Mesa was once settled by Mormons, and while there is a large Latter Day Saints temple in town, only about 10 percent of the population here is identified as Mormon.
Today, Mesa is recognized for having a low crime rate, as well as a low cost of living — nearly 8 percent below the national average — and, thanks to the recent housing crisis, home costs have fallen to a median price of $154,800. A number of 55+ communities have sprung up in and around Mesa in recent years as the town has grown into a popular retirement destination.
While the warm climate certainly attracts retirees to Mesa, so too do the town’s perks, like being home to the Chicago Cubs’ Spring Training ballpark, HoHoKum Park.
Con: Not very walkable, hot summers
Best For: Suburban dwellers
Cost of Living: 7.8% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $154,800
Top State Income Tax: 4.54%
Crime Rate: 7% lower than national average
Culture enthusiasts can see exhibits at the Mesa Arts Center, or live performances at the Mesa Amphitheater.
The town even boasts a number of museums, including the Arizona Museum of Natural History and the Mesa Historical Museum. The town is also in proximity to a great number of shopping centers and outdoor retail centers.
Retirees considering a move to Mesa should be prepare to face extremely hot summers. Additionally, the town is not very walkable, and a car is necessary.