Most Americans have never been to small town Arkansas. However, as the Arkansan who live there know, small town Arkansas is an awesome place to call home.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Arkansas has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using Saturday Night Science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Natural State. Don’t freak out, we will use data to show which places have high crime, poverty, and unemployment.
After analyzing more than 142 of Arkansas’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Arkansas where you’d never want to live:
These are the worst small towns in Arkansas for 2023:
- Sweet Home
- Marked Tree
So what is the worst small town to call home in Arkansas for 2023? According to the most recent census data, Wickes is the worst small town to live in Arkansas.
While many of these small towns have seen better days, they have wonderful communities and people. This report in no way means to knock the folks that call towns like Wickes home. Everyone
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Arkansas For 2023
Median Home Value: $65,200 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (39th worst)
Median Home Value: $42,600 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 26.9% (2nd worst)
Median Home Value: $75,900 (35th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.4% (8th worst)
Median Home Value: $63,300 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (37th worst)
5. Sweet Home
Median Home Value: $64,100 (15th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (24th worst)
6. Marked Tree
Median Home Value: $62,600 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (78th worst)
Median Home Value: $29,400 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (2worst)
Median Home Value: $74,600 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.5% (3rd worst)
Median Home Value: $51,500 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.4% (4th worst)
Median Home Value: $65,400 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.9% (7th worst)
Methodology: How do you decide if a small place in Arkansas is lousy or not?
To rank the worst small towns to live in Arkansas, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. Assuming that people like low crime, solid education, things to do, and a stable economy isn’t a stretch.
We then analyzed the criteria using Saturday Night Science, the thinking you’d use at a bar. It seems like even your crazy Uncle would agree that a town with high crime is worse than a town with low crime; all else the same.
- Population Density (The lower, the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which there were many – 142 to be exact.
We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets them from the cities. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
We base all our research on facts, which is meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2023, which is our tenth time ranking the worst small places to live in Arkansas.
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Arkansas
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Natural State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Arkansas, according to science:
- Lake Hamilton (Pop. 1,947)
- Salem (Pop. 2,238)
- Johnson (Pop. 3,612)
For more Arkansas reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Arkansas