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Best Cities 2010: Phoenix, AZ

City: Phoenix

State: Arizona

Best Cities Overall Rank: 44

About Phoenix: The Phoenix Zoo is the largest, privately owned nonprofit zoo in the country, founded by appliance magnate Robert E. Maytag.

Phoenix has an average rainfall of 7.66 inches, an average annual temperature of 72.6 degrees, and an annual high temperature of 85 degrees.

Phoenix, located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, boasts 40,454 acres of parkland, ranking it 88 amongst our recreational cities. America's fifth-largest city also acts as the gateway to the Grand Canyon.

County: Maricopa

Population: 1,567,924

Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau city 

Newspaper with the largest circulation: Arizona Republic

Phoenix blogs: AZ Central 

Phoenix's Facebook page: Follow Phoenix on Facebook 

Phoenix's Twitter page: Follow Phoenix on Twitter 


Education rank: 86

High School graduation rate 2008: 76%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 3

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 0.19

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 28

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 1.786

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 258

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 17.79

Total Expenditures Per Student: $12,871


Health rank: 75

Quality children's hospitals: 3

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 0.19

Quality Pediatricians: 2

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0.13

Average number of Unhealthy Air Quality days between 2006-2008, by county: 3.33


Safety rank: 11

Violent Crimes, 2008: 10,465

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 667.44

Sex Offenders: 807

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 51.47


Economy rank: 87

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 25.3 

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 9.19    

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 952.96

Median Home Sale Price: $123,800                   

5-Year Home Value Index: -6.62%                       

Percent of homes sold for a loss: 46.96%      


Recreation Rank:  14

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 40,454       

Parkland per 100,000: 2580.09