With a span of roughly 227 square miles and a population of over 500,000 people, the City of Tucson and its residents are spread out over the foothills and high desert valley. Although you might already be aware of the dry, hot climate and landscape sprinkled with cacti, Tucson has so much more to offer.
The city is encircled by twelve distinct mountain ranges with many remarkable peaks, the 1.8 million acres of the Coronado National Forest, and the largest desert in North America, the Sonoran Desert. The massive amount of opportunities for outdoor adventures, along with perfect temperatures and an abundance of sunny days, makes Tucson the ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts. The area is also flooded with championship golf courses, a number of resorts and spas, and an impressive food scene. Additionally, Tucson offers well-regarded galleries and museums that feature work from prominent artists.
Families in Tucson enjoy how easy it is to get their kids outside and on the many bike paths and trails, but also the wide range of options for housing and neighborhoods in this booming southwestern city. When it comes to communities, Tucson has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a bustling neighborhood that is packed with the trendiest bars, places, and restaurants, a neighborhood that is walkable and environmentally friendly, or one that is safe, close to great schools, and kid-friendly, or something more along the lines of a quirky feel with a ton of history and character, this city has it.
Regardless of the type of neighborhood you’d like to settle down, one factor is likely at the top of your priority list: safety. Unfortunately, with an overall crime rate that is 121% higher than the national average, the city itself can not necessarily be considered safe. However, just like any city, that’s not to say that there aren’t safe areas in Tucson.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in Tucson?
- 1. Saguaro Miraflores
- 2. Tucson Park West
- 3. Houghton
- 4. Prince Tucson
- 5. Rita Ranch
- 6. Ironwood Ridge
- 7. Desert Palms Park
- 8. Western Hills
- 9. Eastside
- 10. Mesquite Ranch
- Safest Neighborhoods in Tucson for 2020
- Related Questions
What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in Tucson?
According to FBI crime statistics, although Tucson is considered the most dangerous city in Arizona, it has become a safer place to live in recent years. The Bureau’s data shows that crime in Tucson decreases year over year by six percent. However, violent crime, property crime, and overall crime in the city are substantially higher than the national average and Tucson is only 5% safer than the other cities in the United States.
Just like virtually every populous city in the nation, Tucson’s high crime is generally concentrated in impoverished areas. The Tucson Police Department has repeatedly defended their work in response to the city being named the most dangerous in the state. They assert that statistics are reported on a voluntary basis and they don’t take into account the responsiveness of the police departments.
In fact, Lieutenant Strader of the Tucson Police Department was quoted saying “We are not one of the most dangerous cities, we are not a dangerous city overall for our community.” Most of the crimes reported in Tucson are not stranger-based and occur in isolated pockets. If you’re planning on moving to the city, knowing which areas to stick to can be valuable information.
In order to determine the safest areas in Old Pueblo, we examined the same FBI data. More specifically, we took a look at the violent crime, property crime, and overall crime rates in Tucson’s nearly 150 communities. Those with the lowest number of crimes per 100K people made our list of the safest neighborhoods in Tucson.
- Saguaro Miraflores
- Tucson Park West
- Prince Tucson
- Rita Ranch
- Ironwood Ridge
- Desert Palms Park
- Western Hills
- Mesquite Ranch
Continue reading for a more detailed analysis of these communities, their corresponding crime rates, characteristics, and livability.
1. Saguaro Miraflores
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 60
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,139
- Population: 615
With a population of roughly 615 residents, Saguaro Miraflores is a very small community located in Pima County. This neighborhood has a total crime rate that is 54% below the national average and 79% than the city average, earning the top spot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Tucson. The suburb is entirely residential and is bordered by Painted Hills Wash to the south.
Saguaro Miraflores is situated roughly 5.5 miles northwest of the city center. It offers your standard desert suburban feel but is a quick drive to all the necessary city amenities. The primary feature in this community is Bamboo Ranch, a specialty bamboo farm that grows over 100 desert species. Saguaro Miraflores is the number one safest neighborhood in Tucson. Violent crimes per 100K people comes in at a mere 60 and property crime per capita is 1,139 for 2020.
2. Tucson Park West
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 248
- Property Crime Per 100K: 967
- Population: 3,752
Located in a magnificent natural setting of West Tucson, the Park West community is situated on a hillside and offers breathtaking views of both the city and the surrounding high desert. Though Tucson Park West enjoys some seclusion, it is within minutes of the freeway, local music, cultural events, art, recreation, shopping, world-class hospitals, dining, and so much more.
This community boasts the clean air, peaceful ambiance, and magnificence of the Sonoran Desert, paired with the appeal, convenience, and sophistication of a nearby urban center. Residents of Tucson Park West enjoy a resort-style locale with amenities that provide a comfortable and alluring environment for an active lifestyle. Many locals choose Park West as their home because of the views, location, clubhouse, pool, hot tub, wonderful landscaping, and sense of community.
It’s the perfect place to relish in the beautiful sights of the Sonoran Desert and still have all the advantages of “big city” living. Tucson Park West takes the second spot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Tucson. The violent crime rate per 100K people sits at 248 and property crime is 967 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 91
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,251
- Population: 2,646
The Houghton neighborhood is approximately 14 miles east of the Downtown Tucson area. This community is primarily residential but close proximity to commercial amenities. It is a relatively quiet community surrounded by desert beauty with nice neighbors, great schools, and huge yards. Houghton is the ideal home for families and retirees.
Residents enjoy spectacular mountain views and easy access to Saguaro National Park for hiking, horseback riding, and exploring. This type of neighborhood is described as a place where “one rarely sells in and stays for a long time when they buy.” Although the cost of living is relatively high in Houghton, properties are well-maintained and can be great investments.
By our calculations, Houghton is the third safest neighborhood in Tucson. It is considered safer than 94% of the cities in Arizona and crime rates are 48% lower than the national average. Violent crimes per 100K people comes in at 91 and property crime is 1,251 for 2020.
4. Prince Tucson
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 185
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,171
- Population: 1,703
Situated between East River Road (to the north), N Campbell Avenue (to the west), E Prince Road (to the south) and North Alvernon Way (to the east), Prince Tucson is home to a relatively small population of 1,703 residents. Prince Tucson is located approximately seven miles northwest of the city center. This area is somewhat tucked away with many quaint multiplexes, single-family homes, and is close to nearby shopping.
Prince Tucson is home to Valley of the Moon, a kid-friendly fairy-themed fantasy park with seasonal activities and historic tours. Residents also enjoy the neighborhood’s Rio Vista Natural Resource Park, a well-kept park for walking or playing with the kids.
With so many kid-oriented amenities and activities nearby, this community is the ideal location for families with young children. Prince Tucson takes the fourth slot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Tucson. With a violent crime rate per 100K people of 185 and property crime rate of 1,171 for 2020, Prince Tucson is safer than 92% of the cities in Arizona.
5. Rita Ranch
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 185
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,220
- Population: 15,378
Rita Ranch is a master-planned community situated in southeastern Tucson. The area is most notably home to the Vail School District, one of the top public school systems in Arizona. Rita Ranch is named after movie actress Rita Hayworth, as Howard Hughes bought land in the area in the 1950s and named his ranch after his love.
This community has a large population of military families due to the nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Residents of Rita Ranch enjoy friendly neighbors, low HOA fees, many community events throughout the year, low traffic, and growing businesses in the area. The neighborhood is located about 17 miles from the city and is a close proximity to the neighboring Cienega Creek Natural Preserve and Saguaro National Park.
Based on our calculations, Rita Ranch is the fifth safest neighborhood in Tucson. Violent crimes per 100K people sits at 185 and property crime per capita is 1,220 for 2020.
6. Ironwood Ridge
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 203
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,235
- Population: 275
Ironwood Ridge is a small community of roughly 275 residents with primarily midsized homes at reasonable prices. This area is an entirely residential suburb, though it is a short drive to shopping, dining, and other standard commercial amenities. Schools in Ironwood Ridge are averagely rated and the cost of living is considered lower than the national average.
In regards to crime, the total crime rate in Ironwood Ridge is 44% below the national average and a staggering 75% lower than the Tucson average. Ironwood Ridge takes the sixth slot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Tucson. Violent crimes per 100K people comes in at 203 and property crime is 1,235 for 2020.
7. Desert Palms Park
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 86
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,380
- Population: 861
Located on the east side of the city, Desert Palms Park (DPP) is another small Tucson neighborhood with a population of 861 residents. It is bordered by Wrightstown Road to the North and Speedway Boulevard to the South. Locals in this area have views of the Rincon Mountains in the east and the Catalina Mountains in the north.
The community was designed by a Polish immigrant and civil engineer by the name of Otto Small in 1959. His intent was to build quality housing options in an enjoyable environment. Several of the streets in Desert Palms Park are named after places in South America and Colombia where he lived for many years before settling in Tucson.
Each of the homes in Desert Palms Park has a unique design but are similarly priced. This invites residents to stroll the streets and enjoy all the distinctive features. The nearest elementary school is within the community bounds, allowing children to easily and safely walk to school.
With a total crime rate that is 74% below the Tucson average, Desert Palms Park is considered the seventh safest neighborhood in Tucson. Violent crimes per 100K people are 86 and property crime comes in at 1,380 for 2020.
8. Western Hills
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 222
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,286
- Population: 1,172
Western Hills is an almost entirely residential neighborhood that is home to roughly 1,172 residents. It is located about four miles southeast of Downtown Tucson. Residents of this area enjoy easy access to a number of public schools, commercial businesses, the local William Blake Community Park, and the nearby Kino Environmental Restoration Project.
With 74% fewer crimes than the Tucson average and an overall crime rate that is 42% lower than the national average, Western Hills earns its place on our list. Based on our calculations, Western Hills is the eighth safest neighborhood in Tucson. Violent crimes per 100K people comes in at 222 and property crime per capita is 1,286 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 155
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,543
- Population: 4,072
Home to a number of Tucson’s most gorgeous natural wonders, the Eastside Tucson neighborhood is where the Rincon Mountains reside. This, along with the Saguaro National Park East are must-visit parts of town and are flowing with wildlife, stunning sunsets, and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities.
Residents in this area can also dive into anthropological and geological history at Colossal Cave Mountain Park. This is a hidden gem that allows you to take a sunset horseback ride into the mountains and explore the world’s largest dry cavern. Whether you are a local or visiting the area, venturing to the Eastside community is sure to prove for an exciting experience.
Eastside takes the ninth slot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in the City of Tucson. The violent crime rate per 100K people is 155, while property crime comes in at 1,543 for 2020. These are figures that are well below the city, state, and national averages.
10. Mesquite Ranch
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 295
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,595
- Population: 945
Rounding out our list is Tucson’s small Mesquite Ranch community. Home to approximately 945 residents, is a neighborhood of 619 homes located in the southeast corner of the city. A relatively new establishment; homes in the area were constructed in the 2000s by four builders in four quadrants. The east and west sections are divided by a walking path, while north and south are separated by common areas and two pools.
Residents of Mesquite Ranch enjoy many amenities including abundant grassy areas, three shaded play areas, a volleyball court, basketball court, and four pocket parks in each quadrant. It is a great neighborhood for families and offers many community events and an overall fantastic sense of community.
Based on our calculations, Mesquite Ranch is the tenth safest neighborhood in Tucson. The violent crime rate per 100K people comes in at 295 and property crime is 1,595 for 2020.
Safest Neighborhoods in Tucson for 2020
|Rank||Neighborhood||Population||Violent Crime (per 100K)||Property Crime (per 100K)|
|2||Tucson Park West||3,752||248||967|
|7||Desert Palms Park||861||86||1,380|
What are the most dangerous neighborhoods in Tucson?
One thing to note is that Tucson has a higher poverty rate than many cities of its same size and homelessness seems to be on the uptick. In general, and based on advice from locals, some of the areas you’ll want to avoid in the city include South Tucson and its surroundings, Miracle Miles and Oracle Road South, and south of the city starting at 22nd street.
Based on FBI crime statistics, the most dangerous neighborhoods in Tucson, Arizona are as follows:
- Dodge Flower
- Mountain View
- Starr Pass
- Palo Verde
- Barrio Hollywood
These communities have the highest crime rates of any areas in the city and experience both violent and property crime that is far above the national averages.
Is Tucson a safe place to live?
Just like most places across the country, this question largely depends on the area of the city that you live. Urban Tucson is very similar to the country’s other urban centers, in that there are pockets of poverty and crime. The south side of the city has experienced heavy gang-related violence in recent years. However, Downtown Tucson and midtown are rather safe and well-policed areas.
Those areas, and especially the ones that made our list, that exist north and east of the city are primarily residential and very safe. If safety is your highest priority when relocating to Tucson, there are plenty of neighborhoods through Old Pueblo to settle down that satisfy that need.