Carefree is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 3,799.
Characterised as an upscale residential area, Carefree was conceived in the mid-1950s by business partners K.T. Palmer and Tom Darlington as a master-planned community. Land sales commenced in 1955 and homebuilding followed shortly thereafter in 1958. Typical of Carefree's character are its street names-- Tranquil Trail, Easy Street, Ho-and-Hum Roads and Long Rifle, Stagecoach and Bloody Basin-- which reflect both its quiet, casual air as well as its Western heritage. The motto of Carefree is "Home of Cowboys and Caviar, Where the Old West Meets the New.
The Carefree sundial, designed by architect Joe Wong and solar engineer John Yellot, was erected in the Sundial Circle plaza in 1959 and is the "third largest sundial in the Western Hemisphere". The sundial, which points to the North Star, is made from a steel frame and covered in anodized copper. It measures 90 feet (27 m) in diameter. The metal gnomon, the shadow-casting portion of the dial, stands 35 feet (11 m) above the plaza and extends 72 feet (22 m).
The town has 15 restaurants, which makes for 1 restaurant for every 247 people, the highest per capita ratio in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Built in the late 1960s, Carefree was the long time-home of Southwestern Studios. The sprawling 47-acre desert property adjacent to North Scottsdale featured state-of-the-art soundstages and production facilities. In the early 1970s, the studio was specifically built by CBS television for The New Dick Van Dyke Show starring Dick Van Dyke and Hope Lange. Later known as Carefree Studios, it was razed in 1999. The Scottsdale Road studio back lot and pristine desert property was developed into retail space and residential development.
Carefree is 17 miles (27 km) west of Bartlett Lake, in the Tonto National Forest.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,927 people, 1,389 households, and 995 families residing in the town. The population density was 330.8 people per square mile (127.7/km˛). There were 1,769 housing units at an average density of 200.0/sq mi (77.2/km˛). The racial makeup of the town was 98.39% White, 0.24% Black or African American, 0.03% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.34% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.66% of the population.
There were 1,389 households out of which 14.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.5% were married couples living together, 3.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.44.
In the town the population was spread out with 12.7% under the age of 18, 2.0% from 18 to 24, 15.4% from 25 to 44, 40.5% from 45 to 64, and 29.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 55 years. For every 100 females there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $88,702, and the median income for a family was $105,699. Males had a median income of $61,050 versus $38,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $62,433. About 2.0% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under the age of 18 and 3.2% of those 65 and older.