10 Pros and Cons of Living in Jonesboro, AR Right Now

For Anyone Thinking About Moving To Jonesboro, Arkansas

If you are looking for a family-friendly place in the south to settle down, then consider these 10 pros and cons of living in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Whether you are searching for an affordable place to retire. Heading back to college. Or, just looking for a fresh start in a new place.

We’ve got it all covered! So, let’s get moving…

Pros And Cons Of Living In Jonesboro, AR

Here’s our list of the top living in Jonesboro pros and cons for your consideration…

  • Small town feel – college town vibe
  • Productive and diverse economy
  • Great schools
  • A modest cost of living
  • Proximity to much more
  • Extreme weather
  • Swarms of mosquitoes
  • Bad traffic
  • Limited diversity
  • Homelessness and crime

We will cover each of these points in greater detail in just a moment. But first, allow me to answer the big question that is on your mind…

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Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Is Jonesboro, Arkansas A Good Place To Live?

Jonesboro residents enjoy the intimacy of a small-city lifestyle along with the amenities that come with living near a vibrant university. The cost of living is low, jobs are available, and the schools are good. Thus, all in all, there is a lot to like about Jonesboro living.

But, before you start packing, I suggest you carefully examine all of the pros and cons.

Let’s do it…

1. Small Town Feel – College Town Vibe

This city is located in northeast Arkansas. Not far from the southeast corner of the beautiful midwestern state of Missouri. Also, very near the western edge of Tennessee…

And it is there, you will find Jonesboro.

It is an Arkansas city populated by nearly 80,000 full-time residents.

So, here’s what you need to know about life in Jonesboro…

Jonesboro Lifestyle

So, first and foremost, this is a relatively small town. As a result, you will frequently see familiar faces as you go about your daily routine.

Residents are friendly here. And generally happy to offer a helping hand to those in need.

Furthermore, a variety of cultural interests can be fulfilled. Mainly through the Foundation of Arts (FOA) and Forum Theater.

The FOA ensures the arts are a vibrant part of this community. Offering a variety of classes in music, art, and acting.

A highlight is the Forum Theater. It is truly a local community gem. Hosting many musicals, plays, and holiday performances throughout the year.

Finally, over time, the city’s downtown has been revitalized.

Making it quite nice including a decent restaurant scene. Honestly, this downtown could be a model for other cities.

But, that’s not all…

Life In Jonesboro Means Access To Everything A-State Offers

Because the city is home to Arkansas State University (A-State). The second-largest university in Arkansas

Roughly 14,000 students from all over the world attend classes here. With more than 60 countries represented in the student body.

Adding to the city’s activities are the school’s Division 1 sports programs. Plus all of the cultural and educational events typically associated with a large top-tier public university.

As a result, residents benefit from living in a college town.

And, here’s another one of the benefits of living in Jonesboro…

2. Productive And Diverse Economy

Because the city has a dynamic and resilient job market as part of a diverse economy.

This is typical for a small town with a big university. Since A-State is one of the biggest employers.

Large Health Care Presence

Furthermore, the city has become a regional healthcare destination. Primarily due to the presence of two major medical hospitals…

  • St. Bernards Healthcare
  • NEA Baptist Health System

…together, they bring more than 5,000 jobs to the area.

Other Area Employers And Industries

Finally, the public school systems, the robust banking industry here, and agriculture round out some of the other significant industries.

So dust off that resume. And present your qualifications in the best possible light.

For this, I use MyPerfectResume.

Or if you are interested in putting a stake in the community. Invest in the growth of agriculture here.

And speaking of the schools. In case you are looking for more good reasons to live in Jonesboro. Here’s another one…

woman in JonesboroPin

3. Great Schools

Arkansas as a whole doesn’t have an outstanding reputation for its public schools.

However, those of you with school-age children, know that every area public school district is of high quality. It is evidenced every day by the commitment of great teachers and solid educational attainment by students.

Jonesboro Public Schools

In the city limits…

The Jonesboro school district is the largest. And offers the most student diversity.

Followed by these other excellent districts:

  • Nettleton public schools
  • Valley View public schools
  • Westside consolidated schools

Outside of the city limits, consider the Brookland schools. One of the fastest-growing districts in the state.

What you will find is each of these school districts has distinct strengths, weaknesses, and culture.

They are all “good”. However, depending on you, your kids, and your family’s goals, one may fit your needs better than another.

So, do your research. And choose your exact location wisely.

Private Schools Residing In Jonesboro

Private education is another one of the reasons to move to Jonesboro. Two of the better possibilities to consider are…

  • Blessed Sacrament School
  • Ridgefield Christian School

Okay. We are just starting to roll.

Thus, the moving to Jonesboro pros and cons continue…

4. Modest Cost Of Living

Comparatively speaking, the cost of living in Jonesboro is affordable.

First of all, the median home value of a typical 1,500 to 1,800 square foot house with 3 to 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms runs nearly half of the U.S. national average. While the savings on apartment rents are similar.

The market is competitive. So, be prepared to present your financial resources in the best possible light. To find that perfect home or apartment.

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Second, real estate tax rates in Arkansas are favorable. Some of the lowest in the country.

Finally, utilities, groceries, and health care costs are all well below the national average. And specifically, the utility rates are some of the lowest in the country.

Put it all together and you can see the savings add up fast. Also, you can save a little more by using the cash rebate app from Rakuten now.

Because Rakuten is perfect for saving money on all your online purchases. I mean, why pay more if you don’t have to?

Or, if you want to open up your wallet a little wider, homes in planned communities come available too. For example, Sage Meadows or Ridgepointe.

There you will find more amenities such as golf courses, clubhouses, pools, and playgrounds for the kids.

Then, no matter how much you might like living here. I guarantee there will be times when you just need to get out of town.

Fortunately, this is another one of the advantages of living in Jonesboro…

5. Proximity To So Much More

Because the city’s location in northeast Arkansas makes it perfect for getting away. For example…

In about one hour, you can arrive in the state of Tennessee

Memphis on Tennessee mapPin

…for all the city of Memphis has to offer.

In roughly 2 hours, find yourself in the Arkansas state capital of Little Rock.

Better yet, 2 hours can also put you in Mountain Home or Greers Ferry.

Both are small lakeside resort communities. Perfect places for boating, water skiing, and fishing.

Finally, a 4-hour drive to the northeast will put you in St. Louis, Missouri. Another city with a whole lot to offer.

Okay. That completes my list of all the great things you will find after moving to Jonesboro.

However, an article about the pros and cons of living in Jonesboro would not be complete without covering the cons.

Let’s do that now…

6. Extreme Weather

On a positive note, this is a southern state. So, you won’t have to worry about extreme winter weather.

However, it does snow occasionally. More accurately, wet freezing rain can occur making roads hazardous.

Then there are tornados. Since every year warnings and touchdowns are common.

These destructive wind storms come on with little warning. And, in the past, have caused loss of life and significant damage to the area. Unfortunately, I am sure it will happen again.

For example, in March 2020, a tornado ripped through the Mall at Turtle Creek.

Finally, there is the summer heat and humidity.

From early June through early September it gets very hot. While high humidity levels make it feel more uncomfortable than the temperature indicates.

As a result, 90+ degree temperature and 90%+ humidity are not uncommon. So, face this fact: you will now be living in the southern United States.

While I don’t personally care for this type of weather. I know many do. Bringing us to another one of the disadvantages of living in Jonesboro…

7. Swarms Of Mosquitoes

When the summer weather is hot and sticky, pesky insects are a problem here.

More specifically, the mosquitoes are terrible. Some joke that these pesky insects are the “state bird”.

They swarm, bite, and sting and can ruin any planned outdoor activities. Fortunately, new construction in the area is starting to include screened-in porches.


To allow residents to enjoy the outdoors at home. Without the threat of being run off by these nasty little bugs. Enough said!

Next, another one of the reasons not to move to Jonesboro in the first place…

8. Bad Traffic

For a town of this size, traffic is challenging here. It’s mainly a case of population growth outstripping the highway and road infrastructure.

As I like to say, “growth and popularity come at a price”.

Comparatively speaking, you won’t sit in hour-long bumper-to-bumper traffic. Not like in the major United States metropolitan areas.

On the other hand, during peak times, it can take a while to get around or across town.

A couple of traffic hot spots to watch out for are…

First, on the northeast side of the city beyond the university in the Hilltop area.

The area is near 351 and East Johnson Ave. It is especially bad during peak rush hours.

Second, to the southwest of the city driving toward Valley View. It can get very congested.

Adding to the traffic are the people living in outlying communities. Such as:

  • Hoxie
  • Newport
  • Paragould
  • Walnut Ridge

…just to name a few other towns in northeast Arkansas.

Because many of the people from these towns work in Jonesboro. Thus, requiring daily commutes in and out of the city.

Contributing to the problem is the lack of public transportation. Yes, there is the JET bus system.

However, I think you should plan on owning a car. That is if you want to get where you want to go and when you want to get there.

Next, depending on who you are and your perspective on things.  This next item may represent one of the more important reasons not to live in Jonesboro…

9. Limited Diversity

Because the lack of diversity here strikes me in several different ways.

First of all, racial and ethnic diversity is not all that great.

Since roughly 70% of the population is white. While 10% are African American.

Furthermore, most locals will tell you the city government is run by a “good ole boys” network.

So, for anyone that wants to get involved with local government. Or, just “get things done” with the city. Be prepared to work with “that club”.

Finally, if you want to get involved in the community, understand that churches and religious organizations have a lot of influence on the area.

To sum it up, this is a very white, protestant, conservative U.S. city. Balanced off slightly by the diversification and more liberal views provided by the university.

Finally, one more of the worst things about Jonesboro. Then I will wrap up. I promise!

10. Homelessness And Crime

Unfortunately, the good times are not had by everyone living in Jonesboro.

Because a recent report shows more than 600 people are known to be homeless in the city. Plus another 1,200 in other parts of Craighead County.

However, there could be many more that are not identified. Regardless, it is a high percentage of the population.

And a big issue that the city and county are trying to deal with effectively.

Next, the violent crime rate and property crime rates have also been on the rise. City officials attribute some of it to gang-related activities originating from Memphis.

However, rest assured, there are plenty of safe areas. Just choose your friends and location wisely. And you should have no problem.

Alright. That’s a wrap.

So, please allow me to conclude with a few parting comments…

Pros And Cons Of Living In Jonesboro, Arkansas

Jonesboro may not be for everyone. However, there is a lot to like about this small city that is home to Arkansas State University.

Just be sure to choose your exact location wisely. To get into the school district that meets your family’s needs. And to limit your commuting time around town.

Other than that, you should be fine!

Furthermore, I hope this article has helped you answer some important questions. For example…

  • Is Jonesboro a nice place to live?
  • Why should I move to Jonesboro?
  • Is Jonesboro a good place to retire?


More Reading About Jonesboro And Far Beyond…

If you aren’t convinced that this city is your perfect spot to settle down. Then check out our…

Robust Set of Relocation Articles

That’s all for now. Good luck, no matter what you decide.

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The article’s conclusion is indicated on a whiteboard

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.

The Pros And Cons Of Living In Jonesboro, Arkansas Fully Explained