Phoenix vs Scottsdale

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Americans may move about 12 times during their lifetime, according to the American Community Survey. Obviously, the older you are, the more likely it is that you will age in place. In fact, after you turn 45, you might move only 2 or 3 more times at most. However, if you were to move to the Phoenix metropolitan area, you might have to solve the Phoenix vs Scottsdale puzzle. The first thing you might be tempted to do is to pick up a coin and flip it. To have absolute control over the situation, though, you should probably compare the two just like our real estate experts at do whenever they have to make a fast and final decision. 


Whenever you have to pick a place to live, use this Phoenix vs Scottsdale table and analysis. So, here are a few facts about these two cities that you should know. 








Violent Crimes



Property Crimes



Graduation Rate

81.2% (2017)

91% (2017)

Poverty Rate



Unemployment Rate

4.9% (July 2019)

4% (July 2019)

Median Household Income



Median Home Price



Small and laid back vs big city life

  • Choose the city of Scottsdale if you’re looking for a relaxed community that enjoys spending time outdoors. You can go hiking up the nearby mountains or explore the Sonoran desert. If you have a pet, take it with you! Your furry friend will instantly make new friends here as well. Scottsdale is a very pet-friendly city. 
  • Choose Phoenix if you want to live in a bustling city with a very diverse population. Phoenix is also more affordable than Scottsdale, so it might suit you better. If you’re not sure, you can rent before you commit to buy. With an average rent of $1,000 per month for an 800 square feet apartment, renting is more affordable than in other parts of the country. Besides, according to the US Census Bureau, only half of the population seems to own their homes here - a fact which should encourage you to become a real estate investor. 

Upscale communities vs welcoming and inclusive communities

  • Move to Scottsdale if you want to live among people who are better-off, such as physicians, lawyers, and successful entrepreneurs. Given the high median home prices, living here imposes certain income limits. If you are the kind of person who cares about the labels and the brands you put on, you will find here great shopping centers and plenty of boutique stores. Whether you are looking to buy or build a house, do yourself a favor and rely on Scottsdale real estate agents. They will readily show you around and give you valuable advice. You’ll be in good hands.  
  • Pick Phoenix if you want to mingle with people from various backgrounds and cultures. Also, the cost of living is a little lower than the median income in the US which means that you can make it here even on a low salary. 

Cheap thrills vs art and culture

  • If you want to be surrounded by creative people, move to Scottsdale. Art is a way of life for this affluent community. The city has a reputable arts district with at least 32 art galleries and is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Moreover, passionate musicians can also visit the Musical Instrument Museum.  
  • Phoenix houses The Phoenix Art Museum and quite a few contemporary art galleries, but it doesn’t compare to Scottsdale. Phoenix is not the first go-to city for art enthusiasts. Besides exploring their surroundings, residents would rather cool down at the Oasis Water Park. Phoenix also boasts two amusement parks - Castles N’ Coasters and Enchanted Island - which are a lot of fun for all ages. 

Scottsdale and Phoenix are geographically so close that you may think Scottsdale is just another neighborhood of Phoenix. They are so close, yet so different. In fact, Scottsdale bills itself as “the West’s most Western town”. But comparing Phoenix vs Scottsdale is like comparing apples to oranges. If we were to compare apples to apples, then we should probably look at the wealthiest neighborhoods in both towns. According to the major listing websites, high net worth individuals are more likely to live in one of these neighborhoods:

The wealthiest neighborhoods in Scottsdale with their median income

  • Pinnacle Peak - $130,959
  • North Scottsdale - $103,663
  • South Scottsdale - $57,460

The top 3 high-end neighborhoods in Phoenix and their median income

  • Encanto - $205,039
  • Mountain Park Ranch - $180,329
  • The Foothills - $176,250


When looking for a luxury home in Arizona’s urban heart, real estate agents in Phoenix will provide all the assistance you need. Also, you should be aware that for this kind of property you will probably need a jumbo loan. 


So, the median income for the entire city of Phoenix may be lower than that of Scottsdale, but in the wealthiest neighborhoods, people are better off than in the similar neighborhoods of Scottsdale. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because, when comparing Phoenix vs Scottsdale we find that many S&P 500 companies have headquarters or branches here: Bank of America, Pet Smart, Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and many more. Also, both Phoenix and Scottsdale are fertile grounds for young entrepreneurs and startups. 


When it comes to education, the Phoenix vs Scottsdale fight has only one winner - Scottsdale. Many real estate agents will encourage you to go the extra mile to live near a good school for the sake of your children. BASIS Scottsdale is probably one of the most reputable schools, but there are plenty of public and private schools to choose from, including vocational education in fields like real estate and gastronomy. 


Phoenix vs Scottsdale is a comparison that doesn’t really demand a winner. Some may prefer one over the other without even looking at the figures we analyzed above. It’s like a déjà vu - a bond made in heaven and a force you can’t resist. Each city has its beauty. Both have upscale neighborhoods as well as affordable housing for everyone. Now, the ball is in your court. It’s up to you to decide where your next home will be.

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