Oro Valley, Marana, and Sahuarita Named Among Best U.S. Small Cities

Many people crave city living, but some would prefer the community, short commutes, and space found in smaller areas. WalletHub just released its Best Small Cities in America list, which highlights small cities that outshine the rest. 

Looking at more than 1,200 U.S cities with populations ranging from 25,000 and 100,000, WalletHub examined five metrics to create the ranking: Affordability, Economic Health, Education & Health, Quality of Life, and Safety. Scores closest to 100 represented the most favorable conditions for small-city residents, and Arizona’s Oro Valley, Marana, and Sahuarita made the list.

Landing in the 83rd percentile of best small cities, Oro Valley, located just north of Tucson, has come a long way since becoming an official town just over 40 years ago. Known for their community outreach programs and education, the Oro Valley Police Department earned the town a spot on Movoto Real Estate’s list of America’s 10 safest suburbs. Oro Valley does have room to grow though. Not scoring high on quality of life, the town lacks a variety of entertainment, dining, and shopping options. 

Marana, considered part of Northwest Tucson, has thrived with expansion in the last decade. Multiple housing developments like Gladden Farms, Dove Mountain, and Heritage Highlands continue to keep up with demand while the city continues to draw new businesses to its convenient location along Interstate 10. Ranking in the top 70th percentile and earning 59.64 total points, the city also ranked well in affordability, economic health, and safety. Categories where there is room to improve include education and quality of life.

Sahuarita rounded off the list of Arizona cities in the 67th percentile with a total of 58.82 points. The small city that abuts Green Valley is expected to experience over 30 percent in job growth over the next 10 years. Per Rancho Sahuarita, the city has 30 percent of its land allocated for residential development and foresees continued growth. Though it ranked well in safety and affordability, education was in the lower 50th percentile while quality of life scored low as well.

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