The 10 Worst Places To Live In Arkansas For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in the Natural State need a big hug right now.

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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 fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Arkansas.

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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:

Here are the 10 worst places to live in Arkansas for 2019:

  1. Camden (Photos)
  2. Osceola (Photos)
  3. West Memphis (Photos)
  4. Warren (Photos)
  5. Hot Springs (Photos)
  6. Pine Bluff (Photos)
  7. Blytheville (Photos)
  8. Hope (Photos)
  9. El Dorado (Photos)
  10. Alma (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.

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

For more Arkansas reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Arkansas For 2019

Camden, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,289
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $69,700 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (12th worst)
More on Camden:  Data | Photos

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.

Osceola, AR

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 7,160
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $77,800 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.3% (1st worst)
More on Osceola:  Data | Photos

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.

West Memphis, AR

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 25,152
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $84,000 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (9th worst)
More on West Memphis:  Data | Photos

West Memphis ranks 3rd 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.

Warren, AR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,715
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $67,300 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.6% (8th worst)
More on Warren:  Data | Photos

If you’re looking to live in Arkansas, Warren might not be the best choice as it places 4th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.

The unemployment rate here is 10.6%, and households bring in a combined $26,792 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 47th highest in the state in Warren as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.

Hot Springs, AR

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 36,780
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $114,700 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (6th worst)
More on Hot Springs:  Data | Photos

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 Hot Springs. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 11.2% (which is really high), and the median income is $32,066. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.

Pine Bluff, AR

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 44,509
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $73,700 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (3rd worst)
More on Pine Bluff:  Data | Photos

This may or may not be a surprise to you, but Pine Bluff is the 4th most dangerous city in Arkansas. For such a small city, there are an astounding number of property crimes. Residents here have a 1 in 18.7 chance of being the victim of some sort of robbery when within city limits every year. That’s lots of stolen cell phones, guns, snowmobiles and lobster traps.

Besides the crime, there are a few other factors why Pine Bluff might be one of the worst places to live. The home values here are pretty cheap. Why is that not a good thing? Because the salaries of people working in Pine Bluff are really low. People here earn about $32,498 a year per household.

Additionally, the public schools in Pine Bluff are some of the lowest funded in the state.

When all is said and done, you could find much more desirable places to live in Arkansas than in Pine Bluff.

Review Of Pine Bluff by HomeSnacks User

I have lived in Pine Bluff for 6 years and after moving here from Miami, have seen more crime than anywhere I have ever live and it’s n ot even on the list. It is DANGEROUS here. How could you not include Pine Bluff. It is most likely #1.

Blytheville, AR

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 14,588
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $76,200 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (7th worst)
More on Blytheville:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Blytheville by HomeSnacks User

Im from Blytheville Arkansas and it is an okay town. It can be dangerous every blue moon.

Hope, AR

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 9,923
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $76,400 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (20th worst)
More on Hope:  Data | Photos

We’re seeing a pattern here. A small, isolated city with a bad economy. Hope is located in Hempstead County.

Here, the schools are way underfunded, when you compare them to the rest of Arkansas. Families can barely make ends meet, and the unemployment rate (8.3%) is the 20th highest in the state. A home here sells for $76,400, on average. That signals it’s not a desirable place to live.

Plus, crime is in the top 10%.

El Dorado, AR

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 18,201
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $87,100 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (10th worst)
More on El Dorado:  Data | Photos

El Dorado seems to be the have’s and have not’s. While the annual average income levels here are respectful ($37,366), about 1 in 10.0 people here are without jobs. Homes are valued at only $87,100.

But the biggest eye opener is the sheer crime here. It seems as if just about everyone in town without a job is pillaging the community. El Dorado has the 13th highest crime rate in Arkansas, where 1 in 88 people has a statistic chance of being attacked, raped or murdered each year.

Plus, 1 in 21.7 people are robbed.

If you’re headed past El Dorado and stop for gas, make sure you lock your doors.

Alma, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,616
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 15)
Median Home Value: $138,600 (43rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (16th worst)
More on Alma:  Data | Photos

Alma needs some tough love.

Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Alma. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Alma. Of the 61 cities considered in this ranking, Alma had the least to be proud of across the board.

Not only does Alma have Arkansas’s 43rd lowest home value rank, but it also had the 16th and 6th highest rankings in unemployment and crime respectively. Statistics like that will certainly make the sun shine a bit dimmer, and it will win you are in contention for title of “Worst City in Arkansas.”

If you know anyone in Alma, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.

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

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

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.

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:

  1. Lowell (Pop. 8,622)
  2. Maumelle (Pop. 17,967)
  3. Bentonville (Pop. 44,601)

For more Arkansas reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Arkansas?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Camden 11,289 9.8% $69,700
2 Osceola 7,160 18.3% $77,800
3 West Memphis 25,152 10.5% $84,000
4 Warren 5,715 10.6% $67,300
5 Hot Springs 36,780 11.2% $114,700
6 Pine Bluff 44,509 13.2% $73,700
7 Blytheville 14,588 11.1% $76,200
8 Hope 9,923 8.3% $76,400
9 El Dorado 18,201 10.0% $87,100
10 Alma 5,616 9.2% $138,600

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22 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Arkansas For 2019

  1. Monticello isn’t the 2 worst place. It is a great town, with good people. Pine bluff is the worst town around us.

  2. I totally disagree with Monticello being listed as your number two selection.
    Just look at the number of job opportunities available at MonticelloLive.com, Monticello’s daily news website.
    Also, check out the number of good stories representing life in Monticello, not just the bad news, like all communities have.

  3. The palmetto state issue skewed it for me.
    I have visited most of the cities on the list and live in one off them.

    The only thing monticello has going for it is the state university

  4. So glad you don’t have to live here in Arkansas! Its really easy for someone from another state to judge towns you have never lived it. It never occurs to some people that we don’t want to live in big cities, or that we like our towns just fine, or that bigger cities have much worse crime rates but what makes the little towns look bad is just that our population is small. WHATEVER!! This is such bull!! Don’t judge unless you live here city boy!

  5. Not good for credibility when you begin a piece with “The Palmetto State”. Sorry, but you have Arkansas confused South Carolina.

    But as to the statistics used, you made some huge assumptions on what people like/want. I’m also somewhat suspect at the supposed “lack of quality education” in regards to multiple cities listed. Several have very good community-based colleges as well as good-performing public schools.

    And apparently crime didn’t weigh too heavily, as the two highest crime cities didn’t even make the list.

    Something smells.

    1. Little rock crime rate 93%,Pine Bluff 90%!!! Point is that Little Rock is getting bad right under eveones nose!!! Wake up people!!!!!

  6. How on earth is Pine Bluff not on this list?? This is a joke. Several of the towns you have listed are great places to raise a family with morals and values. Look again

  7. I have lived in several parts of the state but I’ve always believed if God wanted to give the world an enema, he would apply it in Bentonville.

  8. It looks to me that this entire article was written by a script run against a database of census stastics. I disagree with the assumption that higher population density = better place to live.

  9. We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
    •Good education
    •Lots of jobs
    •Low crime
    •High incomes
    •High population density

    Why would you assume that people necessarily value population density? If they did, they probably wouldn’t live in Arkansas to begin with. High population density means traffic, pollution, living on small lots in crowded neighborhoods or high rise apartments. That is a completely bogus criteria on which to rank cities in an already largely rural state.

    If you want to “rank” cities, then crime, economic opportunity, availability of cultural pursuits (including hunting, fishing, hiking) would certainly be valid criteria. Including population density is just stupid. I can name fifty cities that are “worse” than Monticello, Morrilton and Beebe. I can only guess that Pine Bluff didn’t make the list because it has higher population density than most of the others.

  10. Wrong wrong wrong! Whoever wrote this needs to explore the area listed! I can list 30 towns worse than Newport! With data! Screw you’ll. go float the White River, and bird hunt the White River Valley!!’

  11. Where did you get this nonsense. about Morrilton Arkansas? Our town is NOT crime ridden. I’ve been in Morrilton for 66 years and never had a problem!! We have a sheriff and deputies that work 24/7!!!And it’s full of very nice people.your article is B.S.!!!!!!!

    1. No, I guess not since your obviously one of the ass suckers who sucks up to the inner circle in this unholy, evil little nowhere greedy life sucking prison town. The sheriff and his deputies are some of the primary criminals, who work 24/7 at ‘BEING CRIMINALS” and taking payoffs from drug dealers and bootleggers.

  12. I must say I live in Forrest city and where ever did you get the info that this town spends most the money on education for the kids? That’s a total lie, this town is in need of major makeovers from buildings to law and government

  13. This town spends money on whatever the mayor sees fit for his re election. The drug dealers and the law that work with them is the only for sure jobs in this town

  14. Morrilton should be on your number 1 list of worst cities in AR to have to live in. A dead little nowhere town that sucks the life and steals dreams and ideas of the impoverished. The little town with no limits on how much people can hate, steal, sabotage and backstab their neighbors. Buck the power system and your blacklisted for life, refuse to marry, your blacklisted for life, refuse to give this little town children to corrupt, your blacklisted for life. I will not dignify them with he term “Gay” closet queers and drug dealers, some of the drug dealers are local law enforcement prosper. Come out of the closet you’re blacklisted for life. Suck ass up to the Morrilton power wheel you do fine, all old decaying buildings on main street according to their owners should be declared historical monuments, when in fact they should be bull dozed to the ground. Morrilton is little more than a dead gigantic black hole and old people are nothing more than empty shells waiting for the grave to come and take them. Whatever glory days Morrilton ever saw “IF ANY” have long since faded into a bygone era. Counseling Associates of Morrilton is a joke and filled with greedy Neanderthal Buffoons by the system of Morrilton for the system of Morrilton. Run by white supremacist for white supremacist.
    Non Compensated “GAY” Vietnam Veteran

  15. Abandon hope all ye who enter Morrilton, AR. Legal professionals won’t even come near Morrilton or take on any legal of any low-income person living in it though it not provable I suspect Morrilton is one Government controlled rat holes. Medical care for low income is lowest substandard that can be afforded. Drug houses prosper here as do drug dealer, money laundering operations, prostitution rings and bootleggers as well as do illegal gambling operations. The FBI avoids Morrilton on stings like Morrilton had some type of plague. Every once in a blue moon the FBI makes a stink about huge drug and not a one of them is ever from Morrilton. Obviously some massive amount of power structure not located in Morrilton protects Morrilton as well as Conway County. Morrilton is as evil, dirty ad treacherous as any small off the beaten path town can be. Perhaps one day Morrilton’s government controlled rat will be discovered and it power broken for all time to come and Conway County’s power stripped away entirely.

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