Jobs, living costs among top draws for Phoenix area


Those are some of the findings from a poll released by the Allstate Corp. that solicited responses from 400 local residents on what they find attractive and unfavorable about living here.

Weather was the top reason to live in the Valley, cited by 43 percent of respondents, followed by 34 percent who said job opportunities, then low cost of living (28 percent), colleges/universities (12 percent) and recreational/outdoor activities (also 12 percent). Respondents were allowed to give multiple responses.

Some 74 percent of respondents said the Phoenix area is a good or excellent place to work and build a career, compared with 20 percent calling it a fair place, 3 percent saying it’s a poor or terrible place and 4 percent who didn’t know or declined to answer. The Valley also received generally upbeat descriptions as a place to raise a family (71 percent favorable responses) and as a place to retire (77 percent favorable).

Among other findings, a solid majority of 74 percent agreed that a young, more ethnically diverse workforce strengthens the local economy.

The study is part of the Renewal Project, sponsored by Allstate.

The top three traits respondents said best described the Phoenix area are “diverse” (cited by 53 percent), “entrepreneurial” (28 percent) and “innovative” (26 percent).

When presented with a list of local institutions to highlight, 81 percent of survey participants cited Arizona State University as the top choice, with 79 percent mentioning the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

The top civic problems that need addressing, as cited by respondents, include developing after-school programs for K-12 students, programs for the homeless population, access to mental-health treatment and retraining jobless individuals.

Other favorable aspects of the Valley include Cactus League preseason baseball and professional franchises in the big-four sports of baseball, football, basketball and hockey.

Two-thirds of respondents said they enjoy wildlife and the landscape at least occasionally at places led by the Desert Botanical Garden, South Mountain Park, Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Echo Canyon Recreation Area and Camelback Mountain. Along with hiking and walking, other favorite outdoor activities include biking and water sports such as kayaking. The Arizona Science Center was cited as the top museum, beating out the Heard Museum, the runner-up.

Among respondents, 53 percent said they moved here as an adult, 35 percent grew up and remained in the Valley, while 11 percent grew up here, moved away for an extended period, then returned.

Courtesy of