Wild West Cowboy Steakhouse, Booty’s Wings Burgers & Beer, and Argento’s Pizza & Wings.
#3: Maricopa, AZ
Maricopa is best known for being surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges. If you are wondering what there is to do for those moving to Maricopa, there are a lot of activities that are sure to excite you. If you want to try a local favorite restaurant, check out Plaza Bonita Family Mexican Restaurant, Say Sushi, or Cilantros Mexican Cocina. Be sure to take a walk through one of the numerous parks like Copper Sky Regional Park and Pacana Park. Lastly, catch a show at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Events Center.
Maricopa, AZ, saw a 31% increase and has a population of around 62,700.
#4: Goodyear, AZ
Best known for its professional sporting venues, including the famed Goodyear Ballpark and the spring training facility for the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians major league baseball teams, Goodyear, AZ is the fourth fastest growing city in Arizona. Goodyear’s population is about 101,700, accounting for a 27% increase.
There are many great activities for those living in Goodyear. Spend the day at one of the city’s best parks, including Estrella Mountain Regional Park, Goodyear Community Park, and Loma Linda Park. Or grab a bite to eat at Royal Jasmine Thai Restaurant, Dino’s Greek & Italian Grill, and Bella Luna Ristorante. If you love the arts and entertainment scene, pay a visit to Estrella Lakeside Amphitheater, which hosts the Goodyear Lakeside Music Festival.
#5: Marana, AZ
Fifth on our list is Marana, AZ. The city is known for its exceptional outdoor activity and stunning desert landscape. Marana saw a 22% increase in population since 2017 and currently has around 54,900 residents.
Some fun activities in Marana include reading a book at Tangerine Sky Community Park, Ora Mae Harn District Park, and Dove Mountain Park or eating a delicious meal at Dove Mountain Brewing Company, The Highlands Bar & Grille, or Cayton’s Restaurant.
#6: Peoria, AZ
If you’re looking for a new place in Arizona to call home, consider living in Peoria. The city is well known for being home to the spring training baseball facilities for the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. Peoria has many exciting activities, such as grabbing a bite to eat at Brothers Family Restaurant, Serra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse, and Revolu Modern Taqueria and Bar. You can also explore a museum like the West Valley Art Museum, stroll through Pioneer Community Park, or watch a show at Theater Works and Arizona Broadway Theatre.
The city grew 16% since 2017 to its current population of nearly 194,900.
#7: Gilbert, AZ
Wanting to make the move to Gilbert, AZ? Known for its farming community and its walkable downtown Heritage District, the city currently has a population of about 273,100, a 13% increase since 2017.
You may be curious about what activities there are in Gilbert, AZ. You can do many things, such as spending a day at a museum like Gilbert Historical Museum and Arizona Railway Museum or enjoying a picnic at Freestone Park, Gilbert Regional Park, and Discovery Park. Be sure to taste the local cuisine at The Farmhouse Restaurant, Joyride Taco House, and Joe’s Real BBQ, and later on, catch a show at Higley Center for the Performing Arts and Hale Centre Theatre.
#8: Surprise, AZ
It should be no surprise that Surprise, AZ, comes in at eighth. The city is best known for being home to the southwest’s largest tennis and racquet complex, beautiful golf courses, and an urban fishing lake and aquatic center. It saw an increase of 11% to its current population of around 149,200.
If you’re curious about what’s there to do while living in Surprise, be sure to check out one of the many great parks such as Surprise Community Park, Surprise Farms Community Park, and Asante Community Park. You can also visit performing arts venues like The Vista Center for the Arts and Venue Taproom. Later on, swing by local favorite eateries like Bonfire Craft Kitchen and Tap House, Vogue Bistro, and Babbo Italian Eatery for a taste of what the city has to offer.
#9: Chandler, AZ
Known for its historic downtown district full of unique shops, galleries, and restaurants, Chandler, AZ, comes in ninth on our list of fastest-growing cities in Arizona. Around 279,500 residents call this city home, which is a 10.2% increase since 2017.
So if you’re considering moving to Chandler, know there are many wonderful activities to do in and around the city. You can admire nature at Desert Breeze Park, Tumbleweed Park, and Espee Park. If you love food, be sure to swing by Hop Social Tavern, Stone & Vine Urban Italian, and Green Corner Restaurant. If you are interested in arts and entertainment, make sure you visit Chandler Center for the Arts and Chandler Museum.
#10: Lake Havasu City, AZ
At number ten on our list is Lake Havasu City, AZ. Lake Havasu City is known for its historic London Bridge and pristine lake. The population of Lake Havasu City is nearly 58,300, which was a 7.18% increase.
There is no shortage of fun in the area, from parks like Lake Havasu State Park, Rotary Community Park & Playgrounds, and Avalon Park to museums like Lake Havasu Museum of History & Havasu Rocks. If you want a bite to eat, visit ChaBones, Shugrue’s Restaurant and Brewery, and Angelina’s Italian Kitchen. Later on, you can watch a show at Grace Arts Live.
Methodology: Population growth was calculated over a 5-year span (2017 vs. 2021). Only cities with a population of over 50,000 were used, as anything smaller is considered a town. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during July 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com during July 2022.