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 2020.
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 58 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
- Best Counties To Live In Arkansas
- Cheapest Places To Live In Arkansas
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Arkansas
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Arkansas For 2020
There’s no surprise here, as Little Rock, time after time, has been cited by media as one of the most dangerous cities in the entire country.
Little Rock has, by far, more violent crime than any city in Arkansas. Residents in the capital have a 1 in 69 chance of being the victim of a violent crime each year, according to the FBI. And, after a year in which violent crimes went downward a bit in 2017, crime rates went back up in 2018.
Pine Bluff coming in as the 2nd most dangerous place in Arkansas might surprise some.
But this fact may explain the mind-bogglingly high 1 in 18.5 chance residents faced of being the victim of a property crime in 2018 and the 1 in 62 chance of being the victim of violence.
The 3rd most dangerous city in Arkansas goes to West Memphis.
And much like a walk in a major city park, you need to watch for muggers and property theft as it ranks as having the highest rate of property theft in the Natural State. You had a 1 in 19.5 chance of being a victim of a property crime in 2018 in West Memphis.
It’s not totally clear why the property crime rate is so high. People live spread out, unemployment is relatively high — but not super high — and poverty isn’t as bad as in some other parts of the state.
El Dorado’s motto might tout that the city is “a great place to live,” but its status as the 4th most dangerous city in Arkansas might stain that saying a bit.
El Dorado residents have a 1 in 16.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime every year.
Violent crime has also gone up nearly 30% between 2017-2018, with a higher than 1 in 91 chance of being the victim of violence.
Residents here have a 1 in 16 chance of being victimized by a property crime, and a 1 in 76 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder or aggravated assault.
This small town in northwest Arkansas, near the Missouri state line, really packs a punch when it comes to crime rate. Residents in Blytheville have a 1 in 101 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder or aggravated assault, according to the most recent FBI report.
Much worse, residents here have a 1 in 16.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime, such as a car theft or home robbery. Chances are, if you live in Blytheville, someone on your street had something stolen from them this year.
Crime continues to tick upwards in the last three reporting years, and Blytheville’s population has dropped almost 25% since the year 2000.
While property crimes went down in 2018, violent crimes were up, and residents here had a 1 in 112 chance of being attacked, raped or killed, according to the latest data.
The Reverend Al Green, known as a resident of Forrest City, might need to do some extra preaching to get residents to stop with all the criminal activity here.
Helena-West Helena is a small town just a short drive from the Mississippi border.
A smaller city on this list, Jacksonville has experienced some wild swings in crime in recent years.
While instances of violent crime fell to 331 between 2017-2018, property crime now stands at 12th worst.
If they could get the same magic working for property crime as they have for violence, Jacksonville may one day be the idyllic place its residents want it to be.
Tiny Trumann, a short drive from the Tennessee border, has seen its crime rates tick upwards over the last few years, according to the FBI.
While violent crimes aren’t as bad as other cities above it, residents of Trumann still have a 1 in 19.4 chance of being victimized by a robbery of some sort.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Arkansas for 2020?
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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.
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 58 cities in Arkansas.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 58 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 2020.
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.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Arkansas:
- Cabot (Pop. 26,459)
- Greenwood (Pop. 9,454)
- Bella Vista (Pop. 28,798)
For more Arkansas reading, check out:
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Arkansas
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Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Arkansas?