Things to know before Moving To Tucson, Az [2023]

Looking for a change of pace and a warm climate? Look no further than Tucson, AZ!

Did you know that Tucson has an average of 350 sunny days per year? That means endless opportunities to explore the great outdoors and soak up the sun.

And with a median home sale price of around $300,000, moving to Tucson is not only exciting but also budget-friendly. Plus, with average rents ranging from $908 to $1,295, renting is a breeze.

Tucson is a cyclist’s paradise, with a bike score of 98 and a network of bike paths and trails. And for those who love stargazing, Tucson’s clear night sky is perfect for observing the wonders of the universe.

So, whether you’re looking to unwind and recharge or dive into the vibrant tech community, Tucson has it all. Get ready for a laid-back lifestyle, delicious Mexican cuisine, and a city that’s brimming with cultural diversity.

Welcome to Tucson, where freedom and adventure await!

Key Takeaways

  • Affordable housing options and a low cost of living make Tucson an attractive place to move to.
  • The city offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and stargazing due to its desert climate and natural beauty.
  • The University of Arizona provides excellent educational and research opportunities, making Tucson a culturally diverse and cosmopolitan city.
  • Downtown Tucson has undergone revitalization, preserving its historic buildings while offering modern amenities, including shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.


With a population of over half a million people and a projected doubling in the next 30 years, Tucson, Arizona is a thriving city that offers a diverse and vibrant community for those looking to relocate.

The demographics of Tucson reflect its rich cultural heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The city is home to a melting pot of ethnicities, with a racial composition consisting of 69.34% White, 10.34% Other race, 8.68% Two or more races, 4.92% Black or African American, 3.29% Native American, 3.18% Asian, and 0.25% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. This diversity contributes to a dynamic and inclusive environment that celebrates different cultures and traditions.

Education is highly valued in Tucson, with the city boasting the highest rate of high school graduation among white people at 77.67%. Additionally, Asian individuals have the highest rate of bachelor’s degrees at 34.06%. These statistics highlight the city’s commitment to providing quality education and opportunities for personal growth.

As Tucson continues to grow, it attracts a wide range of individuals from all walks of life. The city’s population has been steadily increasing at a rate of 0.26% annually, drawing in people seeking a change of pace, affordable cost of living, and a growing tech community.

Whether you’re a young professional, a retiree, or a family looking for a welcoming and diverse community, Tucson offers the perfect blend of culture, history, and opportunity.

Cost of living

Although the cost of living in Tucson, AZ is relatively low compared to other cities, it’s important to consider the expenses associated with housing and daily necessities.

Tucson offers a cost of living that is 6% lower than the national average and 5% lower than the state average, making it one of Arizona’s most affordable places to live. Housing costs, while considered the most expensive, are actually 7% cheaper than the United States average home price of $349,000. This means that you can find a variety of affordable and upscale housing options in Tucson. From apartments to single-family homes, there is something for every budget.

In addition to housing, it’s important to consider the cost of daily necessities. Groceries and gas prices in Tucson are generally cheaper compared to other cities, helping you keep a few extra bills in your pocket. However, it’s always a good idea to budget for utilities, transportation, and other expenses.

Overall, living in Tucson allows you the freedom to enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank. With a cost of living that is 7.9% lower than living in Phoenix, you can maintain a comfortable standard of living with a salary of at least $55,261. Keep in mind that employers in Tucson typically pay slightly less than employers in Phoenix. So, while the cost of living is affordable, it’s important to consider your income and budget accordingly.

Crime rate

When considering your safety in Tucson, it’s crucial to be aware of the city’s high crime rate and take necessary precautions. According to NeighborhoodScout, Tucson has one of the highest crime rates in America, with a crime rate of 47 per one thousand residents. This means that your chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Tucson is one in 21. The total crime rate in Tucson is 4,319.0 per 100,000 people, which is 84.10% higher than the national rate and 59.23% higher than the Arizona total crime rate. The violent crime rate in Tucson is 698.2 per 100,000 people, which is 80.03% higher than the national rate.

To help you understand the crime rate in Tucson better, here is a table comparing Tucson’s crime rate to the national average:

Crime TypeTucson, AZNational Average
Violent Crime698.2 per 100k387.8 per 100k
Property Crime3,620.8 per 100k2,026.3 per 100k

As you can see, both the violent crime rate and property crime rate in Tucson are significantly higher than the national average. This highlights the importance of taking precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of your belongings. Stay vigilant, lock your doors and windows, and consider installing security systems in your home. Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid walking alone at night in certain areas and to be aware of your surroundings at all times. While Tucson offers many great opportunities and attractions, it’s essential to prioritize your safety and take necessary measures to protect yourself and your property.

Business opportunities

Tucson offers a range of business opportunities, catering to diverse industries and sectors. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or looking to expand your existing business, this vibrant city has something for everyone.

Here are four key business opportunities in Tucson:

  1. Technology and Innovation: Tucson is home to the University of Arizona, which fosters a thriving tech community. With research and development centers, technology startups, and a growing focus on innovation, there are ample opportunities to collaborate and grow in this sector.
  2. Manufacturing and Defense: Tucson is a hub for manufacturing companies, particularly in the aerospace and defense industries. With major employers like Raytheon Missile Systems and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, there is a strong demand for advanced manufacturing capabilities and defense-related services.
  3. Healthcare and Education: Tucson’s healthcare and education sectors are robust and growing. With Banner Health, a leading healthcare provider, and the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine, there are opportunities for medical professionals and education-related businesses to thrive.
  4. Tourism and Hospitality: With over 3.5 million visitors each year, Tucson’s tourism industry is flourishing. From hotels and restaurants to outdoor adventure companies and cultural attractions, there is a constant need for businesses that cater to tourists and locals alike.

Tucson’s diverse economy and supportive business environment make it an ideal place to start or expand a business. With its affordable cost of living and growing population, this city provides the freedom and opportunities entrepreneurs desire. So take the leap and explore the business opportunities that Tucson has to offer.

Education system

If you’re considering settling down in this vibrant city, you’ll be delighted to know that Tucson offers a robust education system with a wide range of schools and universities to choose from. Tucson has a large number of schools, including 293 elementary schools, 184 middle schools, and 176 high schools. These schools are part of various school districts, including the Tucson Unified District and the Sunnyside Unified District.

While the average math and reading proficiency scores in Tucson public schools are lower than the state average, the schools still have an average ranking of 6/10, which is in the top 50% of Arizona public schools. Some of the top-rated schools in Tucson include Basis Oro Valley, University High School, and Basis Tucson North.

Tucson is also home to the University of Arizona, which offers a wide variety of majors and on-campus activities. In addition to the University of Arizona, there are several other colleges and universities located near Tucson, including private colleges and universities and community colleges offering 2-year degrees.

Overall, Tucson’s education system provides ample opportunities for students of all ages. Whether you’re looking for quality public schools or higher education options, Tucson has you covered. So, if education is a priority for you and your family, Tucson is a great place to consider calling home.

Healthcare facilities

With a vibrant education system and a variety of schools and universities to choose from, you’ll find that Tucson offers excellent healthcare facilities to ensure the well-being of you and your family. Tucson is home to several hospitals that are ranked among the best in Arizona. TMC Healthcare-Tucson is rated high performing in 10 adult procedures and conditions, while Northwest Medical Center-Tucson is ranked 14th in Southeastern Arizona and third in Tucson, with a high performance rating in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Heart Failure. In addition to hospitals, Tucson also has urgent care centers such as Concentra Urgent Care and Carbon Health Urgent Care, providing convenient options for non-emergency medical needs.

To further illustrate the healthcare facilities available in Tucson, here is a table showcasing some of the notable hospitals and urgent care centers in the city:

Healthcare FacilitySpecialties/Rankings
TMC Healthcare-TucsonHigh performing in 10 adult procedures
Northwest Medical Center-TucsonRanked 14th in Southeastern Arizona
Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Northwest TucsonNot nationally ranked in any specialty
Concentra Urgent CareMultiple locations in Tucson
Carbon Health Urgent CareMultiple locations in Tucson

Whether you need routine check-ups or specialized care, Tucson’s healthcare facilities are well-equipped to meet your needs. From hospitals with high performance ratings to convenient urgent care centers, you can have peace of mind knowing that quality healthcare is readily available in Tucson.

Housing market

Immerse yourself in the exciting and ever-changing housing market of this vibrant city, where a range of affordable and upscale neighborhoods await your exploration.

Tucson, AZ offers a mix of housing options to cater to your preferences and budget. Whether you’re looking for a charming and affordable neighborhood or a luxurious and exclusive community, the housing market in Tucson has something for everyone.

If you’re seeking affordability, there are several neighborhoods to consider. Julia Keen offers a central location, a diverse community, and a low cost of living. Cherry Avenue provides a suburban feel, a family-friendly environment, and a low crime rate. Country Glenn offers a rural atmosphere, spacious homes, and a peaceful ambiance. Flowing Wells boasts scenic parks, outdoor recreation, and easy access to downtown Tucson. Westside Development provides affordable housing, family-friendly parks, and a close-knit community.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for upscale options, Tucson also has neighborhoods to fulfill your desires. Colonia Solana offers a central location, a diverse community, and a high quality of life. San Ignacio Yaqui provides a suburban feel, a family-friendly environment, and a low crime rate. Armory Park features historic homes, a vibrant culture, and easy access to downtown Tucson. Catalina Foothills, located north of Tucson, offers stunning views, large estates, and exclusive resorts. El Conquistador, situated in Oro Valley, provides golf courses, luxury apartments, and great shopping opportunities.

No matter your preference, the Tucson housing market has a neighborhood that will cater to your desires. So, embrace the freedom of choice and start exploring the diverse and ever-changing housing market of Tucson, AZ.

Job market

Explore the diverse and thriving job market in Tucson, where opportunities bloom like wildflowers and the possibilities for career growth are as endless as the clear desert sky.

Tucson boasts a diverse economy with several major industries that contribute to its robust job market. From Life Sciences to Aerospace & Defense, Optics, and Renewable Energy, there are plenty of sectors to choose from. The University of Arizona, renowned for its scientific research and education, attracts companies of all sizes, creating a dynamic environment for career advancement.

Tucson is particularly recognized as a hub for the Aerospace & Defense industry, consistently ranking among the top areas in the U.S. in this field. The city’s optics industry is also globally renowned, with a mix of large aerospace corporations, research facilities, and entrepreneurial start-ups. Furthermore, Tucson’s reputation as a solar energy hotspot makes it an attractive location for those interested in renewable energy activities.

In addition to these growth industries, Tucson offers a range of job opportunities in healthcare, tourism, manufacturing, and technology. The city is home to major employers such as Raytheon, Caterpillar Inc., Tucson Medical Center, and the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Moreover, the thriving startup scene and numerous small businesses contribute to the overall stability and variety of the job market.

Whether you’re seeking a career change or starting fresh, Tucson’s job market provides a fertile ground for you to explore and thrive. So, embrace the freedom to pursue your passion and take advantage of the abundant opportunities waiting for you in Tucson’s vibrant job market.

Public transportation

Discover the convenient and efficient public transportation options available for you to navigate around Tucson, making your daily commute a breeze. In Tucson, AZ, you have access to a seamless transit system that includes Sun Tran, Sun Express, Sun Link, Sun Van, Sun On Demand, and Sun Shuttle. With a SunGO card, you can easily transfer between these different transit systems. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) funds additional services such as evening, weekend, and express bus routes, streetcar service, neighborhood circulator buses, park-and-ride transit centers, and special needs transit for elderly and disabled individuals.

To give you a visual representation of the available public transportation options, here’s a table:

Transportation OptionDescription
Sun TranBus service with over 40 routes throughout the city and outskirts, including 13 express routes.
Sun Link StreetcarFour-mile route connecting the University of Arizona campus with four downtown shopping-dining-entertainment districts.
Sun VanSpecial needs transit for the elderly and people with disabilities.
Sun On DemandOn-demand transit service that provides flexible transportation options.
Sun ShuttleNeighborhood circulator buses that serve specific areas.

These public transportation options offer affordable and convenient ways to explore Tucson without the need for a car. Whether you’re commuting to work, heading to the university, or exploring the city’s attractions, you can rely on Tucson’s public transportation network to get you where you need to go. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the freedom of navigating Tucson with ease using public transportation.

Tax rates

If you’re considering a move to Tucson, AZ, you’ll find that public transportation options are limited, making it highly recommended to have a car. However, it’s important to be aware of the tax rates in Tucson to plan your budget effectively.

In Tucson, the current total local sales tax rate is 8.7%, which includes various taxes imposed by the city and county. When it comes to property tax, Pima County manages it for Tucson. By the end of September 2022, they’ll be mailing around 455,000 property tax bills for the different property taxing jurisdictions within the county. You can easily access and pay your property taxes online through the Pima County website, which also provides valuable information about property taxes and how they’re utilized.

Understanding the tax rates in Tucson allows you to make informed decisions about your finances and ensures that you can enjoy the freedom that comes with living in this vibrant city. To dive deeper into this topic, here are three key points to consider:

  • Tax exemptions: Familiarize yourself with potential exemptions or deductions available to homeowners, as they can help lower your property tax burden.
  • Tax assessment appeals: If you believe your property has been overvalued for tax purposes, you have the right to appeal the assessment and potentially reduce your tax liability.
  • Tax planning: Consult with a tax professional to develop a comprehensive strategy for managing your taxes in Tucson, including understanding any changes to tax rates and regulations.

By staying informed about tax rates and taking advantage of available resources, you can maintain a sense of financial freedom while embracing all that Tucson has to offer.

Climate and weather

Basking in the warmth of the desert sun, Tucson offers a climate that embraces scorching summers and mild winters, creating the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures and year-round enjoyment. If you’re considering moving to Tucson, you’ll find yourself in a place where the weather allows for a laid-back and relaxed lifestyle.

During the summer months, Tucson experiences high temperatures, with an average of around 99°F and daily highs reaching up to 102°F. It’s important to note that extreme heat can be a factor during this time, so staying hydrated and taking precautions is essential. However, the mild winters in Tucson provide a welcome relief, with daily temperatures averaging around 70°F. Nights can get colder, dropping to around 30°F, and frost is even possible.

One of the many advantages of Tucson’s climate is the abundance of sunny days throughout the year. With very little rainfall and snowfall, you can enjoy outdoor activities and explore the city’s natural beauty in parks, on trails, and at golf courses. The clear night sky also makes Tucson an ideal location for stargazing.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply enjoy soaking up the sun, Tucson’s climate offers a year-round opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation. So, if you’re looking for a place where warm weather and outdoor activities are abundant, consider making the move to Tucson.

Attractions and activities

Immerse yourself in Tucson’s vibrant arts scene and explore its diverse cultural attractions and activities. Living in Tucson gives you the opportunity to indulge in a wide range of attractions and activities that cater to your interests and desire for freedom.

Here are three must-visit attractions and activities in Tucson:

  • Tucson Museum of Art: Step into a world of modern and contemporary art, as well as Native American art, at the Tucson Museum of Art. Marvel at the thought-provoking exhibits that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region. Let the art ignite your imagination and inspire your own creativity.
  • Hiking and Outdoor Exploration: Lace up your hiking boots and venture into the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds Tucson. With its abundance of trails and parks, you can embark on exhilarating hikes, horseback rides, or even rock climbing. Feel the freedom as you immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and discover hidden gems along the way.
  • Ignite Sign Art Museum: Take a step back in time at the Ignite Sign Art Museum. Admire the collection of historic signs from Tucson and the Southwestern United States, lovingly restored and displayed for all to appreciate. Dive deeper into the art of neon signs with demonstrations and classes, allowing you to unleash your own creative spark.

Living in Tucson means embracing a lifestyle that encourages exploration and appreciation of the arts, nature, and diverse cultural experiences. So, get ready to embark on an exciting journey filled with endless possibilities and discover the true essence of Tucson.

Pros and Cons of Moving

Ready to experience the best of both worlds in the vibrant city of Tucson? You’ll find a plethora of advantages that make moving here a great choice.

First and foremost, Tucson is surrounded by awe-inspiring natural beauty. From the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains to the breathtaking Saguaro National Park and the stunning Sonoran Desert, outdoor enthusiasts will be in heaven. With seven of the world’s nine ‘life zones,’ Tucson offers a wide range of activities, from horseback riding and hiking to snow skiing and caving.

Not only is Tucson a haven for outdoor adventures, but it’s also a melting pot of cultural diversity. The city’s rich heritage is reflected in its arts, music, and mouthwatering cuisine. Whether you’re craving Mexican delicacies or want to explore international flavors, Tucson has it all. And the best part? The cost of living here is more affordable than many major cities in the U.S. With lower housing and transportation costs, you’ll have the freedom to enjoy all that Tucson has to offer.

However, it’s important to consider a few drawbacks as well. The scorching summer heat, with temperatures regularly exceeding 100 degrees, can be intense. Additionally, Tucson experiences a monsoon season during the summer months, bringing heavy rainfall and thunderstorms that can lead to flash flooding and other weather-related hazards. While the job market is somewhat limited, there are still opportunities, especially in fields like education and technology.

Tucson offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, affordability, and outdoor adventures. It’s a city where you can enjoy the best of both worlds and live life to the fullest. So, if you’re ready to embrace a laid-back lifestyle and immerse yourself in a vibrant community, Tucson is waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Nightlife and Culture

Indulge in the vibrant nightlife and rich cultural scene, where you can experience a diverse array of entertainment options and artistic expressions. In Tucson, the nightlife is alive and buzzing, offering something for everyone. Whether you’re into live music, dancing, or cozying up in a trendy bar, you’ll find it all here.

  • Live Music: Immerse yourself in the local music scene with numerous venues showcasing talented artists from various genres. From rock and jazz to country and blues, there’s always a live performance to suit your taste.
  • Art Galleries: Explore the thriving art community in Tucson, with numerous galleries displaying unique and thought-provoking works of art. From contemporary to traditional, you’ll find a wide range of artistic expressions to admire and appreciate.
  • Cultural Festivals: Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural festivals that take place throughout the year. From the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival, celebrating the diverse cultures of the region, to the All Souls Procession, honoring the departed, these events offer a glimpse into the rich heritage of Tucson.
  • Local Breweries: Savor the flavors of Tucson’s craft beer scene. With a growing number of breweries, you can taste a variety of locally brewed beers and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of these establishments.

In Tucson, you have the freedom to explore and embrace the city’s nightlife and cultural scene. Whether you want to dance the night away, appreciate art, or enjoy a cold local brew, Tucson has it all. So, get ready to experience the vibrant nightlife and immerse yourself in the rich cultural offerings of this dynamic city.

Culture and Art

Now that you’ve explored the vibrant nightlife scene in Tucson, let’s dive into the city’s rich culture and art scene. Tucson is a city that embraces its diverse cultural background and celebrates it through inspiring galleries and exceptional museums.

One of the highlights of Tucson’s cultural scene is the Tucson Festival of Books, a must-attend event for book lovers. This festival brings together renowned authors, engaging panel discussions, and a wide range of literary activities that ignite your imagination and satisfy your thirst for knowledge.

For art enthusiasts, Tucson offers a plethora of museums that showcase a variety of artistic styles and periods. The Tucson Museum of Art, located in the heart of downtown, features modern and contemporary art, as well as Native American art that reflects the region’s rich heritage. The University of Tucson Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of American and European fine art, spanning from the Renaissance to the present day.

If you’re interested in exploring contemporary art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson is a must-visit. This permanent institution showcases thought-provoking works from Tucson and around the world, giving you a glimpse into the ever-evolving art scene.

For a unique cultural experience, be sure to visit the Ignite Sign Art Museum. This captivating attraction not only restores and displays historic signs from Tucson and the Southwest but also offers neon demonstrations and classes, allowing you to immerse yourself in the art of sign-making.

In Tucson, art and culture are not just confined to museums. The city’s vibrant arts district and numerous galleries provide ample opportunities to discover local talent and engage with the creative community. Whether you’re an art connoisseur or simply appreciate the beauty of artistic expression, Tucson’s thriving cultural scene will surely ignite your sense of freedom and inspire your own creative journey.

Biker’s Paradise

Tucson’s reputation as a biker’s paradise is further validated by its gold-level ranking by The League of American Bicyclists, solidifying its status as a top cycling destination. So, if you’re craving the freedom that comes with cruising on two wheels, Tucson is the place for you.

Here are four reasons why Tucson’s biking scene will set your spirit free:

  1. Endless trails and paths: Explore Tucson’s vast network of bike paths and trails that wind through the breathtaking Sonoran Desert. From scenic routes that lead you through stunning landscapes to challenging mountain trails for the adventurous souls, there’s something for everyone.
  2. Thriving biking community: Join a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion for cycling. Connect with fellow bikers through group rides, events, and clubs. Experience the sense of camaraderie and support that comes with being part of this vibrant community.
  3. Year-round biking weather: With Tucson’s hot desert climate and an average of 350 sunny days per year, you can pedal your way to freedom all year round. Say goodbye to winter blues and embrace the joy of cycling under the warm desert sun.
  4. Bike-friendly infrastructure: Tucson boasts a comprehensive network of bike lanes, dedicated paths, and bike-friendly roads. Feel the freedom as you navigate the city’s streets, knowing that you have the support of a city that prioritizes your cycling experience.

In Tucson, the open road and endless possibilities await. Embrace the freedom that comes with being part of Tucson’s thriving biking community, and let your wheels take you on unforgettable adventures.


So, you’re thinking of moving to Tucson, huh?

Well, brace yourself for scorching summers and a laid-back lifestyle.

You’ll enjoy affordable housing and a growing tech community, but don’t forget about the need for a car in this limited public transportation city.

And let’s not overlook the irony of a ‘biker’s paradise’ in a place where the heat could fry an egg on the pavement.

But hey, at least you’ll have clear night skies for stargazing, right?

Good luck with that move!

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