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We used to think that the Walmart HQ in Bentonville going out of business would be one of the most dangerous things that could happen in Arkansas and the rest of the country; but, sadly, that's not the case.
There are more dangerous things than a big box giant taking away inexpensive groceries from people who like to shop in their pajamas: there are actually super dangerous places in The Natural State. And because not every place in Arkansas can be like the state's safest place, Greenbrier, RoadSnacks set out to determine the most dangerous places in Arkansas for 2021.
Why'd we do it? To show the public how to navigate the places that most people don't want to visit, but still want to know the gossip. You know, the stuff that Arkansasans see on Little Rock's KATV at six or Fort Smith's crime stoppers at ten.
How'd we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 62 cities. We looked at the FBI's latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents. We discovered that Arkansas' violent and property crime numbers are even scarier than the most dangerous place in the state; and unfortunately, the effects of these numbers are continuing to claim many of Arkansas' biggest cities. Cities like Pine Bluff and West Memphis just can't catch a break.
Have we piqued your interest? Want to know more about our methodology and where the most dangerous places in Arkansas are located? Keep reading.
The top ten most dangerous places in Arkansas should come as no surprise to the good people of Arkansas. These cities helped solidify the state as the fourth most dangerous state in the country. And sadly, the most dangerous place in Arkansas, Little Rock, leads the charge.
To see the rest of Arkansas' most dangerous places, take a look at the list below. And if you don't find what you're looking for there, head to the bottom.
Learn more about the safest places in Arkansas.
For more Arkansas reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Arkansas
- Cheapest Places To Live In Arkansas
- Most Dangerous Places in Arkansas
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Arkansas For 2021
Unfortunately, Little Rock is again stuck at the top of the most dangerous places in Arkansas list. Little Rock residents have a 1 in 16 chance of being a victim of property crime, and they are particularly likely to be a victim of larceny, burglary, or car theft. Little Rock is not only the biggest city in Arkansas, but it is also one of the snobbiest places and one of the most expensive places to live in Arkansas.
Although the name may not be very exciting, Little Rock residents still think they have a lot to be snobby about.
Located smack-dab in the middle of Arkansas, Little Rock was named after a small rock formation on the Arkansas River's south bank. Well, it probably sounded better when Jean-Baptiste Bernard de la Harpe said, "La Petite Roche", but the name stuck.
Helena-West Helena is the county seat and the largest city within Phillips County, but that's not saying much. Ranked number 34.0 in population, Helena-West Helena's residents experienced 11 murders and 187 violent crimes in the 2019 reporting year.
Helena-West Helena also ranks as one of the worst places to live and one of the poorest places to live in Arkansas. But, if you like living in a small town, Helena-West Helena is a great place to retire.
Located across the Arkansas River from Memphis, Tennessee, West Memphis is not only known as one of the most dangerous cities in Arkansas but also one of the worst places to live in Arkansas as well.
West Memphis ranks second highest in violent crime and seventh highest in property crime. Residents have a 1 in 50 chance of being a victim of murder, rape, or aggravated assault. Maybe "The Grind City" across the river is rubbing off on West Memphis.
Ranked as one of the worst places to live in Arkansas, El Dorado ranks fifth highest for property crime and fifth highest for violent crime. That means residents have a 1 in 74 chance of being a victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 17 chance in being a victim of a property crime.
El Dorado was the heart of the 1920s oil boom in South Arkansas and is still to this day a center for oil production and refining. But all that glitters is not gold in the city of El Dorado. Better keep your gold in your pockets and your doors locked in this town.
For such a small city, you'd think that Osceola would be a safer place to live. But, with 4 murders last year, that's a big number for a town with a population of 6,653. Residents of Osceola have a 1 in 21 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 38 chance of being a victim of rape, murder, or aggravated assault.
Osceola not only made this list, but it's also on the worst places to live and thepoorest places to live in Arkansas lists. Chief Osceola, the Seminole chief this town was named after, would not be happy with these numbers.
Not only is Newport one of the most dangerous places to live in Arkansas, but it's also one of the worst places and thepoorest places to live in Arkansas as well. If you live in Newport you have a 1 in 20 chance of being a victim of property crime, that includes burglary, car theft and arson. Newport ranks sixth highest in violent crime and eighth highest in property crime.
Located on the White River 84 miles from Little Rock, Newport is the home to the Ben Franklin store where Sam Walton dreamed up his idea for Walmart. Be sure to keep your house and car doors locked in this small town.
Fort Smith has a lot of things to boast about. It's one of the biggest cities in Arkansas, it's one of the best places to retire, it's a great place for singles, and it's one of the best college towns in Arkansas. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most dangerous cities in Arkansas too.
Located on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border, Fort Smith is situated at the junction of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers. Fort Smith residents have a 1 in 17 chance of being a victim of a property crime, including burglary, car theft, and larceny. And, they have a 1 in 102 chance of being a victim of a violent crime, such as rape, murder or aggravated assault. Keep an eye out for your belongings and be aware of your surroundings in Fort Smith.
Jacksonville, a suburb of Little Rock, is part of the Little Rock-North Little Rock Conway Metropolitan area. With Little Rock ranked at top of this list, it's easy to see why some of that crime would spill over to this smaller community.
Jacksonville ranks 14th highest in violent crime and sixth highest in property crime. So residents are more likely to be a victim of burglary, larceny, and car theft in this town. You'll want to make sure you keep a close eye on your valuables in Jacksonville.
Paragould is the county seat of Greene County and is located in northeastern Arkansas. Known as "The Friendly City" by its residents, you'll want to keep your cell phones, wallets, and purses close to you in this town. Residents have a 1 in 21 chance of a property crime, which includes burglary, larceny, and car theft.
The good news about Paragould is that there were 0 in this town and it ranks tenth highest in violent crime. They must be doing something right in Paragould because that's down 9 from last year.
If you've ever been to Hot Springs, you know that it's a great place to hike and have a soak at a Spa. But, did you know that it's one of the worst places to live and one of themost expensive places to live in Arkansas?
The town ranks highest in property crime, which means residents are more than likely to be a victim of burglary, car theft, arson, and larceny. Hot Springs is located in the Ouachita Mountains and is the county seat of Garland County.
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Arkansas
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Arkansas for 2021?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.
For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered Arkansas cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 62 cities in Arkansas.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 62 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the two rankings into one "Dangerous Index".
Finally, we ranked every city on the "Dangerous Index" with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Arkansas -- Little Rock. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Arkansas.
Locking It All Up In Arkansas
The latest FBI crime data shows that Little Rock ranks as the most dangerous city in Arkansas for 2021.
We want to point out again that there's still safes places in Little Rock and that this isn't a comment on the people that live there. So please don't beat us up.
Here are the safest cities in Arkansas:
- Magnolia (Pop. 11,440)
- Centerton (Pop. 16,542)
- Maumelle (Pop. 18,223)
- Walnut Ridge (Pop. 5,019)
- Bentonville (Pop. 53,434)
- Greenwood (Pop. 9,436)
- White Hall (Pop. 5,014)
- Bella Vista (Pop. 28,931)
- Greenbrier (Pop. 5,660)
- Cave Springs (Pop. 5,580)
For more Arkansas reading, check out:
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Arkansas
- Safest Places In Arkansas
- Worst Places To Live In Arkansas
Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Arkansas?