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10 Most Dangerous Cities in Arkansas (2024 Update)

Arkansas, USA

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Based on the state’s crime rate, Arkansas tends to be more dangerous than other states in the region and the nation as a whole. The violent crime rate was at 5.8 per 1,000 people in the state, while the national average was 3.66 per 1,000 people.1 Based on this information, Arkansas has an average that is almost twice as dangerous as the entire country.

Property crime rates don’t look much better, and theft is quite high in the area. However, for one reason or another, package theft was surprisingly high considering the crime rate. While there are some safe spots in Arkansas, there are also some very unsafe locations. Below, we’ll look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Arkansas.

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The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Arkansas: A Quick Look

1. Osceola

Osceola, AR 017
Osceola, AR 017 (Image Credit: Brandonrush, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Violent Crime Rate: 25.9
Property Crime Rate: 47.5
Population: 6,650

Osceola is a rather small community that has just over 6,000 people. However, the crime rate is extremely high. This small community has much more crime than you would expect, which is why it is named the most dangerous city in Arkansas. In fact, this is one of the more dangerous cities in the whole country. (Best Life)

All violent crimes seem to be high in this community. In fact, there were 60 murders reported last year, while the national average is only 6. (Niche)

2. Helena-West Helena

Helena AR 004
Helena AR 004 (Image Credit: Thomas R Machnitzki, Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0 Unported)
Violent Crime Rate: 18.4
Property Crime Rate: 56.7
Population: 10,190

While this small town is number two on this list, it is much safer than Osceola. The crime rate is a few points lower, which represents a significant drop in crime. However, while this town has little crime, it is often reported as being problematic in other areas.

For instance, the poverty rate is 42.5%, which is almost half of the population (Welfare Info). The public schools tend to be rated very poorly as well, likely due to the low funding available in the area. There are not many jobs, according to most reports. Overall, this just isn’t a good community for families, even if the crime rate is much lower than in Osceola.

3. West Memphis

Broadway Blvd West Memphis AR 03
Broadway Blvd West Memphis AR 03 (Image Credit: Thomas R Machnitzki, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Violent Crime Rate: 19.8
Property Crime Rate: 50.1
Population: 24,440

Continuing with our downward trend, West Memphis has a much lower crime rate than the previous two cities mentioned. However, it is still higher than most cities in the area. The schools and housing situation are rated much higher than most high-crime communities, which may be enough to convince some people to move there.

This community is considered a suburb of Memphis, which is likely why the crime rate is so high. Memphis is one of the most dangerous communities in the USA, so it only makes sense that its suburbs would also be dangerous.

4. Little Rock

Downtown North Little Rock
Downtown North Little Rock (Image Credit: Cliff, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)
Violent Crime Rate: 15.2
Property Crime Rate: 61.2
Population: 198,380

Little Rock is a large city in Arkansas and is the state capital. Therefore, the crime rate is quite high, as you might expect. Most cities have higher crime rates, so this isn’t surprising.

While the crime rate is high, most residents seem happy with everything else in this city. The schools usually get pretty good ratings, and the city is diverse. It may not be safe, but you will benefit from everything else that the city has to offer.

5. El Dorado

El Dorado Commercial Historic District, 2 of 5
El Dorado Commercial Historic District, 2 of 5 (Image Credit: Valis55, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Violent Crime Rate: 13.4
Property Crime Rate: 55.9
Population: 17,820

This is a somewhat larger town that is known or has a slightly higher crime rate than you might expect. Violent and property crimes are quite high in the area. Murders, assaults, and robberies are all common occurrences. With that said, this area is known for having above-average schools and decent housing. It is a good place for families if you ignore the poor crime rate.

Most residents like this area, as we didn’t find many negative reviews or news articles. The town seems to draw many artists and musicians to the area, so it seems best for free-spirited individuals. They also have a large MusicFest that draws many people each year.

6. Hot Springs

Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 003
Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 003 (Image Credit: Brandonrush, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Violent Crime Rate: 6.5
Property Crime Rate: 71.8
Population: 37,260

While the violent crime rate in this area is high, the property crime rate is the highest in the state. Therefore, while it may not be technically as dangerous as some places, we decided to include it on this list simply due to the extremely high property crime rate. You’re more likely to be involved in a theft or similar crime if you live in this area.

Still, due to the high crime rate, it is rated among the most dangerous cities in the United States. (24/7 Wall St.)

7. Fordyce

Elliott House, Fordyce, AR
Elliott House, Fordyce, AR (Image Credit: Valis55, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Violent Crime Rate: 11.2
Property Crime Rate: 56.9
Population: 3,750

Out of all the towns in Arkansas, Fordyce is one of the smallest, with only 3,750 people. In a town that small, you pretty much know everyone. However, that doesn’t seem to help keep the violent crime rate or the property crime rate low in this community. For the most part, Fordyce is a retirement community. The home value is rather low and extremely affordable, which is one reason that retirees tend to flock to the area.

For families, the logging industry is the main employer and provides a very low income, which may be why crime rates are so high. There also isn’t much here, though that can be expected based on the population.

8. Fort Smith

Fort Smith, AR 002
Fort Smith, AR 002 (Image Credit: Brandonrush, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Violent Crime Rate: 9.8
Property Crime Rate: 58.2
Population: 88,040

This small community is well known for its good schools and decent family life. However, their crime rate is surprisingly high, especially considering it often has rave reviews. Due to the slightly higher population, more crime is expected.

Much of this town seems to be behind the times, and the schools are not as revered as others in the state. Diversity seems to be pretty low overall, and there are not many amenities. Therefore, while it may be a great option for some families, others find life a bit slower than they’d like.

9. Newport

High School Newport AR
High School Newport AR (Image Credit: Jma661, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Violent Crime Rate: 12.3
Property Crime Rate: 49.3
Population: 7,490

Compared to other towns on this list, Newport is relatively small. It is a rural area with few businesses or amenities.  The most you’re going to find is a few fast-food places. Drug use seems to be high in the area, which may contribute to the higher crime rate.


10. Jacksonville

Jacksonville, AR 006
Jacksonville, AR 006 (Image Credit: Brandonrush, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Violent Crime Rate: 9.6
Property Crime Rate: 52.5
Population: 28,270

While Jacksonville is the “safest of the most dangerous cities,” it still has a crime rate higher than the national average. Your chance of getting injured in an assault or robbery is quite high, as is the chance of theft.

Beyond that, the community gets pretty high scores in most areas and seems like a decent place to live. Some people did complain about the lack of shopping and other amenities, but that can be expected given the lower population.

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Is Arkansas Safe?

Generally speaking, Arkansas is not considered safe. In fact, it has one of the highest crime rates in the nation, especially regarding violent crime. Based on this information, Arkansas is far from what we would usually consider safe.

While there are some safe towns in Arkansas, most of them have a high crime rate, including small towns that you would imagine to be quite safe. Crime rates seem to be going up, and we don’t see the level of crime dropping considerably anytime soon.

With that said, it doesn’t appear that many residents feel unsafe, so it may be that the crime is only in small pockets (but at very high levels in those pockets). Violent crime is higher than property crime. Burglary is higher in Arkansas than practically anywhere else in the nation, which doesn’t help with the overall crime rate.

Strangely, this state does experience fewer package thefts than the rest of the nation. So, your packages are likely to remain pretty safe!

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Arkansas is not the safest state in the nation. The most dangerous cities in Arkansas have some of the highest violent crime rates around. Based on FBI reports, the crime rate isn’t just high in larger cities. In fact, small towns seem to take the brunt of the high crime rate. Poverty doesn’t seem to be directly linked to high crime, either. Overall, this state is simply more dangerous than others, and it shows.

Featured Image Credit: shuttersv, Shutterstock


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