10 Pros and Cons of Living in Arkansas Right Now

Good Things To Know Before Moving To Arkansas

Are the pros and cons of living in Arkansas important to you? Then, you have come to the right place.

Perhaps you are thinking of moving to Arkansas for work? Or, retiring in Arkansas soon? Maybe you need to learn about the cost of living in Arkansas before relocating.

Regardless of your situation, there are benefits of living in Arkansas to be aware of. Also, some reasons not to move to Arkansas you should consider.

With that introduction in mind, let’s get started with our top living in Arkansas pros and cons. To answer this simple, but important question: Is Arkansas a good place to live?

pros and cons of living in Arkansas

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

10 Pros And Cons Of Living In Arkansas

Here is my list of several benefits of living in Arkansas. Also, a few disadvantages when considering “The Natural State”.

  • Low cost of living
  • Low property taxes
  • Top-notch state universities
  • Nice weather & plentiful outdoor activities
  • Small town charm or bigger city vibe
  • High sales taxes
  • High crime rates
  • Less than the best educational system
  • Dangers of wildlife & mosquitos
  • High poverty rates & obesity issues

Thinking of moving to Arkansas? Then, let’s hit the key question on your mind right away.

Is Arkansas A Good Place To Live?

Is Arkansas a good place to live? Well, as with any state, it depends on what you are looking for.

If you desire to keep your living costs low, want affordable property taxes, and nice weather. Plus you enjoy participating in outdoor activities.

And prefer that all of it is located in a setting of smaller cities and charming hometowns. Then, yes Arkansas is a good state to live in.

Because many of the disadvantages of living in Arkansas can be managed.

By being smart when choosing your exact location to live in Arkansas.  And when going about your daily activities after you move there.

For full disclosure, I’m a little biased. Because my wife’s family has owned 2 vacation cabins in Arkansas. And my niece lived in Little Rock, Arkansas for 2 years.

So, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Arkansas on several occasions. And we have taken hiking vacations there.  To enjoy the beautiful outdoors and small-town charm that Arkansas has to offer.

Now, with my personal history with Arkansas out of the way. Let’s dig into the details.  Of each of the 10 pros and cons of living in Arkansas…

Since this is a personal finance website. You should know we will have a strong focus on the cost of living in Arkansas.

Because most of us want to choose from nice. But, inexpensive states in which to settle down.

Benefits of Living In Arkansas

living in Arkanasas

I like to keep a positive mindset. So, let’s start with the benefits of living in Arkansas.

There are more than I can mention. Therefore, I will focus on the most notable.

When you are deciding about moving to Arkansas pros and cons. Think about these good things. And if they fit with your lifestyle, expectations, and financial goals.

Cost of Living In Arkansas

Is it expensive to live in Arkansas? The answer to that question is no.

Because the state annually checks in as one of the top 5 cheapest states to live. Based on research reports detailing the cost of living in Arkansas. Having a low cost of living can solve a lot of financial problems.

Depending on where you live, the average cost of living in Arkansas is about 10-15% lower than the average of all states in America. Groceries, utilities, and transportation all contribute to cost savings.

But, where Arkansas shines is in the cost of housing. The median cost of the state’s average home is nearly half of the median home cost measured across the United States.

And if you need a mortgage for that new home? There are plenty of fast, affordable online options.

Furthermore, make sure you keep your credit score in good shape. Whether renting or buying.

Because your credit score will be reviewed by your lender or landlord. And probably your new employer too. If you are moving to Arkansas for an employment opportunity.

I check my credit score periodically for free. Using Credit Karma.

Finally, are you trying to choose between Arkansas and its neighbor to the Southwest, Texas?  Cost of living in Arkansas versus Texas comparisons show the Natural State as the winner.

But don’t count out Texas. Or, Arkansas’ neighboring state to the west. Because Oklahoma has a low cost of living too.

For now, that’s it on the average cost of living in Arkansas. But it surfaces in another area too. That being property taxes…

Property Taxes In Arkansas

cost of living in Arkansas

Here’s another area where Arkansas wins over Texas for cost savings.  That being, property taxes. Also called real estate taxes.

Whether you own a home and pay property taxes directly. Or rent, the property tax bill still comes out of your pocket.

And when it comes to property taxes, living in Arkansas is a winner. Because property taxes on a median-priced home come in as one of the lowest 5 states in the nation!

Another way to keep your cost of living low in Arkansas is to save on all your online purchases. We use Rakuten. And receive rebates on everything we buy online.

This little trick works anywhere you decide to live. But, why not make it even less expensive to live in Arkansas once you get there. You can learn more about Rakuten here.

Next, higher education opportunities when living in Arkansas.

Top-Notch State Universities

First of all, this state has excellent universities.

Furthermore, I’m a big believer in higher education. And doing it without going into debt for the rest of your life.

Having received both of my degrees from state universities in my home state. I think it is one of the best ways to go.

Get the big university experience. Have your kids stay reasonably close to home. And enjoy the cost benefits of in-state tuition.

The University of Arkansas is one option. Its flagship campus is located in the Arkansas city of Fayetteville.

Choose from nearly 100 undergraduate fields of study. Almost as many master’s degree programs. And more than 30 doctoral programs.

Or consider Arkansas State University.  The second-largest university in Arkansas. Based out of Jonesboro in the northeast corner of the state.

A-State does not have as large a campus population as the University of Arkansas. But is known for its robust online offerings.

So, we know Arkansas is a cheap state to live in. And we can get a good education from this state’s universities.

But what else is there to do besides saving money and getting an education? Let’s discuss…

Nice Weather & Ample Outdoor Activities

The weather is nice in this state. I’m going to go out on a limb here. And call it the San Diego of the South Central region of the United States.

Okay. Maybe San Diego is a stretch.

But, if you enjoy mild winters. And don’t mind a little heat and humidity in the summer. The southern living in Arkansas because of the weather has its advantages.

Enjoy The Weather When Living in Arkansas

January is the coldest month. But low temperatures rarely fall much below 30 degrees. Snowfall is light in the Northern parts of the state. While virtually nonexistent to the South.

July and August are the hottest months of the year. Temperatures frequently climb into the 90s. And can be accompanied by high humidity.

But, if you can beat the heat during the summer. You can enjoy a temperate climate with distinct seasons for the rest of the year.

The average high temperature is in the 70s. With lows in the 50s.

The state’s climate results in lower utility costs for heating and cooling. Another plus for the Arkansas cost of living.

With all the nice weather, combined with the beautiful landscape. They lead to a plentiful number of possible outdoor activities.

Enjoy The Outdoors When Living In Arkansas

outdoor activities

Like its neighboring state to the north, Missouri. Arkansas is known for its beautiful landscape and natural scenery. After all, the state’s nickname is the “Natural State”.

If you like the outdoors, popular leisure pursuits include:

  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Water skiing, canoeing & tubing

Furthermore, Arkansas is known for its geographical diversity. From the river valleys of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. And their many tributaries.

To the mountains and associated bluffs. And the forests, and lakes.

Combine the weather and the terrain. And, this state has plenty for outdoor lovers.

Including a little charm and some good vibes…

Small Town Charm Or Bigger City Vibe

No matter which state you choose to live in. Selecting your location in this state is important.

It all comes down to your interests and lifestyle choices. And perhaps, if you are tied down to a workplace commute.

The Small Town Charm Of Living In Arkansas

When considering a move to Arkansas, the state has smaller towns to choose from. Furthermore, most are known for their unique charm.

Enjoy walking down streets full of small businesses and bustling cafes. Plus, you can experience plenty of Southern-style hospitality.

So, there is plenty of small-town charm in this state. To get out and enjoy.

The Bigger City Vibe When Living In Arkansas

But, you may be interested in a bigger city vibe when moving to Arkansas. Then consider the larger cities.

Where you will find plenty of dining experiences and culture. From art galleries to museums, and theaters.

Without many of the big city drawbacks. Such as traffic jams and overcrowding from urbanization.

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas. And boasts the largest population.

Further your career with Walmart. Also, the state’s largest employer. And headquartered in Bentonville.

Want to live in a college town? For all, they have to offer.

Then consider Fayetteville or Jonesboro. Home to the state universities we have already discussed.

Each of the examples falls in the top 5 cities located in Arkansas. Based on population.

And it’s important to note. That the University of Arkansas is also a large employer located in the state.

So sharpen up that resume. Move to a larger city in Arkansas and get to work.

Resource: Improve your resume with MyPerfectResume

Does living in Arkansas sound like paradise to you? Well, not so fast…

Disadvantages of Living In Arkansas

pros and cons of moving to Arkansas

As I mentioned earlier, I am a little biased. And believe that Arkansas is a good place to live.

So far we have talked about this state’s low cost of living in Arkansas. And the nice weather.

Also, places to live if you are thinking about retiring in Arkansas. Want to send your kids to a good state university? Or, further your career at one of Arkansas’s largest employers.

On the other hand, I want to present a balanced case. So here are a few reasons not to move to Arkansas.

The disadvantages of living in Arkansas are not insurmountable. Not by any means. But they should be considered…

Living In Arkansas Means High Sales Taxes

Are you a big consumer? And like to spend money and buy a lot of consumer goods?

Then, be prepared to pay high sales taxes. If you are not careful they will eat into the low cost of living in Arkansas that you expect to enjoy.

Why so? Because according to AARP, Arkansas levies the 2nd highest state and local tax rates in the United States.

If you are thinking about the pros and cons of retiring in Arkansas. And also, are past your major consumption years. Perhaps the high sales tax is not a big deal.

But otherwise, make sure you factor it into your budget.  Because Arkansas checks in right behind the “Volunteer State”, Tennessee. At nearly 10% sales tax when including additions from local taxing authorities.

Next up in the reasons not to live in Arkansas, is crime…

High Crime Rate

Higher crime in the Natural State

Like so many of the pros and cons in every state, it’s hard to generalize across all of Arkansas. When it comes to crime and your safety.

Some areas are safer. Like Bentonville. Many well-paid and educated corporate citizens call this town their home. Either working for Walmart. Or supporting the related supply chain.

Furthermore, Bentonville’s high corporate tax base supports well-staffed law enforcement personnel.

While other areas, specifically parts of Little Rock and West Memphis have very high crime rates.

Overall, statistics show Arkansas’ violent crime rate and property crime rate. Are both higher than the national averages.

But don’t let this deter you when considering reasons to move to Arkansas. For example, my niece lived by herself in a single-family home near Little Rock. And, never had any issues regarding the crime or her safety.

Of course, she had two dogs. That would sound the alarm if anyone came near the house.  But those two pooches wouldn’t hurt a fly. Biscuit, the puppy, I dubbed “an unguided missile looking for love”.

Just be choosy when it comes to your location and neighborhood. When it comes to any move, be sure to do your due diligence.

Public Schools

The elementary and high school education systems in Arkansas are not top-rated. US News ranks the state in the lowest quartile of its state-by-state rankings.

The system is not well funded. And teachers earn less than in other states. So, attracting top-notch educators here is more difficult.

So, if you have school-age children, and are considering a move to Arkansas you might be on the hook for private school tuition. If you desire to provide the best education for your children.

It is another possible offset to the low cost of living in Arkansas. On the other hand, if your family is grown and you are living off savings and retiring in Arkansas.  Then, the education system is probably not a deal-breaker.

Another one of the reasons not to live in Arkansas…

Wildlife & Mosquitoes

Of course, the beautiful natural landscapes and outdoors can have their drawbacks.

First of all, abundant water supplies and warm humid summer weather.  Promote a robust mosquito population.

A few summer bites are probably not a concern. But those pesky bugs can carry the West Nile virus. And, less common mosquito-borne diseases.

Furthermore, Arkansas has vast amounts of natural land. That is home to some dangerous critters if you are not careful.

The most dangerous are venomous snakes. Including the copperheads, rattlesnakes, and cottonmouths that call Arkansas home.

Hmmm. Mosquitos and snakes. They remind me of the disadvantages of living in Florida.

Finally, black bears and bobcats are also known to roam the countryside. But they probably won’t bother anyone.

But, accidentally step on the wrong snake when enjoying a hike in the forest. And that can mean trouble.

Poverty & Obesity

Unfortunately, Arkansas is known for very high poverty. Routinely clocking in as one of the bottom 10 states in the nation with a 15%+ poverty rate.

The state’s rate is about 50% higher than the average rate across the United States.

Furthermore, Arkansas is also known for its obesity rate. With more than one-third of the population considered overweight.

These aspects are things that someone moving to Arkansas can control to a large extent. But, realize they are part of the environment and culture you would be moving to.

Okay. It’s time to wrap this article up. Allow me to conclude and summarize the important pros and cons of living in Arkansas.

Summary: Pros And Cons Of Living In Arkansas

move to Arkansas

The Natural State has a lot to offer for anyone interested in moving to Arkansas. Do your homework. Don’t, by accident, pick one of the worst places to live in Arkansas. And I’m sure you will live happily for many years.

Need to fine-tune your finances before the big move to Arkansas? I use Personal Capital to manage my total financial picture online.

Including spending, budgeting, and investments. Best of all, Personal Capital is free to sign up and use.

Finally, for reference, here is a summary of the pros and cons of living in Arkansas that we reviewed in this article. Specifically, why move to Arkansas?

  • Low cost of living
  • Low property taxes
  • Top-notch state universities
  • Nice weather & plentiful outdoor activities
  • Small town charm or bigger city vibe

And some reasons not to live in Arkansas…

  • High sales taxes
  • High crime rates
  • Less than a best-in-class educational system
  • Dangers of wildlife & mosquitos
  • High poverty rate & obesity issues

Keep these reasons to move to Arkansas in mind as you consider all of the pros and cons. And, good luck with your decision!

More Reading About Saving Money & Living Well

Best Resources To Keep Your Money In Order- Before & After The Big Move

Throughout the article, I mentioned several of my favorite personal finance resources. For saving money and managing money.

Best of all they are all free to sign up and use. I have summarized them here for your convenience.

Credit Karma for monitoring your credit
Rakuten for saving on all of your online purchases
Personal Capital for managing your total financial picture

Author Bio, Disclosure, & Disclaimer: Please join me (Tom) as I try to achieve my goals, find my next place to live, and make the most of my money. But understand, I am not a licensed investment adviser, financial adviser, real estate agent, or tax professional. I’m a 50-something-year-old guy, CPA, retired finance professional, and part-time business school teacher with 40+ years of DIY investing experience. I’m just here because I enjoy sharing my findings and research on important topics. However, nothing published on this site should be considered individual investment advice, financial guidance, or tax counsel. Because this website’s only purpose is general information & entertainment. As a result, neither I nor Dividends Diversify can be held liable for any losses suffered by any party because of the information published on this blog. Finally, all written content is the property of Dividends Diversify LLC. Unauthorized publication elsewhere is strictly prohibited.

The Pros And Cons Of Living In Arkansas

2 thoughts on “10 Pros and Cons of Living in Arkansas Right Now”

  1. I’ve lived in Arkansas my entire life and was lucky to earn a high salary in this low cost of living area. We’ve hiked hundreds, probably thousands of miles in rugged remote parts of the state and the only way you’ll ever get bit by a snake is if you try to pick it up. They are scared of people and never attack anything they can’t swallow except in self defense. You are far more likely to be killed by lightning or a tornado than by a snake. My wife and I and all three of our kids went to the University of Arkansas and received four engineering degrees, a teaching degree, a business degree and a medical doctorate among the five of us. Our three kids also got completely free four year degrees including tuition, fees, books, room and board even though we were high earners. There are tons of merit based scholarships available to Arkansas Universities that are not means tested in any way. One city even provides five years of free college to every student that graduates from their public school system. Housing costs are very low and if you like the outdoors this is one place where you can hike every day for a week and not see another person on the trail. That’s priceless. Yes there are bears but they are even less dangerous than the snakes. The mosquitos however are a thing.

    • Thanks. Awesome insights about living in Arkansas. My wife and I have taken some of our favorite hiking vacations there. It’s hard to beat the Smokey Mountains and the Rocky Mountains for their grandeur. But Arkansas makes up for it in as you say “rugged and remote.” Without the crowds that come with those more popular areas. We never saw a snake. But, I still worry about accidentally stepping on one. Tom

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