Goodyear is the wealthest city in the West Valley of Phoenix.  Goodyear Demographics

Yes, Goodyear is the wealthiest city in the West Valley?

With the recession in the rear-view mirror, more people are looking to buy homes in the Phoenix area and companies both local and international are considering expansions in Arizona. According to mayors in the West Valley of Phoenix, their cities stand ready to welcome them all.


The West Valley is home to some of the fastest-growing cities in the country, according to U.S. Census data. During the Valley's housing boom, many seemingly grew overnight from small towns on the Maricopa County outskirts to cities with tens of thousands of new residents.


But despite the booming population, the region lacks significant high-wage employment opportunities, often putting West Valley cities behind East Valley counterparts — like Chandler and Gilbert — with wealth indicators like household income and employment.


When asked to share their 2017 goals earlier this month, the mayors of the six largest West Valley cities included common themes: employment options, quality of life enhancements and overall economic health improvements.
But one West Valley city has a running start. Goodyear already is significantly ahead of its West Valley neighbors in median household income, and has a much lower unemployment rate, according to Census data.


Goodyear's median household income in 2015 was $70,323, compared with the Maricopa County average of $54,229. Its unemployment rate was 4.5 percent compared to the county's 7.7 percent.  All of the West Valley cities saw higher median household incomes than Maricopa County as a whole, except for the largest West Valley city — Glendale — which is more than $7,000 below the county average. 


Michelle Lawrie, Goodyear's economic development director, said her city sees better economic numbers than other West Valley cities for two reasons: quality residential, commercial and employment development, and its location.
Lawrie said the city sought luxury residential developers to create master-planned communities like Estrella by Newland Communities and Palm Valley. The availability of affordable high-end housing options draws a wealthier, employed population.


Lawrie said about 90 percent of Goodyear residents leave Goodyear for work, which is comparable to the work-day exodus seen in all West Valley cities. Goodyear has a leg up on some other West Valley cities — like Surprise and parts of Peoria — because of its proximity to Phoenix, which allows residents easier access to jobs in more central parts of the Valley.


But like all West Valley cities, Goodyear is hungry to create new high-paying jobs within its borders, which would cut down commutes for residents, Lawrie said. She said the city is selective in the types of companies it seeks to locate in Goodyear, focusing on aerospace manufacturing and health care, industries which have relatively high wages.
Already, the city's seen success.


Its health-care corridor along Interstate 10 is anchored by a Cancer Treatment Centers of America campus and Abrazo West Campus. Its aerospace epicenter, which surrounds the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport, took a blow when Lockheed Martin announced plans to close the Goodyear facility. But the city worked with former Lockheed Martin employees to start entrepreneurial businesses in the area.


These are the West Valley cities ranked in common wealth indicators:


1. Goodyear

Population: 79,003.
Median Household Income: $70,323.
Unemployment rate: 4.5 percent.
Individuals below poverty level: 8.8 percent.
Median earnings for workers: $36,791.
Median earnings for male full-time, year-round workers: $52,189.
Median earnings for female full-time, year-round workers: $40,145.
Civilian, non-institutionalized population with health insurance coverage: 90.5 percent.


2. Peoria
Population: 171,237.
Median Household Income: $65,314.
Unemployment rate: 6.9 percent.
Individuals below poverty level: 9.2 percent.
Median earnings for workers: $35,997.
Median earnings for male full-time, year-round workers: $52,786.
Median earnings for female full-time, year-round workers: $41,069.
Civilian, non-institutionalized population with health insurance coverage: 89.7 percent.


3. Surprise
Population: 128,422.
Median Household Income: $59,916.
Unemployment rate: 8.7 percent.
Individuals below poverty level: 9.8 percent.
Median earnings for workers: $35,807.
Median earnings for male full-time, year-round workers: $51,313.
Median earnings for female full-time, year-round workers: $39,844.
Civilian, non-institutionalized population with health insurance coverage: 92.1 percent.


4. Buckeye
Population: 62,138.
Median Household Income: $58,939.
Unemployment rate: 7.8 percent.
Individuals below poverty level: 14.8 percent.
Median earnings for workers: $31,480.
Median earnings for male full-time, year-round workers: $41,935.
Median earnings for female full-time, year-round workers: $36,699.
Civilian, non-institutionalized population with health insurance coverage: 87.2 percent.


5. Avondale
Population: 80,684.
Median Household Income: $55,100.
Unemployment rate: 8.4 percent.
Individuals below poverty level: 18.6 percent.
Median earnings for workers: $30,429.
Median earnings for male full-time, year-round workers: $38,354.
Median earnings for female full-time, year-round workers: $35,548.
Civilian, noninstitutionalized population with health insurance coverage: 83.6 percent.


6. Glendale
Population: 240,126.
Median Household Income: $46,776.
Unemployment rate: 9 percent.
Individuals below poverty level: 21.7 percent.
Median earnings for workers: $27,678.
Median earnings for male full-time, year-round workers: $40,093.
Median earnings for female full-time, year-round workers: $35,844.
Civilian, non-institutionalized population with health insurance coverage: 82.8 percent.

For more information on the wealthiest city in the west valley and this article view entire article by Jessica Bolehem with the Arizona Replublic.

If you are interested in finding out more about Goodyear's housing market be sure to visit Houses for Sale Goodyear Arizona

Sharon Rowlson, Goodyear AZ Realtor                   
623-552-0228
Sharon.AZ.Realtor@Gmail.com
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