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Revealed Phoenix's Top 10 Worst Neighborhood

Revealed: Phoenix’s Top 10 Worst Neighborhoods

Phoenix is a vibrant city that attracts new residents from around the world. However, not all neighborhoods in Phoenix are desirable places to live.

Here, we’re giving you an insider’s take on the top 10 worst neighborhoods in Phoenix. These rankings are based on a number of factors such as population, average income, home value rates and crime rate within each neighborhood. 

Read on to learn more!

Top 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Phoenix

The worst neighborhoods in Phoenix are Central City, South Mountain, Estrella, Maryvale, Alhambra, North Mountain, Laveen, Encanto, Camelback East and New Village.

Here’s an overview of these neighborhoods based on recent data from city authorities and independent research. We’ll take a more detailed look at the factors that make each neighborhood undesirable later on!

NeighborhoodPopulation Median IncomeHome Value Crime Rate (per 100,000 people)
Central City 55,934$26,395$92,26517,856.8
South Mountain 123,300$42,577$107,3103,614.8
Estrella 90,255$38,644$85,5164,652.4
North Mountain169,088$50,524$138,8652797.4
Laveen 55,112$68,008$178,0006,465.0
Encanto 54,597$47,479$186,18311,589.7
Camelback East144,021$56,425$247,0593,333.5
New Village 5,653$96,497$172,65035,361.8

A crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population. The result is then multiplied by 100,000.

Let’s take a look at these neighborhoods one by one.

1. Central City 

Central City's Homepage
Image Source: Trip Advisor
Median Income$26,395
Home Value$92,265
Crime Rate17,856.8

At first glance, Central City doesn’t seem like a bad place to live in at all. In fact, it’s one of Phoenix’s more vibrant metropolitan areas – and it’s frequented by people looking to experience the excitement of city living!

That said, it’s also known for being overcrowded and difficult to live in. Housing options aren’t ridiculously expensive, but are still considered a bit premium for those whose salaries fall on the lower end of the spectrum.

Honestly, it’s probably the main downside of choosing to be an urban dweller – the convenience comes with a price. Your safety here is compromised. 

Central City has a crime rate that stands at 17,856.8 than the national average as per recent statistics, the most common crimes include theft, burglary, assault, and vandalism. 

These crimes often occur during daytime and midnight hours when homes and businesses are left unattended or appear vulnerable. Sadly, many residents here struggle to make ends meet and turn to crime as a means of survival. 

2. South Mountain 

South Mountain's Homepage
Image source: Kid City Guide
Population 123,300
Median Income $42,577
Home Value $107,310
Crime Rate 3,614.8

South Mountain in Phoenix is a highly sought-after area, with its stunning views and proximity to downtown Phoenix. However, it’s no secret that the area has become overcrowded in recent years.

Due to the low median income of residents here there are also a limited number of housing options even when there’s a much more affordable rate for it. Unfortunately, another downside to living in South Mountain is crime. 

According to local police reports, there has been an uptick in burglaries and thefts in the area. While the breathtaking views may seem tempting at first glance, it’s essential to consider safety concerns as well. 

3. Estrella 

Estrella's Homepage
Image Source: Wikipedia
Population 90,255
Median Income$38,644
Home Value $85,516
Crime Rate 4652.4

Estrella is in the eastern part of Phoenix that offers you plenty of opportunities to enjoy the warm climate and natural beauty of this desert oasis. The Estrella Mountain Regional Park is just minutes away, providing endless hiking trails.

However, the downside here is that with its popularity comes increased traffic and congestion on local roads. The commute into downtown can be challenging during peak hours, as highways become packed with cars heading in every direction.

Additionally, because it’s a well-established community, housing prices may vary than some other areas in Phoenix. While this may seem like an ideal place to settle down due to its affordable home value at  $85,516 the reality is quite different.  

The affordability factor may be appealing at first glance, but it comes at a steep price for those who choose to live here. There have been reports of overcrowding and lack of proper amenities such as parks or community centers.

This region is also bordered on the north by I-10 and on the south by Salt River, which is an ideal place for more crimes to occur. Based on the record, Estrella has a 4,652.4

above the national average crime rate. 

4. Maryvale 

Maryvale's Homepage
Image Source: Phoenix New Times
Median Income $38,644
Home Value $85,516
Crime Rate1932.5

Maryvale is known for its high crime rate and poverty-stricken residents. This area has suffered from neglect by the local authorities, leading to deteriorating infrastructure and limited opportunities for social mobility. 

Additionally, it’s noticeable that many parts here are run-down with poorly maintained roads and sidewalks making it difficult to get around safely on foot or by bike. This has limit economic growth within the community. 

This place has also gained notoriety for being one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Arizona. Drug dealing, gang violence, and shootings are a common occurrence in the area with a whooping crime rate of 1932.5 more than the average rate.

While some may argue that Maryvale has its positive aspects, such as affordable housing and a tight-knit community spirit, these benefits are far outweighed by the downsides. Maryvale constantly leaves residents feeling unsafe and vulnerable. 

5.  Alahambra

Alahambra's Homepage
Image Source: Wikipedia
Median Income$43,225
Home Value$138,611
Crime Rate5,088.9

Alahambra has incidents such as theft, drug abuse and gang violence, which make it generally unsafe for residents. In addition to this, the lack of police presence in this area has made it difficult to control criminal activities.

Another factor that contributes to Alahambra’s status as one of Phoenix’s worst neighborhoods is the poor living conditions. Most people here cannot afford decent housing or basic amenities such as clean water supply and garbage disposal services.

While it’s convenient living in this central location, there is another downside that residents often complain about traffic congestion. With the city’s growing population, roads are often congested during peak hours, which can make commuting frustrating.

6. North Mountain 

North Mountain's Homepage
Image Source: Trulia
Median Income $50,524
Home Value $138,865
Crime Rate 2797.4

Located in the northern part of the city, North Mountain is known for its high crime rates and rundown buildings. Despite being close to popular attractions like North Mountain Park and Cave Creek Regional Park, it remains a place many people avoid.

One of the major issues facing North Mountain is drug-related crime. Police reports show that drug use and sales are rampant in this neighborhood, leading to violent crimes such as theft and assault. 

Additionally, residents have reported feeling unsafe due to gang activity and shootings occurring frequently. The current crime rate here is 2797.4 more than the average crime rate. 

Another problem plaguing North Mountain is poverty. Many families living here struggle financially, leading to a lack of access to quality education and healthcare services. 

The neighborhood also suffers from inadequate public transportation infrastructure, making it difficult for residents to commute to work or school. North Mountain is not an ideal place to move in. 

7.  Laveen 

Laveen's Homepage
Image Source: 12news
Population 55,112
Median Income $68,008
Home Value $178,000
Crime Rate 6,465.0

Laveen, a small rural village located just eight miles southwest of downtown Phoenix. Despite its peaceful and serene environment, Laveen is not suitable for everyone.

Firstly, Laveen’s crime rate is high compared to other neighborhoods in Phoenix. This can be attributed to its proximity to South Mountain Park and its remote location that makes it an easy target for criminal activities. 

Secondly, public transportation is limited in Laveen, which can make commuting difficult for those who don’t have a car. Moreover, the infrastructure and amenities are also lacking in this area.

The town has very few options when it comes to shopping, dining, or entertainment. If you enjoy having access to a variety of amenities within close proximity of your home, Laveen may not be the best choice for you.

8. Encanto 

Encanto's Homepage
Image Source: Expedia 
Median Income $47,479
Home Value $186,183
Crime Rate 11,589.7

In Encanto, many residents here have been struggling with unemployment, low income, and inadequate housing for decades. Despite efforts to revitalize the area over the years, Encanto remains one of the most challenged neighborhoods in Phoenix.

One of the reasons why Encanto has earned such a notorious reputation is its high crime rate. According to recent statistics, violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault are more common here

Property crimes like burglary and theft are frequent occurrences that keep residents on edge. Gang activities have been a persistent problem here for law enforcement agencies since 1980s as they established their presence in Encanto’s streets.

9. Camelback East

Camelback East's Homepage
Image Source: Wikipedia
Median Income$56,425
Home Value$247,059
Crime Rate3,333.5

Camelback East is a neighborhood located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona. While it boasts some attractive features such as proximity to shopping malls, restaurants, and parks, there are also downsides that may not be immediately obvious to outsiders. 

One major issue in Camelback East is traffic congestion. The area is heavily populated and getting around can be challenging during peak hours.

Housing prices are on the rise and rental rates are among the highest in Camelback East. This can make it difficult for individuals or families who are on a budget to afford homes or apartments in this neighborhood. 

Additionally, groceries and other essential items tend to be more expensive here than other parts of the city. Reports also show that burglaries and thefts occur frequently in this area.

10. New Village 

New Village's Homepage
Image Source: Unsplash
Median Income$96,497
Home Value$172,650
Crime Rate35,361.8

New Village is undoubtedly one of the worst neighborhoods in Phoenix. This community is known for its high crime rate, poverty, and lack of basic amenities.

Walking through New Village, you will encounter broken sidewalks, abandoned buildings, and garbage lying all around. 

It’s no surprise that this neighborhood has become a breeding ground for criminal activities such as drug trafficking and gang violence. 

Reports for frequent break-ins and thefts are also on the rise here, making it one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Phoenix. Many residents feel unsafe walking outside at night and avoid leaving their homes after dark. 

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