Nestled in the heart of Arizona’s Valley of the Sun, Phoenix is the USA’s fifth-most populous city. With a metro area that covers both Maricopa and Pinal counties, Phoenix is fast becoming a city of transplants with people relocating from all over the USA and beyond. The city is now home to a diverse mix of cultures as Californians, Midwesterners, East-Coasters and expats make up a massive proportion of Phoenix’s population. Why, one might ask, have so many people made the deliberate choice to relocate to what was once a rural outpost in the Sonoran desert? The reasons are wide and varied.
The most glaringly obvious could be said to be the city’s brilliant all-year-round weather. With 300 days of sunshine annually, Phoenix residents don’t have any reason to be cooped up indoors. Although summers can get scorchingly hot, winters are notably mild which calls for relaxing days by the pool or out exploring the city’s beautiful surrounds.
For the career-minded, Phoenix provides some excellent employment prospects. The city’s flourishing economy means than newcomers with background and experience in a range of fields, such as healthcare, manufacturing, technology and education won’t struggle to find work in Phoenix or the wider Valley of the Sun area.
Then there's the city’s gentle cost of living which affords its residents a better quality of life than they’d have in many other parts of the US. Accommodation in Phoenix is plentiful and reasonably priced. Whether one is a young professional relocating to the city for a lucrative job offer and wants to live close to the bright lights of the city centre, a couple looking to get the foot on the property ladder, or a family hoping to lay down roots and find themselves a family home, Phoenix boasts myriad property options.
In terms of lifestyle offerings, Phoenix has plenty to keep its residents occupied during their leisure time. The city boasts an impressive range of art galleries and museums, many of which showcase the Native American, Latin and Wild West influences that shape Phoenix’s cultural make up. The gorgeous weather naturally lends itself to outdoor pursuits, and the city has hundreds of hiking and biking trails to explore, not to mention major nearby out-of-town attractions such as the Grand Canyon or Las Vegas.
Phoenix is a popular relocation destination among families as it is seen as a fantastic place to raise children, with a range of schooling options available, and, as the Southwest’s healthcare hub, it's home to some excellent medical facilities.
One significant downside for prospective residents moving from cities such as San Francisco, New York, Boston or Chicago is likely to be the limited nature of Phoenix’s public transport network. While some areas and suburbs are themselves fairly walkable, on the whole having a car is going to make life infinitely easier for new residents.
Regardless for individual’s primary motivation for relocating to the Valley of the Sun, be it the good weather, low taxes, affordable cost of living or fun lifestyle offerings, a move to Phoenix is certain to be a great adventure. While settling into a somewhat slower pace of life may require a little adjustment, the rewards are likely to outshine any hardships associated with the move.
►For tips on finding the perfect home in the Valley of the Sun read our Accommodation in Phoenix page
Are you an expat living in Phoenix?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Phoenix. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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