17 Pros and Cons of Living in Tucson, AZ (Updated 2023) (2023)

If you are thinking about movingTucson,ArizonaThere are some things you should know!

The city has a culture all its own, from the scenery to the food, activities, weather, wildlife and more.

Wohnen in "The Old Man"Pueblo', as it's affectionately known, is an experience you won't forget.

Here's everything you need to know about living in Tucson!

17 Pros and Cons of Living in Tucson, AZ (Updated 2023) (1)

Perks of living in Tucson

1. The landscape is impressive

Everywhere you look in Tucson, the scenery is sure to take your breath away.

The city is surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, which has mountains on all sides.

The official state symbol is the giant saguaro cactus that grows in literal forests.

In addition to the beauty of the desert, the pristine air quality and low light pollution ensure crystal clear skies year-round.

2. The weather is sunny all year round

Tucson is one of the sunniest cities in the country, averaging around 350 days of sunshine.

June to September is the official "monsoon season" but you will still find little cloud cover during this period.

The city averages 10.61 inches of rainfall per year.

You can trust that the weather is nice for outdoor activities at any time of the year.

3. The population is diverse

Diversity is a fact of life in Tucson.

to be so closeMexicoBoundary means the city has a sizable Hispanic population, approximately 43.6 percent.

While most of the rest of the population is Caucasian (also about 43 percent), Tucsonians tend to be open-minded to other cultures and welcoming to people of all ethnicities.

4. The air quality is one of the best in the country

If it's clean air you're after, you can't do much better than Tucson.

The city has some of the cleanest air in the world.USAand even beats most other cities in the world!

This makes it a great place for people with chronic breathing problems like asthma.

It has been consistently ranked as the cleanest air city in the country by the American Lung Association.

5. The cost of living is affordable

The cost of living in Tucson is surprisingly affordable, especially considering the size of the city.

The costs here are about 10% below the national average.

Studies show that a family of four in Tucson can comfortably live on about $3,000 a month.

(Video) 20 Things To Do in Tucson Arizona 2023

Rental rates range from $800 to $1,300 per month for an apartment.

This is especially notable given that the rest of Arizona has a higher cost of living than the national average.

6. There are many jobs

The job market in Tucson has a lot to offer.

The University of Arizona is the city's largest employer, and there are many other jobs in sectors like defense, hospitality, technology, and more.

The average hourly wage in the city is $22.18 with a citywide unemployment rate of 2.8 percent.

7. There is a lot to do

With over 350 days of sunshine a year, there's plenty to do in Tucson!

From outdoor activities to museums, art galleries, music venues and more, this city knows how to party.

The entertainment doesn't stop when the sun goes down either.

Rest assured that most bars and clubs close by 2am. m. and therefore a perfect place for night owls!

8. Education is excellent

Tucson is home to the University of Arizona, but it ranks high when it comes to education at all levels.

This is especially important considering Arizona ranks low as a state in education.

So if you are looking for a place in Arizona to raise your child, Tucson is the place!

The city has small class sizes and a variety of educational opportunities including public, private, and charter schools.

9. The food is top notch

Southwestern cuisine is awesome, but Tucson takes it to another level.

The city has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for Gastronomy, which means you can find something delicious to eat anywhere.

Along with plenty of Mexican dishes (some say the city north of the border is the best place to find Mexican food), you'll find many dishes that are utterly unique to Tucson.

Disadvantages of living in Tucson

1. Valley fever is one thing

If you live in Tucson, catching valley fever can be a moment, not an if.

This disease affects both humans and pets and is transmitted by a fungus found in desert soil.

Arizona is home to two-thirds of the country's Valley Fever cases each year.

Most people get better within a few weeks, although some require long-term antifungal treatment.

In some high-risk individuals, the fungus can cause pneumonia or even meningitis, which can be fatal.

2. It's hot, very hot

It should come as no surprise that the weather in Tucson can be hot.

(Video) PROS & CONS of LIVING IN TUCSON, ARIZONA

The city is located in the Sonoran Desert, which means it enjoys a hot and dry climate for most of the year.

In winter this means mild and pleasant temperatures.

But in the summer, the heat is often described as "unbearable," with temperatures rarely falling below 90 degrees between July and August and often reaching 105.

3. There are creepy crawlies

Despite what you might think, Tucson doesn't have as many common mistakes as you might think.

The extremely dry climate makes it a poor habitat for mosquitoes, flies and mosquitoes.

However, there are some unusual insects that are difficult to get used to.

Black widows, scorpions and tarantulas are common, as are reptiles of all kinds.

Don't be surprised to see lizards and snakes, including some that can be extremely dangerous.

4. The commute to work can be a bear

Commuting in Tucson is notorious for being inefficient.

Despite being a large metropolitan area, the city only has one main street (and one and a half if you want to get technical).

That means most heavy traffic, like trucks, is forced to use I-10 and I-19.

It's much easier for locals to use the surface roads unless they want to fight heavy traffic and much larger vehicles.

5. The labor market is not diverse

Wait, didn't we just say the job market is strong in Tucson?

Well yes, but there are some caveats.

Although there are many jobs in Tucson, they tend to be in a few specific industries.

Tucson's largest employers are the university and military, with a growing tech industry on the rise.

If you do not have experience in a relevant field, you may not find it easy to get a job here.

6. Crime rates are higher than average

Like any city, Tucson has safer and more dangerous areas.

Overall, however, the city's crime rate is significantly higher than the rest of the country, including the national average.

In fact, Tucson scores worse than 94 percent of cities in the United States.

Your odds of being a victim of a violent crime in Tucson are 1 in 141, which translates to a crime rate 121.57 percent above the national average.

7. Flying can be annoying

It may seem strange, but even as a big city, Tucson isn't an easy plane trip.

(Video) Tucson Arizona | What They DON'T Tell You About Tucson, AZ

The airport itself is nice and generally not too crowded.

However, if you're trying to get to another major city outside of Arizona, expect a connecting flight.

Tucson is not considered a big centerPhoenixSo if you travel a lot, you may end up using a lot of connections.

8. You have to deal with snowbirds

Tucson has a notoriously mild climate in winter, meaning it's a hotspot for tourists between November and March.

These seasonal residents are known as snowbirds.

They are usually retirees who have unlimited free time to spend months in new places.

This influx of tourists can lead to bigger crowds and traffic, irritating locals.

Pros and Cons of Living in Tucson, AZ Summary Table

Perks of living in TucsonDisadvantages of living in Tucson
1. The landscape is impressive1. Valley fever is one thing
2. The weather is sunny all year round2. It's hot, very hot
3. The population is diverse3. There are creepy crawlies
4. The air quality is one of the best in the country4. The commute to work can be a bear
5. The cost of living is affordable5. The labor market is not diverse
6. There are many jobs6. Crime rates are higher than average
7. There is a lot to do7. Flying can be annoying
8. Education is excellent8. You have to deal with snowbirds
9. The food is top notch
17 Pros and Cons of Living in Tucson, AZ (Updated 2023) (2)

Move to Tucson

Tucson certainly has a unique way of life that isn't for everyone.

But there are also countless people who like to live here!

If you're looking for a place with beautiful views, clean air, and sunshine, Tucson is the city for you.

17 Pros and Cons of Living in Tucson, AZ (Updated 2023) (3)

Tucson security letter

READ THE FULL REPORT: Tucson security clearance

Safety index:

48

  • OVERALL RISK:BAD
  • TRANSPORT AND TAXI RISK:LOW
  • RISK OF PICKPOCKET:BAD
  • RISK OF NATURAL DISASTERS:BAD
  • ATTACK RISK:BAD
  • RISK OF TERRORISM:LOW
  • Risk of fraud:LOW
  • RISK TO WOMEN TRAVELING:BAD

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Tucson called "The Dirty T"?

Tucson may be referred to as "The Dirty T," but the nickname isn't a reference to the city's culture.

That's because Tucson sits on the edge of the desert and has above-average exposure to sand and dust.

However, some people find it offensive to refer to the city as "dirty".

(Video) Pros & Cons of Living in Downtown Tucson AZ | Tucson Real Estate | Rachel Clark

It is prominently called "El Pueblo Viejo"

What are the locals called in Tucson?

You might think native Tucsonians call themselves Tucsonians, but calling them Tucsonians is a surefire way to show you're not from there.

Tucscon residents are actually called Tucsonans, so when you visit, make sure you're doing it right!

What is Tucson known for?

Tucson is known for many things!

It is known for its stunning scenery and unique desert climate, vibrant culture and pristine air quality.

Wildlife photographers, astronomers, and outdoor enthusiasts also love its spot on the edge of the Sonoran Desert, where air pollution is low and night skies are incredibly clear.

What salary do you need to live in Tucson?

The cost of living is surprisingly low in Tucson, so you don't have to earn a huge salary.

In fact, a salary of about $36,760 a year would comfortably buy a one-bedroom apartment in the city.

To buy a home in Tucson, you would need to make about $48,635 per year.

The median salary in Tucson is just over $71,000.

What is the coolest month in Tucson?

Tucson's winter is notoriously mild, with temperatures between late November and late February hovering in the mid-50s to mid-60s.

December is on average the coolest month with an average low of 43 degrees and an average high of 66 degrees.

Due to its higher elevation, Tucson typically gets a few inches of snow.

additional resources

  • 16 pros and cons of living in Arizona
  • 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Green Valley, AZ
  • 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Phoenix, AZ
  • 16 pros and cons of living in Utah
  • 16 pros and cons of living in Wyoming
  • 16 pros and cons of living in Connecticut
(Video) The WORST Things About Tucson, Arizona

FAQs

Is Tucson a good place for retirees? ›

Great for Snowbirds & Retirees

These factors are also what make this city a great place for retirees! With lower independent living costs, a variety of outdoor activities for older adults, and no tax on Social Security benefits, Tucson is a popular place to retire in Arizona.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Tucson? ›

Typical Expenses
1 ADULT
0 Children2 Children
Required annual income after taxes$28,755$75,275
Annual taxes$4,301$13,566
Required annual income before taxes$33,056$88,841
7 more rows

Is Tucson worth moving to? ›

Beloved for its warm weather and sunny skies, Tucson is the perfect place to settle down since it offers extensive city amenities with a smaller town feel. Even though Tucson has its fair share of pros and cons, in our opinion - the pros certainly outweigh the cons, which makes calling Tucson home worth it.

What part of Tucson is safest? ›

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Tucson
  • Highland Vista Cinco Via.
  • Menlo Park.
  • Northwest.
  • Old Fort Lowell.
  • Sam Hughes.
Aug 17, 2022

What side of Tucson is best to live? ›

Overall, these are what we consider to be the best neighborhoods in Tucson:
  • El Presidio. One of the Downtown neighborhoods, El Presidio is the oldest neighborhood in Tucson. ...
  • Civano. ...
  • Oro Valley. ...
  • Keeling. ...
  • Sam Hughes. ...
  • Dunbar Spring. ...
  • Corona de Tucson. ...
  • Catalina Foothills.
Apr 8, 2022

What percentage of Tucson is black? ›

Table
Population
Female persons, percent 50.3% 50.5%
Race and Hispanic Origin
White alone, percent 64.8% 75.8%
Black or African American alone, percent(a) 4.8% 13.6%
57 more rows

What are Tucson locals called? ›

The correct demonym for a local is a Tucsonan. Some people are inclined to say Tucsonian, but they'd be wrong. However, you could be a Tucsonan who works at the Tucsonian, which is a local high school yearbook.

Is it better to live in Tucson or Phoenix? ›

Phoenix is home to over a million more people than Tucson, which is reflected in the cost of living. That said, Phoenix still sits below the national average in many key areas: Housing: The average cost of housing in Phoenix is about 5% below the national average and only 1% higher than in Tucson.

What are winters like in Tucson Arizona? ›

Winter marks the onset of Tucson's tourist season, with visitors fleeing their snowy homes in search of some much-needed heat. Temperatures range from around 40 to 75 degrees, and it hardly ever rains. Hotel rates peak during the winter though, especially during the prestigious Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in February.

What is the racial makeup of Tucson Arizona? ›

The largest Tucson racial/ethnic groups are Hispanic (44.6%) followed by White (42.6%) and Black (4.4%).

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