Arkansas Vs. Missouri Living (Which is Better?)

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Exploring The Key Differences Between Living In Arkansas Vs. Missouri

Choosing between Arkansas vs. Missouri living is a challenging task. Whether you’re moving for work or considering retiring in one of these states, you’ll want to compare them closely.

As a result, this article examines the pros and cons of living in Arkansas versus Missouri. Specifically, which state is better?

First, I will address the question head-on. Second, I will support the answer with the details you need to know.

Let the battle of the states begin because it’s time for Missouri vs Arkansas living.

Is Arkansas Or Missouri a Better Place to Live?

Arkansas is better for anyone who desires rural living and an extensive collection of primarily small towns. In comparison, Missouri is the place to move if you seek a state with larger cities, a more robust economy, and access to better schools and healthcare.

Next, let’s dig into the details that support my answer. Afterward, you will better understand whether Arkansas or Missouri is better for living your desired lifestyle.

Arkansas vs Missouri living stated with state mapsPin

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Arkansas Vs. Missouri Cost Of Living

Arkansas’ median home price is nearly 4% less than Missouri’s.

Source: Redfin

Other expenses vary between the two states, as indicated in the cost of living index table below, where 100 equals the U.S. average. Thus, lower index numbers indicate how much less expensive the budget category is versus the entire country.

Table 1: Arkansas Vs. Missouri Cost Of Living Comparison

Goods & services10293
Source: RentCafe

Overall, both Arkansas and Missouri living is affordable. I see only a tiny difference for anyone trying to get by on a tight budget.

Much will depend on where you choose to move. For example, moving to a small town in Arkansas will be much cheaper than living in a larger city like Kansas City, Missouri.

Whatever you decide, the lost cost of living makes Missouri and Arkansas an excellent place to retire.

Arkansas Vs. Missouri Taxes

Both states have progressive income tax systems. That’s a fancy way of saying that the more money you make, the higher your tax rate.

Each state’s highest tax bracket takes almost 5% of your earnings. And it only requires a modest amount of income to hit that tax bracket.

So, I wouldn’t let income taxes sway your decision one way or the other. I recommend consulting a tax advisor if state income taxes are a big part of your decision about where to move.

What about sales taxes and real estate taxes?

Arkansas has one of the highest sales tax rates in the country, averaging almost 10%. Missouri’s rate is about 1% less.

Source: Tax Foundation

On the other hand, Missouri has a higher average real estate tax rate. So, property tax bills are more in Missouri.

Source: Rocket Mortage

To sum it up, I don’t see a big difference in taxes between the two states. Income taxes are about the same. In Arkansas, sales tax rates are higher. Conversely, property tax rates are more significant in Missouri.

Arkansas Vs. Missouri Jobs & Economic Prosperity

Both states have low unemployment rates. So, residents looking for work can typically find a job.

However, Missouri starts to pull ahead in other economic areas.

First, based on output, Missouri’s economy is more diverse and twice the size of Arkansas. Source: Wikipedia

Furthermore, average household incomes are nearly 20% more in Missouri. Source: World Population Review

Finally, Arkansas has one of the highest poverty rates of all states in the country.

Pulling this subtopic altogether, Arkansas is a relatively poor state with less economic opportunity than Missouri.

Arkansas Vs. Missouri Education

Arkansas ranks 39th for the quality of its Pre-K-12 educational system. In comparison, Missouri ranks 29th.

Source: U.S. News and World Report

Both states have some excellent higher education institutions.

Arkansas is home to:

  • Arkansas State University
  • University of Arkansas

While Missouri boasts the campuses of:

  • Saint Louis University
  • University of Missouri
  • Washington University in St. Louis

As a result, Missouri may be the better choice for anyone moving with school-age children. However, both states have several excellent colleges and universities.

Arkansas Vs. Missouri Health Care

A study by Wallet Hub ranked Arkansas 37th and Missouri 26th for health care. The study measured costs, access to providers, and healthcare outcomes.

Remember that limited access to healthcare services in the rural areas of Arkansas may be dangerous for anyone with a health condition.

Arkansas Vs. Missouri Weather

Arkansas has a humid subtropical climate. Winters are mild, but summers are scorching hot with plenty of humidity. You may dislike Arkansas living if you can’t take the summer heat.

Missouri is hot and humid during the summer too. However, there is more seasonal variety, colder winter temperatures, and potential for snowfall.

Arkansas Vs. Missouri Recreation

Both Arkansas and Missouri offer excellent outdoor recreational opportunities. You can find plenty of beautiful places to hike, bike, fish, hunt, and boat in either state.

However, Arkansas living falls short for anyone looking for larger cities and the entertainment, nightlife, and professional sports teams they offer.

Furthermore, beyond Little Rock, Arkansas is a collection of small towns across rural landscapes. Conversely, Missouri has two major U.S. metropolitan areas on either side of the state, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Arkansas Vs. Missouri Living: Wrap Up About How To Choose

Arkansas and Missouri are great places to live. Because they are similar in many ways, your choice may come down to local factors and your preferences.

However, the statewide differences between Arkansas vs. Missouri living are essential to understand and remember before deciding where to move.

Here’s a table summarizing the comparisons between Arkansas and Missouri living we reviewed today.

Table 2: Comparison Of Missouri Vs. Arkansas Living

CategoryMy Winner
Home pricesArkansas
Cost of livingEven
Income taxesEven
Sales taxesMissouri
Real estate taxesArkansas
Household incomesMissouri
Pre-K-12 schoolsMissouri
Higher educationEven
WeatherYour choice
Outdoor recreationEven
Should You Move to Arkansas or Missouri?

I hope this article has helped you answer the question: should I move to Arkansas or Missouri? Most importantly, best of luck no matter what you decide.

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Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

Arkansas Vs. Missouri Living Fully Explained