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Most Americans have never been to Arkansas. However, as the people who live there know, Arkansas is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Arkansas has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Natural State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 147 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:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Arkansas for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Wickes is the worst small town to live in Arkansas.
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Arkansas has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Arkansas or the worst places to live in Arkansas.
If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Arkansas For 2022
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $1,000 (1000th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (54th worst)
More on Wickes: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $50,000 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (8th worst)
More on Stamps: Data
5. Marked Tree
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $66,300 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (59th worst)
More on Marked Tree: Data
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 11)
Median Home Value: $48,100 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 23.3% (2nd worst)
More on Marvell: Data
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Arkansas, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we determined the worst small towns to live in Arkansas for 2022
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:
- 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 a lot - 147 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
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:
- Johnson (Pop. 3,719)
- Lake Hamilton (Pop. 2,174)
- Salem (Pop. 2,163)
For more Arkansas reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Arkansas