These Are 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:

  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:

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.

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

When you’re looking at science and data, the city of Warren is the 4th worst place you can live in the state of Arkansas. Let’s see why.

Residents who live in Warren, located in Bradley County, have the 47th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level–per resident–and homes valued around $67,300, and you’ve got yourself a crummy place to live. In terms of comparing it to the rest of Arkansas, that is.

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

You can sure expect that Pine Bluff is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 6th in our analysis. It is. In fact, Pine Bluff has the 4th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.

There were 795 violent crimes here in 2019, and residents have a 1 in 18.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Pine Bluff, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.

You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits — the unemployment rate sits at 13.2% which is the 3rd worst in Arkansas.

Review Of Pine Bluff by Darrell Green

We are forgetting that pine bluff has a Walmart. My hometown sadly does not, also it’s honestly not that bad. I actually got robbed in Conway and Fayetteville but never pine bluff!!

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.

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

Hope’s main issue is crime. It’s the 11th most dangerous place in the state of Arkansas. Is that a surprise?

If you live in Hope, you have a 1 in 21.0 chance that you’ll be the victim of a property crime. That’s really high, especially for a city of its size. That’s a lot of stolen lawn mowers, cell phones and cameras. Perhaps it’s because the folks here live in far nicer homes than some of the other cities to top this list. They’re targets.

The unemployment rate is higher than the state average at 8.3%.

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

When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Arkansas, El Dorado came in 9th. Let’s see why.

When you’re comparing the unemployment rate to the rest of the nation, Arkansas residents are very hard workers. But when comparing the unemployment rate among cities in Arkansas, you can see some really big differences. In El Dorado, the number of people out of work is 10.0%

In Arkansas, that’s the 10th highest in the state.

The residents in El Dorado have the 23rd lowest incomes in the state. Folks in El Dorado average $37,366 a year. Which isn’t too shabby in comparison to the other ‘lowest’ income cities in most other states.

Additionally, the homes are valued at $87,100 on average. That’s the 17th lowest in the state.

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 as it ranks as the 10th worst city to live in Arkansas for 2019. There’s not a lot to do here, and when you factor in some of the lowest student support in the state and some of the worst weather, it’s not a place you might want to move to.

And the crime in Alma is the 6th highest in the state, where 1 in 16.3 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.

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:

Detailed List Of 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
11 Morrilton 6,663 5.9% $94,300
12 Crossett 5,142 14.5% $74,400
13 Fort Smith 87,537 5.6% $117,000
14 Texarkana 30,120 8.5% $118,100
15 Magnolia 11,570 8.8% $106,600
16 Beebe 7,992 7.7% $125,300
17 Newport 7,770 12.3% $76,700
18 Russellville 29,147 9.3% $136,900
19 Monticello 9,660 11.2% $95,800
20 Malvern 10,830 6.2% $82,700
21 Clarksville 9,448 4.5% $92,200
22 Mena 5,612 7.9% $82,500
23 Wynne 8,095 9.2% $79,800
24 Trumann 7,103 2.9% $86,400
25 Pocahontas 6,459 3.1% $77,100
26 North Little Rock 66,144 9.2% $123,500
27 De Queen 6,623 3.8% $85,800
28 Berryville 5,389 4.5% $104,000
29 Jacksonville 28,637 7.2% $117,600
30 Paragould 27,815 6.2% $119,000
31 Heber Springs 7,079 4.4% $133,100
32 Stuttgart 8,979 10.0% $86,100
33 Springdale 77,252 5.1% $142,700
34 Jonesboro 73,581 6.4% $146,800
35 Little Rock 197,780 5.0% $159,900
36 Marion 12,467 5.3% $151,800
37 Van Buren 23,135 7.2% $113,700
38 Walnut Ridge 5,146 9.7% $89,300
39 Fayetteville 81,889 5.2% $193,000
40 Siloam Springs 16,311 4.2% $123,500
41 Harrison 13,058 4.6% $101,800
42 Farmington 6,598 4.0% $170,300
43 Searcy 23,819 5.4% $143,400
44 Prairie Grove 5,187 1.5% $139,700
45 Arkadelphia 10,664 3.7% $102,600
46 Batesville 10,568 5.6% $120,300
47 Greenbrier 5,271 3.7% $132,100
48 Benton 34,034 3.9% $140,300
49 Rogers 63,411 2.9% $160,100
50 Conway 64,481 4.5% $163,500
51 Pea Ridge 5,296 3.6% $121,900
52 Sherwood 30,590 4.2% $146,500
53 Bryant 19,607 2.3% $157,000
54 Cabot 25,732 4.6% $147,900
55 Mountain Home 12,253 3.9% $117,800
56 White Hall 5,213 3.0% $125,400
57 Greenwood 9,311 5.2% $129,100
58 Centerton 12,178 1.7% $153,300
59 Lowell 8,622 1.7% $146,700
60 Maumelle 17,967 3.8% $220,600
61 Bentonville 44,601 2.4% $203,800

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22 thoughts on “These Are 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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