Valley's Wealthiest Neighborhoods
Home in Paradise Valley (Photo by Barry Cox/Flickr Commons)

More than four million people call the Valley home, which gives way to diverse neighborhoods of residents from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Each year, a variety of research surfaces to rank these neighborhoods’ economic viability – essentially determining which ones are the wealthiest. Sometimes this is decided by the average home value and sometimes by median household income or other factors.

We’ve taken a look at some of the recent research and pinpointed a handful of the richest places to live in the Valley, separated into five major areas. Here they are in no particular order.

Scottsdale

Valley's Wealthiest Neighborhoods
Homes in DC Ranch, Scottsdale (Photo by Suzanne Wilson)

It’s no surprise that many Scottsdale zip codes are at the top of several wealthiest neighborhood lists. Earlier this year, the Phoenix Business Journal worked with California-based Esri, a geographic information system company, and found that Scottsdale zip codes 85262 and 85266 ranked as two of the top wealthiest places to live. The average net worth in those area codes were more then $1.5 million and $1.6 million respectively, according to their research. Specific neighborhoods like the Boulders, DC Ranch and Pinnacle Peak top the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods lists every time.

Paradise Valley

Valley's Wealthiest Neighborhoods
Home in Paradise Valley (Photo by Barry Cox/Flickr Commons)

Perhaps a surprising fact, but Paradise Valley has the Phoenix metro area’s highest median income, according to 2014 statistics. According to Esri, zip code 85253 is the wealthiest one in the area. Specific neighborhoods Mummy Mountain Estates and Tilyou Ranchitos have recently had record home sales.

Phoenix

Valley's Wealthiest Neighborhoods
Home in Ahwatukee neighborhood Photo by Allen Henderson/Flickr Commons

Zip code 85045 in Phoenix is one of the wealthiest zip codes, according to Esri research. Research from the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) shows that several specific Phoenix neighborhoods stand out, including: Encanto; several neighborhoods in Ahwatukee (including The Foothills); Tramonto; Biltmore; Pyle Estates, and many others.

The East Valley

Valley's Wealthiest Neighborhoods
Home in Val Vista Lakes, Gilbert/ Photo by James/Flickr Commons

Tempe zip code 85284, according to Esri, tops some of the East Valley’s wealthiest cities with an average net worth of more than $1.5 million. When you look at data from the MAG and the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office, several other East Valley neighborhoods, towns and cities stand out. Some of the highlights include: Circle G Riggs Homestead Ranch (Chandler), Val Vista Lakes (Gilbert), Graystone/College Lane (Tempe), Ocotillo East (Chandler), Arboleda/Legacy (Mesa), and more. In addition, areas like Queen Creek are also catching up fast.

The West Valley

Valley's Wealthiest Neighborhoods
Homes in Arrowhead Ranch, Glendale Photo by Brandon Hunt/Flickr Commons

Data from MAG shows West Valley cities like Peoria, Surprise and Glendale have some of the Valley’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Median incomes in these neighborhoods range from $126,000 to $170,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Wealthy neighborhoods to keep an eye on in these areas include: Copper Canyon Ranch (Peoria); the Arrowhead Ranch area (Glendale); Talas (Peoria); Westwing Mountain; Saddleback Meadows; and Fletcher Heights.

– Michelle Talsma Everson, Phoenix.org