Arkansas is known as the “Natural State”, and it’s often easy to see why: there’s an absolute abundance of natural scenic beauty, clear lakes and streams, and fascinating wildlife.
But, unfortunately, there are some cities and towns that are better places to live in Arkansas than others. Using scientific data, we’ve compiled a list of the worst places to live in Arkansas.
These are the places you don’t want to end up for reasons like high crime and unemployment rates, along with lack of access to quality education.
Here is the worst of the worst in Arkansas:
- Camden (Photos)
- Osceola (Photos)
- Warren (Photos)
- West Memphis (Photos)
- Pine Bluff (Photos)
- Blytheville (Photos)
- Hope (Photos)
- Hot Springs (Photos)
- Crossett (Photos)
- El Dorado (Photos)
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case.
We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Arkansas? That would be Camden.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more Arkansas reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Arkansas
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Arkansas
- 10 Most Dangerous Places in Arkansas
How we determined the worst places to live in Arkansas for 2019
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 61 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 61 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in Arkansas — Camden. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Arkansas.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Camden has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 17th-highest in the state of Arkansas. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 9.8%.
Additionally, 35.6% of the population lives below the poverty line.
While the median household income in Osceola is higher than other towns on this list, causing it to be lower down on the list of “worst cities”, Osceola still has the 1st worst unemployment rate in the state, as well as the 2nd worst crime index.
Therefore, though the average Osceola household brings in a higher income, there are fewer people working here than in other cities across the state. It doesn’t help that everyone has to be constantly worried about crime, either.
Warren is the 3rd worst city in Arkansas for 2017. When you’re comparing other cities to Warren, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.
Warren is the 47th most dangerous place in Arkansas, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job — at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 10.6%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($67,300), and residents earn just $26,792 a year.
West Memphis ranks 4th in worst places to live in Arkansas for several obvious reasons: it has the 7th highest crime rate in all of Arkansas, and the unemployment rate is the 9th worst in the state.
While there is a higher median income, the heavy crime rates and high unemployment rates make West Memphis one of the worst places to live.
The city of Pine Bluff is the 5th worst place you can live in the state of Arkansas in 2017.
It’s unlucky for Pine Bluff, which has the 3rd highest unemployment rate (13.2%), the 13th lowest household incomes ($32,498) and the 3rd lowest home prices in the state ($73,700).
Basically, a lot of people in Pine Bluff are out of work. And crime is certainly a factor here as well. Although it’s not one of the most dangerous places we’ll look at, it’s in the top 20%.
Add it all up, and this is truly one of the worst places you could live in Arkansas.
Blytheville, AR needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 11.1%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 5th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 15.8 chance of being robbed here every year.
You could find a much better place to call home.
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Arkansas, Hope came in 7th. Let’s see why.
Located in Hempstead County with a population of 9,923, Hope has the 20th highest unemployment rate in Arkansas. Crime is high for the state as well, coming in as the 11th most dangerous.
Additionally, 28.9% of the population lives below the poverty line.
If you’re looking to live in Arkansas, Hot Springs might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2017.
The unemployment rate here is 11.2%, and households bring in a combined $32,066 a year in income. That’s not too far from the poverty line, even though money goes a lot further in the boonies of Arkansas.
Crime is the 3rd highest in the state in Hot Springs as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.
Things are starting to get progressively more ‘modern’ and in line with what you expect in a great state such as Arkansas when we get to Crossett. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 14.5% (which is really high), and the median income is $30,393. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.
El Dorado, AR needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 13th worst in the state, which is very high considering El Dorado is so far removed from the rest of Arkansas.
If you know anyone in El Dorado, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
Wrapping Up The Worst In Arkansas
If you’re looking at areas in Arkansas with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Camden ranks as the worst city to live in Arkansas for 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Arkansas:
- Centerton (Pop. 12,178)
- Maumelle (Pop. 17,967)
- Bentonville (Pop. 44,601)
For more Arkansas reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Arkansas
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Arkansas
- 10 Safest Places In Arkansas
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Arkansas
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Arkansas
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