Tempe, AZTempe, Arizona, named for its rugged grandeur, is one of Phoenix's most popular suburbs. Hitting the real estate jackpot, it occupies the coveted sweet spot perfectly located between Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, and Phoenix. It's a small town of under 200,000 with a big-city feel thanks to the massive Phoenix Metro urban sprawl that surrounds it. Widely known for being home to Arizona State University, its 40 square miles is also packed with museums, eateries, breweries, parks, malls, sports venues, big-name corporate headquarters, the lake, and performing arts centers, including the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Gammage auditorium. Oh, and a place where you can pay to smash stuff.
If a densely populated urban vibe with a vibrant night scene is appealing, look to north Tempe to live and play. Newly developed apartments, condos, and corporate campuses set the scene, with restaurants, bars, kitschy boutiques, and mainstream retailers peppered in the mix. As you travel south, the vertical urban lifestyle gradually shortens and spreads outward into less-densely populated neighborhoods filled with single-family homes and large lots with sprawling custom builds. Business and industry still thrive, but with a more rural, quieter vibe. Where north Tempe buzzes, south Tempe hums.
Want some cost of living data? Tempe averages out to just that: very average. It swings a few percentage points higher or lower than both state and national averages in all categories. Housing makes the overall cost of living a bit higher than both state and national averages. Both median monthly rents and house prices are slightly higher. The income per capita in Tempe is split, going higher than the Arizona average but lower than national. The median household income is consistently a few points lower than both the state and national averages. As far as unemployment in Tempe, that number happily tends to stay low and well under the national average. Fun fact: it is the only city in Arizona where there are regularly more jobs than residents.
Tempe's public transportation game is strong. Both bus and light rail offer a substantial number of times, stations, and routes, giving many commuters the ability to use the light rail to get from Tempe to downtown Mesa or Phoenix for work. Then there's Orbit, which is Tempe's neighborhood-serving shuttle. It takes residents to various local destinations, including the many bus and rail stations. And get this - it's free!
Tempe has experienced rocket growth since its Hohokam settlement days and honors its intriguing history by being the progressive and forward-thinking city that it is today. With all it offers plus its focus on continued economic growth and pioneering sustainability advancements, it's no wonder Tempe has been recognized as a top place to live.