These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Arkansas For 2019

We used science and data to determine which places in Arkansas are basically dead broke.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the poorest places in Arkansas.

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Arkansas brings to mind images of Little Rock, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Arkansas has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Arkansas that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 62 places in Arkansas with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Natural State for 2019:

  1. Osceola (Photos)
  2. Newport (Photos)
  3. Warren (Photos)
  4. Camden (Photos)
  5. Crossett (Photos)
  6. Monticello (Photos)
  7. West Memphis (Photos)
  8. Mena (Photos)
  9. Forrest City (Photos)
  10. Pine Bluff (Photos)

Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.

And according to the facts, Osceola is the poorest place in Arkansas for 2019.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Arkansas or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Arkansas reading, check out:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Arkansas for 2019

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2013-2017 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The “median household income adjusted for the cost of living” attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 62 places with more than 5,000 people in Arkansas, we ranked each place from 1 to 62 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Osceola, crowned the “Poorest Place In Arkansas For 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 62 places.

Osceola, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,160
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $28,448 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.3% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.0% (2nd highest)
More on Osceola:  Data | Photos

Osceola, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Arkansas thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 7,160 people averages the 4th lowest median household income in Arkansas and the 2nd highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

Newport, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,770
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Income: $28,872 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.3% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.7% (4th highest)
More on Newport:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Arkansas is Newport.

The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 5th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 4th highest in the Natural State.

Warren, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,715
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Income: $26,792 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.6% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 33.8% (5th highest)
More on Warren:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Warren’s median income ranks as the 2nd lowest.

And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 33.8% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Natural State.

Camden, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,289
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Income: $25,234 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.6% (3rd highest)
More on Camden:  Data | Photos

Camden ranks as the fourth poorest place in Arkansas.

The town ranks as having the 1st lowest median household income and the 3rd highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

Crossett, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,142
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 7)
Median Income: $30,393 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.5% (10th highest)
More on Crossett:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Arkansas is Crossett.

The city ranks as having the 8th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 9th highest in Arkansas.

Still not the best news for Crossett.

Monticello, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,660
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $31,078 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.2% (6th highest)
More on Monticello:  Data | Photos

Monticello ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Natural State.

It ranks as having the 6th highest incidence of poverty and the 5th highest unemployment rate.

West Memphis, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,152
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $30,101 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.1% (8th highest)
More on West Memphis:  Data | Photos

West Memphis places as the seventh poorest city in Arkansas.

The city of over 25,152 ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Mena, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,612
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Median Income: $28,230 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (22nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.1% (1st highest)
More on Mena:  Data | Photos

Mena ranks as the eighth poorest city in Arkansas.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 22nd highest in the state.

Forrest City, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,691
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $30,845 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (10th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.7% (7th highest)
More on Forrest City:  Data | Photos

Forrest City couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Arkansas; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 10th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Forrest City ranks as having the 7th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Arkansas.

Pine Bluff, AR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 44,509
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Income: $32,498 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.4% (11th highest)
More on Pine Bluff:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Arkansas is Pine Bluff.

The city of 44,509 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Natural State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Arkansas For 2019

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Arkansas, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Arkansas.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Arkansas, according to data:

    Richest: Prairie Grove
    2nd Richest: Centerton
    3rd Richest: Bryant

For more Arkansas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Arkansas

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Osceola 7,160 36.0%
2 Newport 7,770 34.7%
3 Warren 5,715 33.8%
4 Camden 11,289 35.6%
5 Crossett 5,142 30.5%
6 Monticello 9,660 32.2%
7 West Memphis 25,152 31.1%
8 Mena 5,612 36.1%
9 Forrest City 14,691 31.7%
10 Pine Bluff 44,509 30.4%
11 Hot Springs 36,780 27.3%
12 Blytheville 14,588 28.2%
13 Magnolia 11,570 30.5%
14 Hope 9,923 28.9%
15 Morrilton 6,663 26.7%
16 El Dorado 18,201 26.2%
17 Russellville 29,147 24.3%
18 Stuttgart 8,979 22.7%
19 Malvern 10,830 24.2%
20 Texarkana 30,120 24.6%
21 Fort Smith 87,537 25.8%
22 North Little Rock 66,144 25.3%
23 Arkadelphia 10,664 29.7%
24 Clarksville 9,448 24.3%
25 Walnut Ridge 5,146 18.5%
26 Wynne 8,095 20.6%
27 Alma 5,616 20.9%
28 Fayetteville 81,889 24.3%
29 Harrison 13,058 22.0%
30 Van Buren 23,135 19.2%
31 De Queen 6,623 26.6%
32 Pocahontas 6,459 24.0%
33 Jonesboro 73,581 20.4%
34 Searcy 23,819 19.3%
35 Heber Springs 7,079 19.4%
36 Trumann 7,103 24.2%
37 Batesville 10,568 18.0%
38 Paragould 27,815 17.0%
39 Jacksonville 28,637 16.9%
40 Berryville 5,389 15.5%
41 Siloam Springs 16,311 22.9%
42 Beebe 7,992 14.3%
43 Springdale 77,252 18.8%
44 Greenbrier 5,271 22.2%
45 Mountain Home 12,253 10.7%
46 Little Rock 197,780 17.8%
47 Conway 64,481 17.8%
48 Cabot 25,732 12.7%
49 Greenwood 9,311 11.4%
50 Marion 12,467 9.1%
51 Sherwood 30,590 11.9%
52 Benton 34,034 8.8%
53 Farmington 6,598 7.1%
54 Rogers 63,411 12.4%
55 White Hall 5,213 12.1%
56 Pea Ridge 5,296 6.5%
57 Maumelle 17,967 5.9%
58 Lowell 8,622 8.3%
59 Bentonville 44,601 7.3%
60 Bryant 19,607 4.4%
61 Centerton 12,178 6.7%
62 Prairie Grove 5,187 6.3%


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