A recent study analyzing Arizona's most populous cities has proven what you already knew in your heart, but is now backed up with scientific data: Tucson is a more exciting city than Scottsdale. Using the same per-capita data, however, real estate firm Movoto also found the cities of Tempe and Flagstaff to be more "exciting," based on criteria which factored in the number of restaurants, live music venues and nightlife, while taking into account each city's population density and its citizens' age.
To narrow the field in its latest city-based-clickbait-we-love-to-hate comparison, Movoto broke down Arizona's cities into areas with populations of 10,000 or more, as determined by the 2012 US Census.
Movoto took these 66 cities (that's a lot of mini-Maranas!) and used the follow criteria to measure excitement, because Science:
- Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)
- Live music venues per capita
- Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)
- Arts and Entertainment per capita (movie theaters, festivals, galleries, theaters, etc.)
- Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)
- Percentage of restaurants that are not fast food (the higher the better)
- Percentage of young residents ages 18 to 34 (the higher the better)
- Population density (the higher the better)
Here's how the bigger cities in Pima County ranked:
9. Casas Adobes (Tied with Phoenix)
15. Flowing Wells
16. Catalina Foothills
38. Oro Valley
40. Green Valley
Regarding the Old Pueblo, Movoto had this to say:
Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona, with over 520,000 residents, so when we tell you that 29.25 percent of this population is between the ages of 18 and 34, you just know that’s a whole lot of young people. It’s the sixth highest amount in the state, actually.
According to our analysis Tucson residents, both young and old, are privy to all sorts of excitement, especially when it comes to arts, nightlife, and active life options. In fact with the Museum of Contemporary Art, galleries galore, bars like Club Congress and the Surly Wench, and more gyms, running clubs, trails, and fitness centers than you can count—the only problem might be figuring out where to start.
Movoto has provided this handy chart of the results, listing the top 50 of the 66 analyzed. Keep in mind these are all based on per-capita data, but are still chock-full of eye-opening fodder for one of Tucsonans' favorite pastimes, endless debates on urban sprawl in the desert.
A few highlights of the more odd results:
- Tucson and Green Valley are nearly identical as far as Live Music Venues goes. So many possible Aging Desert Rocker jokes here, I don't even know where to begin.
- Flowing Wells is a city! If had a nickle for every time someone proudly told me they were born in Flowing Wells, well, hold on, let me check my pockets—I KEED. FW catapulted to a 15th overall ranking because of its top position in population density, which is surely fueled by low rent and its high concentration of mobile homes. Between the semi-weekly meth lab trailer fires; fearless hammer-wielding crazies; and basically the entire intersection of Prince and Oracle, you've got plenty of material for HBO's next hot show, Oracle is the New Black (© 2014 Its a Dry Heave Productions).
- Vail tops all of Arizona for Non-Fast Food Restaurants, more than likely because of its remote location and of the very few restaurants that are located in the SE city, most of them are highly rated by locals, such as Colosssal Cave’s Arizona Pizza Company, the Vail Steakhouse and Argenzianos.
- Despite its name, the city of Surprise ironically comes in at 50 out of the 66 cities in which excitement was quantified. Maybe they should officially add an exclamation point to the city's name, and recommend that when you do refer to Surprise!, AZ, make sure there are a few people hiding behind furniture, ready to jump out for dramatic effect. Jazz hands will suffice in furniture-free situations.
And where is the wild Copper Queen they call Bisbee
, you may ask? I'll be damned if that lovable freak-show of a community had less than 6000 residents in 2012. For such a well-lubricated town, they sure are a squeaky wheel.
Get squeaky in the comments below.