The best Arkansas city to retire in is Batesville, says HomeSnacks

Photo courtesy Arkansas.com

Walnut Ridge ranks as one of the safest cities in Arkansas

JONESBORO, Ark. – The company HomeSnacks releases both positive and negative rankings for communities across America each year and NEA enjoyed several honors in the most recent lists, released in November.

Notable achievements in NEA included:

  • Walnut Ridge ranking as the 9th safest city in Arkansas
  • Searcy ranking as the 9th best city for singles in Arkansas
  • Batesville, Blytheville, and Mountain Home ranking as the best places to retire in Arkansas (first, second, and third respectively).

Safest Cities

Rank City Population
1 Bella Vista, AR 28,798
2 Greenwood, AR 9,454
3 Cabot, AR 26,459
4 Lowell, AR 9,522
5 Bentonville, AR 51,607
6 Farmington, AR 7,032
7 Prairie Grove, AR 5,921
8 Maumelle, AR 18,356
9 Walnut Ridge, AR 5,013
10 Centerton, AR 14,791

This list was based off of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report including violent crimes and property crimes.┬áNotably, Walnut Ridge was the only NEA community to make the list of ten safest cities. The threshold for population is 5,000 for this list, which the Lawrence County seat just barely surpassed.


Best Place to Raise a Family

A similar list to the safest cities, HomeSnacks also tallied up the best places to raise a family. This includes crime but also, quality of local schools, distance to a major city without necessarily being in it, percentage of households with children, and family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries, etc).

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Bentonville, AR 46,857 61
2 Siloam Springs, AR 16,567 37
3 Magnolia, AR 11,573 43
4 Arkadelphia, AR 10,611 50
5 Blytheville, AR 14,298 72
6 Batesville, AR 10,642 58
7 Van Buren, AR 23,296 48
8 Rogers, AR 64,947 51
9 Russellville, AR 29,244 48
10 Harrison, AR 13,069 69

Blytheville and Batesville both performed better than other communities in NEA on this list (despite Blytheville not doing so well in other areas).


For Singles

If it’s night life, affordable housing and other things singles care about that you’re interested in, most communities in the top ten were outside of NEA. However, Searcy managed to rank ninth.

Rank City Population Median Age
1 Fayetteville, AR 83,736 27.2
2 Arkadelphia, AR 10,611 23.5
3 Springdale, AR 78,690 31.3
4 Rogers, AR 64,947 33.4
5 Russellville, AR 29,244 27.8
6 Siloam Springs, AR 16,567 28.4
7 Conway, AR 65,069 28.7
8 Fort Smith, AR 87,639 36.2
9 Searcy, AR 23,853 28.7
10 Little Rock, AR 198,135 36.3
25 Jonesboro, AR 74,710 32.6
35 Paragould, AR 28,296 35.8

Richest Communities

Most of the richest communities in Arkansas are located in Benton County. No NEA communities made the top ten.

Notably, Jonesboro appears to have lower average wages than Paragould, Trumann, and Batesville.

Rank City RichScore Median Income
1 Lowell 2.67 $66,994
2 White Hall 4.33 $67,148
3 Centerton 5.0 $73,015
4 Bentonville 5.0 $81,934
5 Bryant 7.0 $65,364
6 Pea Ridge 7.67 $61,224
7 Farmington 10.0 $56,179
8 Maumelle 10.0 $87,295
9 Prairie Grove 10.0 $64,914
10 Rogers 11.33 $57,079
20 Batesville 22.33 $44,916
26 Paragould 26.67 $45,315
30 Jonesboro 31.0 $44,780
43 Walnut Ridge 40.0 $38,917
44 Cherokee Village 40.67 $38,132

This list of rankings was compiled using 2014-2018 American Community Survey data on poverty level, median household income, and unemployment rate.


Best Places to Retire

Look no further than Independence County’s own Batesville for the best place to retire in all of Arkansas. It isn’t the first time Batesville has ranked first in this list, either. With median rent at an affordable $606 and low crime, the community is poised to meet two of the most important criteria for ranking on the list.

In addition to using cost of living measured by rent and crime rates, HomeSnacks considers things to do, weather, distance to the closest international airport, and a high median age (for other retirees).

In this list, NEA took the top honors.

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Batesville 10,642 $606
2 Blytheville 14,298 $641
3 Mountain Home 12,303 $672
4 Harrison 13,069 $617
5 Camden 11,152 $514
6 Van Buren 23,296 $722
7 Siloam Springs 16,567 $714
8 Fort Smith 87,639 $666
9 Helena-West Helena 10,965 $573
10 Magnolia 11,573 $688

Unlike some of the other lists and rankings, this one upped the population requirement to 10,000 people from communities that weren’t townships.

While some may debate positives or certainly negatives, at least one of the lists made by HomeSnacks should be mostly without controversy: the biggest cities in Arkansas for 2020. Jonesboro ranks as the fifth biggest.

Rank City Current Population
1 Little Rock 198,135
2 Fort Smith 87,639
3 Fayetteville 83,736
4 Springdale 78,690
5 Jonesboro 74,710
6 North Little Rock 66,282
7 Conway 65,069
8 Rogers 64,947
9 Bentonville 46,857
10 Pine Bluff 43,840



2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. West Memphis ranked as worst place to live in Arkansas, says HomeSnacks – NEA Report
  2. Walnut Ridge Touts New Rankings on Affordability, Safety – NEA Report

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