Living in Phoenix vs Living in Las Vegas

Are desert sunsets calling your name? If you’re considering moving to the southwest, you have a few options, and you’ve likely already thought about moving to Phoenix or Las Vegas. While they share a similar climate, there are a few key differences between the Valley of the Sun and The Neon Capital of the World. Let’s break down what life is like living in Phoenix vs living in Las Vegas.


Differences between living in Phoenix versus Living in Vegas

The Climate

The climate shared by both Phoenix and Las Vegas is perhaps its greatest similarity. Both of these desert towns experience warm weather throughout the year and almost never see the mercury drop below freezing. Though desert nights indeed get cold (even in the summer) if you’re running from the snowplows, either city is a great place to end up. Las Vegas temperatures tend to run a little less extreme than Phoenix, but it would be pretty hard to pinpoint that Phoenix is just a bit hotter. At the end of the day the difference is minimal.

Beautiful sunset climate in Phoenix, Living in Phoenix Arizona versus Las Vegas (1)

The Entertainment 

It hardly seems fair to compare any city to the entertainment capital of the world, but here we are, doing it. Obviously, Las Vegas is going to come out on top when it comes to entertainment. Nearly anything you want to go see or do; you can find in Las Vegas. Even skiing (nearby, that is.)  The dining scene is out of this world. Even if you just want to just order carry-out, it’s going to be the best of the best cardboard-clad food. Add on the fact that this city never sleeps, and you have 24/7 entertainment options, regardless of what that means to you. 

This doesn’t mean Phoenix doesn’t have a great deal to offer when it comes to sports, concerts, shows, and other outings. But it’s still hard to compare the two. Perhaps more important than comparing either city in this aspect, is thinking about the kind of things you like to do. If you enjoy nightlife in particular, Vegas is the spot to be. If you want to be able to attend a plethora of sporting events or enjoy family friendly activities, Phoenix is better equipped for that.

Las Vegas sign, Living in Phoenix Arizona versus Las Vegas (2)

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Job Market in Phoenix vs Las Vegas

One of the most common reasons for relocation is job opportunity. If you don’t already have a job and are considering moving to either Phoenix or Las Vegas, the options are plentiful in both cities. Phoenix has one of the fastest-growing job markets in the world, especially in the fields of technology, aviation, and transportation. The valley is indeed turning into its own little mini–Silicon Valley.

Before you write off the job opportunities in Las Vegas, thinking you’re out of luck if you aren’t a showgirl or poker dealer, there is much more to the employment opportunities in the City of Lights. With so much entertainment in the Las Vegas area, restaurant, liquor, and promotional industries thrive here. Basically, if your job involves helping people have fun, you can probably find a fit for your skills in Las Vegas.


 Phoenix’s Cost of Living vs Vegas

Both Phoenix and Las Vegas offer impressively attainable living expenses, especially for big cities. Due to the somewhat isolated nature of both places, residents can often have more for less. Unfortunately, home prices are on the rise in both areas. Outside of that, for the most part, these are affordable places to live. Gas, groceries, and utilities are fairly comparable in both Phoenix and Las Vegas, though utilities are an important expense to consider.

The energy bills of both Vegas and Phoenix residents spike during the long and sweltering summer months. Even if you don’t keep your air conditioner running, just keeping the house livable in such extreme conditions can get expensive. Luckily, you won’t have to pay high gas bills to heat the home during the winter, so the expense generally evens out.

Sonoran Desert in the spring, Living in Phoenix Arizona versus Las Vegas (3)

The Housing Market in Vegas vs Phoenix

The housing options in Las Vegas and Phoenix can be compared, but the types of buyers differ slightly. While Phoenix offers a more family-centric environment in which buyers want a nice neighborhood near parks and schools, many Las Vegas buyers are either somewhat transient, or don’t live in Las Vegas all year round. Even though Phoenix certainly has it’s share of snowbird residents, it still seems to be more permanent in nature.

There is more short-term housing in Las Vegas, and more cookie-cutter neighborhoods full of homes that all look the same and have little character. Of course, you can find gorgeous mansions throughout town owned by those wealthy enough to do as they please, but this isn’t most of what you see. Vegas residents don’t seem to have the same neighborhood pride as those in Phoenix. So as a result, the housing in Vegas is somewhat bland and the neighbors are in and out as they please.

Phoenix AZ homes, Living in Phoenix Arizona versus Las Vegas (4)


Every city has residents of every age group, but warm climates tend to attract the “Sunday matinee crowd,” if you catch my drift. In other words: seniors. That being said, there aren’t too many grannies throwing down on the craps table. Las Vegas caters to a younger, less family-oriented demographic. This is a great place for young professionals, and couples who may not necessarily have kids in the plans at all. There are great schools and wonderful suburbs, but few people move to Las Vegas for its thriving family-friendly atmosphere. 

Phoenix, on the other hand, is exactly that. Whether you want to live in the city or the burbs, Phoenix is far more family-oriented than Las Vegas. Even the sporting events and parks reflect a more inclusive, all are welcome vibe. Think about it, both cities have plenty of pools to help beat the heat, but you don’t see too many children playing Marco Polo in the day club pools. 

Wanting to move to Phoenix, Arizona?

Are you ready to call the desert home? If so, reach out to me at AZLiveStyles, I would love to help you find your next home in the Phoenix Metro Area.