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The 20 Worst Places to Live in Arkansas

West Memphis

Regardless of whether you are moving to Arkansas for the first time or you are simply relocating from your current location in the state, it is important you thoroughly research the different areas.

Like with any state, there are significant differences between each of the locations, so some places are better to live in than others. While some places are hugely desirable, there are other areas it is best to avoid. To help you get a clearer picture of the places in which you will probably not want to live, here are the 20 worst places to live in Arkansas.


20. Texarkana

Texarkana only just makes it onto the list of the worst places to live in Arkansas, as it has the 20th highest violent crime rates and the 21st highest property crime rates in the state.

It is also not the best option for families as the public schools are only average, and the options for family-oriented activities are limited. Like most places, there are high and lows of living in Texarkana, so although crime is an issue, there are some good points about this town in Miller County.

These include reasonable employment opportunities, good transport links, and community diversity.


19. Fayetteville

Fayetteville is a town in Washington County with a population of 83,736 residents. Although Fayetteville is not in the top 20 most dangerous places for violent crimes, it is the 18th most dangerous place to live in terms of property crimes.

The risk of becoming a victim of property crime puts many people off living in this location. However, there are also many positive features of the area if you can overcome the crime issue. For example, there are highly-rated public schools, a diverse community, and various activities to enjoy in the area.


18. Alma

Alma is a town in Crawford county that is home to under 6,000 people. It ranks in 19th and 20th position for violent crimes and property crimes, respectively, so it is considered an undesirable place to live.

Other issues in Alma include a lack of job opportunities and few outdoor activities in the area. On the other hand, there are some positive elements of living in Alma, as the public schools are above average, the community is diverse, and there are decent transport links.


17. Wynne

The crime rates in Wynne deter people from living in the city. Based on FBI statistics over the last reporting year, Wynne ranked 12th in the state for violent crime and 22nd for property crime, resulting in the city ranking in the 17th position overall.

There are also many other issues in Wynne that make it one of the worst places to live in Arkansas. Employment opportunities are limited, transport links are poor, and there is a lack of both outdoor activities and nightlife.


16. Marion

Like many of the other locations on this list, Marion is considered a dangerous place to live, and it has the 16th highest crime rate in Arkansas. In terms of the type of crimes, violent crimes are the bigger issue as Marion has the ninth highest violent crime rate in the state.

Some other issues in the area are a lack of things to do, especially in the evenings, and public schools with poor ratings. Marion is a suburb of Memphis that has a population of more than 12,000 people.

Fort Smith

15. Fort Smith

Fort Smith is a town in Sebastian County with a population of 87,639, says Niche. The main reason that Fort Smith is on this list is the high crime rates, as it is the 13th most dangerous place to live in Arkansas.

Property crimes are the biggest issue, as Fort Smith has the 9th most property crimes in the state. However, there are also some good points about this location, which is why it does not rank further up the list of the worst places to live in Arkansas.

The public schools are highly rated, there is community diversity, and there are lots of leisure activities for people to enjoy in the area.


14. Trumann

Trumann is considered an undesirable place to live as it is the tenth most dangerous location in Arkansas. Trumann's significant increase in crime rates means it has risen up the ranks of the most undesirable locations in the state.

It is not a great place to live for families, as there is a lack of family-oriented activities to enjoy, and the public schools are rated as significantly below average.


13. Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a suburb of Little Rock with a population of under 29,000 residents. Both property crimes and violent crimes have continued to rise in Jacksonville over the last few years, so it is now considered the ninth most dangerous place to live in Arkansas.

It is the seventh most dangerous place to live for violent crime and the 12th most dangerous for property crimes. However, crime is not the only issue in Jacksonville, as the schools are well below par, and there is a lack of activities for residents to enjoy in the area.

Forrest City

12. Forrest City

In the past, Forrest City was not considered an overly dangerous place to live. In fact, property crimes have continuously decreased over the last few years.

The reason that Forrest City is now the seventh most dangerous place to live and the 12th worst place to live overall is that violent crime rates have seen a significant increase. Residents of the city now have a one in 112 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime, such as rape, assault, or murder.

Little Rock

11. Little Rock

Little Rock makes it onto the list of the worst places to live in Arkansas as it is the most dangerous place to live in the state, says Only In Your State. The city contributes significantly to Arkansas being ranked as the fourth most dangerous state in the United States, after Alaska, New Mexico, and Louisiana.

In terms of violent crime, Little Rock is the second most dangerous place in Arkansas, and there is a one in 69 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime. With such high risks attached to living in Little Rock, it may seem surprising that almost 200,000 people have chosen to live in the state capital.


10. Hope

Hope is perhaps an ambitious name for this city, as its residents have very little hope of a good lifestyle while living in this location. It is in Hempstead County, and it has 9,847 residents.

The unemployment rates are relatively high at 6.2 percent, and Hope has the seventh-worst median home value in the state. Property crime is also high, as residents have a one in 25 chance of becoming a victim of this type of crime.

El Dorado

9. El Dorado

Some people may argue that a low cost of living is a positive feature of an area, but low house prices usually reflect a lack of demand. With the median house value at $89,600, the property prices in El Dorado are significantly lower than the state average.

Median household income is also low, and 8.9 percent of the people are unemployed. Crime is also an issue, as El Dorado has the fourth highest crime rate in Arkansas overall. On the plus side, the public schools in El Dorado are above average.

Pine Bluff

8. Pine Bluff

Pine Bluff is one of the largest cities on the list in terms of population, as it is home to almost 44,000 people. It is surprising that so many people want to live there as there are many factors that make this a bad place to live.

Perhaps the most significant issue in Pine Bluff is the depressing unemployment rate of 13 percent, which is the highest unemployment rate in Arkansas.

This city also ranks as the second most dangerous place to live in the state, as it has the third-highest violent crime rate and the sixth highest property crime rate. Furthermore, the schools are poor and leisure options are limited.


7. Newport

It is Newport's economy that makes this an undesirable location. Newport has one of the lowest median household incomes in Arkansas, and the unemployment rate is high at 7.3 percent.

A combination of high unemployment and low wages means that 30.1 percent of this city's residents are living below the poverty line. Property prices are also low, as the median house price in Newport is $76,700, which is the third-lowest in the state and reflects the area's lack of desirability. Furthermore, Newport has the 12th worst crime index in the state.

Hot Springs

6. Hot Springs

Hot Springs is home to just under 37,000 people, and the median household income is a little over $34,000 a year. Approximately nine percent of the residents are out of work, which is the ninth-worst unemployment rate in Arkansas.

Crime rates are also significant in Hot Springs, but they are not the area's biggest problem. On the other hand, Hot Springs is home to some highly-rated public schools.


5. Osceola

Osceola has a higher median household income than most other cities on this list, and that is the only reason the city does not rank higher in the worst places to live.

Despite the reasonable median household income, almost 12 percent of the residents are unemployed, which is the third-worst unemployment rate in Arkansas. Also, Osceola also ranks seventh overall for combined violent and property crime rates, so it is not a safe place to reside.


4. Blytheville

Blytheville's combined property and violent crime rate is the fifth-highest in Arkansas, so it is not a safe place to live. There is a one in 17.1 risk of being robbed if you live in this city.

Crime is not the only reason that Blytheville is an undesirable place to live. At 10.2 percent, it has the sixth highest unemployment rate in the state. Also, the median household income is barely above the poverty line. Furthermore, it has the ninth-lowest median house price in the state.

Helena-West Helena

3. Helena-West Helena

Employment opportunities are limited in Helena-West Helena, and this is a big issue for its 11,000 residents. It means that 12.2 percent of the population are out of work, and this is the second-worst unemployment rate in Arkansas.

The median household income and the median house value are both significantly below the state average, which are signs of the area's poor economy. Crime is another problem, as Helena-West Helena has the fourth highest violent crime rates and the 14th highest property crime rates in Arkansas.


2. Camden

In recent years, Camden has ranked consistently in the top five worst places to live in Arkansas. Crime is one of the city's biggest issues, as the crime rates are the 13th highest in the state. Unemployment is another issue, as seven percent of residents are out of work.

Perhaps the most striking statistic about Camden is that a whopping 31.4 percent of its residents are living below the poverty line. It is hardly surprising that Camden has the fourth-lowest median house value in the state, at $76,300.

West Memphis

1. West Memphis

According to Road Snacks, the worst place to live in Arkansas is West Memphis, which has a population of just over 25,000 people. There are two main reasons that this city is considered an undesirable place to live.

First, it has the third-highest crime rate in the state, so it is a dangerous place to live. Second, the unemployment rates are high at 10.9 percent, which means West Memphis has the fifth-worst unemployment rate in Arkansas.

This city also has the 12th lowest median house value, although the median household income offsets this issue a little.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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