Planning To Move To Arizona
Californians have been beating a path to the Grand Canyon State and moving to Arizona for over a decade. Close to 500,000 people moved from California to Arizona from 2010 to 2018 and over 308,000 people were moving in the other direction, according to state-to-state migration flow data released by the Census Bureau.
The numbers show that Arizona continues to be a net importer of people, taking in 2.2 million new residents from other states since 2010, while losing 1.7 million to other states in that eight-year period.
Things to Know About Moving to Arizona
Arizona’s official colors are the magnificent blue and gold. The blue stands for Liberty blue, and the gold represents the state’s stunning sunsets, exuding a natural glow – a part of many pictures of the Grand Canyon state. People move to Arizona for the sun and the mountains, but there are other fine aspects of Arizona. Here are some things to consider if planing to move to Arizona.
The Arizona Landscape
The majestic and equally beautiful red rocks and caves of Arizona bathed in a beautiful sun-kissed glow are a must-see. The state also has an abundance of volcanic mountain ranges, forests, and deserts. The bright red-colored rocks are natural rock formations – a type of sedimentary rock – that are exposed due to erosion, which gives the state its nickname of ‘Red Rock Country’.
And of course, the state is home to the Grand Canyon, a world-famous natural wonder. Many tourists include a visit to the popular landmark in their itinerary, and it definitely deserves the widespread fame and attention. Its deep gorges and steep cliffs coupled with the Colorado river flowing underneath are a sight to behold, and it stretches over 227 miles. It’s a must-see tourist attraction that you wouldn’t have to travel far to see if you’re moving to Arizona!
Weather in Arizona
If you’re wondering whether you should move to Arizona, here’s an incredible reason: it has more than 300 days of sunshine. Winters are milder and much shorter, giving way to spring as early as January. This is a huge draw for those moving to Arizona. But if you enjoy a bit of snow, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that some cities in northern Arizona, such as Flagstaff, have a much cooler and diverse climate.
Summer lasts for practically six months, and in peak season, temperatures can soar up to as high as 120, when all you want to do is stay indoors, crank up the AC, and stay hydrated. In some places, it’s not uncommon for people to drive with oven mitts to protect themselves from the blazing hot steering wheel!
The climate is mostly dry, but when summer storms hit, it can get humid and really sticky. The state also experiences monsoons and thunderstorms in late summer, which can cause flooding. There are also summer dust storms, known as haboobs, that can be dangerous due to the reduced visibility on the roads. Breathing dust form these storms can be risky in terms of long-term health consequences.
Outdoor Activities in Arizona
If you’re more of a mountain than a beach person, you’ll love it here! Outdoor sports lovers can go hiking, trail running, trekking, or simply exploring the beauty around. Or they can go mountain biking, camping, and white-water rafting. Winter sports lovers can go skiing in Tucson and Flagstaff. The Arizonan wilderness is huge and presents tons of fun activities for everyone.
Arizona Cites & MetroTraffic
Getting a car of your own is necessary if you’ll be moving to Arizona. Some cities like Phoenix, Tempe, and others have public transportation networks; however, in most parts of the state, a car is required. Even in Phoenix for instance, having a car would make it easier and quicker to get around. Besides, cars have lower than average insurance premiums here.
The traffic situation can be frustrating as most people live in the suburbs and commute into the congested cities. Moreover, construction work for repairs or expansion is always underway in the state, adding to some major traffic woes.
It’s said that snowbirds – retirees who move to Arizona during winters to escape chilly weather elsewhere – cause an increase in traffic during the winter. When they leave in summer, the traffic lightens up and driving here is a breeze.
Quality of Education in Arizona
The state receives low funding for public institutes and is not known for high-quality education. The US News ranked Arizona 44th in terms of quality of education in the pre K-12 category, so be sure to research the availability and quality of schools in your new location. Higher education in Arizona fares better though, with a ranking of 24. Arizona State University and University of Arizona are good options for getting a degree.
The recent changes in state funding have taken their toll on public schools, but Arizona boasts some of the most dedicated teachers and schools that provide quality education to their students. Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to Arizona.
Arizona is home to many public and private universities, including University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and more. Many of these universities offer scholarships and affordable tuition for Arizona residents.
Arizona Cost of Living
Families eager to save money and purchase a house, or fresh graduates who want to start living independently and are looking for a career start should consider moving to Arizona as it has a reasonable cost of living.
While states like NY and California are popular moving destinations, the cost of living in such popular destinations is unreasonable for many. The tremendous advantages of moving to Arizona – low cost of living, interesting business and employment opportunities, and exciting outdoor destinations – make Arizona a top consideration.
The median rents for one and two bedroom apartments are $861 and $1,087 respectively, as posted by Apartment List. The state income tax rate is quite low too, ranging between 2.59% and 4.54%, based on income brackets.
Job Market in Arizona
Arizona has a strong economy that can be attributed to its drive for innovation and development. In addition, it’s one of the most business-friendly states in the country, encouraging more companies to base their operations here. These factors have led to an increasing number of good job opportunities for potential candidates and a good business environment for entrepreneurs looking to launch new or expand existing operations.
The state has always welcomed cutting edge innovation, so this is a great place for new tech ventures to get the head-start required to nurture and grow into profitable businesses. For instance, Apple and Google, leaders in technological innovation, have launched projects in the Valley of the Sun.
Entertainment, Fun, & Food
The thriving work scene doesn’t make Arizona a dull place though! Its entertainment scene is equally vibrant, with fun events like open-air festivals and tons of museums, theaters, cinemas, and operas. You can also shop at the various malls and can let your hair down at numerous clubs and bars, if you enjoy clubbing. What’s more, Arizona is also known for its impressive art scene, with art galleries and bohemian small towns.
The food is at an altogether different level, with restaurants offering varied cuisines like Mexican and Thai. Don’t forget to try the Sonoran hot dogs, chimichangas, red chile stew, and other state specialties. Oh, and cooking with cactuses is big in Arizona!
Arizona Government Resources
- For an Arizona government overview and information on moving to Arizona, legal requirements and helpful links, visit AZ.gov.
- Register to vote at your County Recorder’s Office. If you have an Arizona Driver’s License, you also have the option to register to vote online.
- Find your local United States Post Office online.
- Register your vehicle and obtain a new driver’s license at the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
- For tax information visit IRS.gov.
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