Gilbert, Arizona is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Phoenix. It’s one of the fastest growing municipalities in the United States and was ranked by CNN’s Money magazine in 2008 as one of the best places to live in the U.S. What makes it so popular? Gilbert is consistently getting good rankings in several publications. The community is measured on health, income, economics and quality-of-life factors, like access to parks, restaurants, and other recreational activities.
Gilbert was primarily a Mormon farming community and was once known as the “Hay Shipping Capital of the World”. The town retains its history with the water tower that still stands in the middle of it. The grain silos lend a sense of nostalgia for years gone by and a way to reflect upon the history.
While the town legacy can be seen everywhere, Gilbert also boasts a modern feel in the downtown heritage district. With an energetic and youthful atmosphere, you can find coffee shops, eateries and specialty shops as well as department stores and malls. It’s really the best of both worlds.
Ranked on subjects such as college readiness, test scores, and attendance, GreatSchools.org has developed a type of school report card. You can see how well each school is doing on a variety of topics. Gilbert is proud to be home of several top-ranked schools. Four elementary schools, five middle schools, and six high schools all rank a 10 out of 10, with many more schools ranking 9 out of 10. Not only is education highlighted in primary school through high school, but it also continues into college. Nearly 40% of the Gilbert population over the age of 25 possesses bachelor’s degrees according to a Nielsen demographic study in 2009.
While it’s important to emphasize education, there have to be good jobs to sustain a family and contribute to the economy. In Gilbert, the median salary is $85,581 according to the U.S Census Bureau. Finding and keeping sustainable work is what keeps the unemployment rate lower than most other areas in Arizona.
Gilbert is known for encouraging active lifestyles. Trails were designed to thread through the parks and town, offering a safe place to ride a bike or go for a run. There are golf courses, places to skate, playgrounds and picnic areas as well as hiking opportunities and even swimming in season. Residents also get to relax at concerts in the park. Depending on the time of the year, you can take part in one of the several art/culture expos.
Outdoorsy stuff not your thing? That’s OK. There is plenty to do and see. Take in the history of the town at the Gilbert Historical Museum or visit the 9/11 Memorial. There are also opportunities to view and buy art from both galleries and street events. Visit one of the theatres of performing arts for a great way to enjoy yourself inside. Check the restaurant schedules for live music to entertain you while sipping on a coffee or enjoying a meal.
An FBI Unified Crime Report (UCR statistics 2015) revealed that Gilbert was the second safest city with a population of over 100,000 in the United States. The police department uses social media to spread public awareness of relevant crimes throughout the community. They also rely heavily on the community to be the eyes and ears of law enforcement. Public programs, resident engagement, and good communication all contribute to Gilbert’s safety.
Data is gathered on neighborhoods and schools then compared with other cities by Niche.com. They have listed Gilbert as one of the top places in Arizona to raise a family. WalletHub has named it one of the happiest places to live. What seems to attract residents are small town values with big city amenities. Thanks to the top-rated school system and low crime rate, Gilbert draws couples with children and is very family-oriented.