10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Arkansas For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Arkansas have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for . This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in Arkansas.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.

Promise.

According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Arkansas? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Natural State for 2019:

  1. Bentonville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Siloam Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Van Buren (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Batesville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Paragould (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Malvern (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Arkadelphia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Mountain Home (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Rogers (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Conway (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Arkansas, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out some more reading about Arkansas and the best places for families in the country:

How do you determine which place is best for families in Arkansas anyways?

To give you the places in Arkansas which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Natural State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Arkansas, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Arkansas, that meant a total of 33 cities.

Read on to see why Bentonville is where all the families are headed, while El Dorado is probably a place made for singles.

Bentonville, AR

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 44,601
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
Closest Major City: Tulsa
Households with kids: 40.9%
More on Bentonville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Bentonville is the ninth-largest city in Arkansas and the county seat of Benton County. The city is centrally located in the county with Rogers adjacent to the east. The city is the headquarters of Walmart, which is the world’s largest retailer. Originally named Osage after the Osage Indians who hunted in the area when white settlers first moved to the area in 1837, the community was renamed to Bentonville in 1906 in honor of New York inventor Linn Boyd Benton, after being first incorporated on April 3, 1873. It is one of the four main cities in the four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. The city itself had a population of 35,301 at the 2010 Census, with an estimated population of 47,093 in 2016.

Siloam Springs, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 16,311
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Tulsa
Households with kids: 40.3%
More on Siloam Springs: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Siloam Springs is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The city shares a border on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state line with the city of West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, which is within the Cherokee Nation territory. The town was founded in 1882 and was characterized by the purported healing powers of the spring water feeding Sager Creek and trading with nearby Native American tribes. John Brown University was founded in 1919 as a private, interdenominational, Christian liberal arts college in the city. Today, Siloam Springs is known for its efforts to preserve and revitalize the city’s historic downtown and as a promoter of the arts via Sager Creek Arts Center and the JBU art gallery. The community is located on the western edge of the growing Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area and has had a population increase of 47% to 15,039 between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.

Van Buren, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 23,135
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Tulsa
Households with kids: 31.0%
More on Van Buren: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Van Buren is the second largest city in the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area and the county seat of Crawford County, Arkansas, United States. The city is located directly northeast of Fort Smith at the Interstate 40-Interstate 540 junction. The city was incorporated in 1845 and as of the 2010 census had a population of 22,791, ranking it as the state’s 22nd largest city, behind Searcy.

Batesville, AR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,568
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 31.7%
More on Batesville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Batesville is the county seat and largest city of Independence County, Arkansas, United States, 80 miles northeast of Little Rock, the state capital. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city was 10,248. The city serves as a regional manufacturing and distribution hub for the Ozark Mountain region and northeast Arkansas.

Paragould, AR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 27,815
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 29.8%
More on Paragould: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Paragould is the county seat of Greene County, and the 19th-largest city in Arkansas, in the United States. The city is located in northeastern Arkansas on the eastern edge of Crowley’s Ridge, a geologic anomaly contained within the Arkansas delta.

Malvern, AR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,830
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 17.3%
More on Malvern: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Malvern is a city in and the county seat of Hot Spring County, Arkansas, United States. Founded as a railroad stop at the eastern edge of the Ouachita Mountains, the community’s history and economy have been tied to available agricultural and mineral resources. The production of bricks from locally available clay has earned the city the nickname, “The Brick Capital of the World”. The city had a population of 10,318 at the time of the 2010 census, and in 2015 the estimated population was 10,928.

Arkadelphia, AR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,664
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 24.1%
More on Arkadelphia: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Arkadelphia is a city in Clark County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,714. The city is the county seat of Clark County. It is situated at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Two universities, Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University, are located there. Arkadelphia was incorporated in 1857.

Mountain Home, AR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,253
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 17.0%
More on Mountain Home: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Mountain Home is a small city and the county seat of Baxter County, Arkansas, United States, in the southern Ozark Mountains near the northern state border with Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 12,448. A total of 41,307 persons lived within the city and micropolitan combined, which encompasses the majority of Baxter County.

Rogers, AR

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 63,411
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Tulsa
Households with kids: 39.3%
More on Rogers: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rogers is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city has a population of 55,964 making it the state’s-eighth largest city. Rogers is located in the northwest portion of the state in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Area, which is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation and is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 465,776 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau.

Conway, AR

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 64,481
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 29.8%
More on Conway: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Conway is a city in the American state of Arkansas and the county seat of Faulkner County, located in the state’s most populous Metropolitan Statistical Area, Central Arkansas. Although sometimes considered a suburb of Little Rock, Conway is unique in that the majority of its residents do not commute out of the city to work. The city also serves as a regional shopping, educational, work, healthcare, sports, and cultural hub for Faulkner County and surrounding areas. Conway’s growth can be attributed to its jobs in technology and higher education with its largest employers being Acxiom, the University of Central Arkansas, Hewlett Packard, Hendrix College, Insight Enterprises, and many technology start up companies. Conway is home to three post-secondary educational institutions, earning it the nickname “The City of Colleges”.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In Arkansas

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Arkansas ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Arkansas according to the data:

  1. El Dorado
  2. Jacksonville
  3. Texarkana

For more Arkansas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Arkansas

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Bentonville, AR 44,601 62
2 Siloam Springs, AR 16,311 53
3 Van Buren, AR 23,135 59
4 Batesville, AR 10,568 60
5 Paragould, AR 27,815 66
6 Malvern, AR 10,830 66
7 Arkadelphia, AR 10,664 37
8 Mountain Home, AR 12,253 46
9 Rogers, AR 63,411 64
10 Conway, AR 64,481 52
11 Centerton, AR 12,178 36
12 Jonesboro, AR 73,581 56
13 Blytheville, AR 14,588 74
14 Camden, AR 11,289 36
15 Harrison, AR 13,058 63
16 Cabot, AR 25,732 56
17 Russellville, AR 29,147 56
18 Benton, AR 34,034 35
19 Magnolia, AR 11,570 64
20 Fayetteville, AR 81,889 70
21 Maumelle, AR 17,967 59
22 Marion, AR 12,467 51
23 West Memphis, AR 25,152 43
24 Fort Smith, AR 87,537 81
25 Pine Bluff, AR 44,509 49
26 Little Rock, AR 197,780 100
27 North Little Rock, AR 66,144 41
28 Hot Springs, AR 36,780 49
29 Bryant, AR 19,607 45
30 Sherwood, AR 30,590 31
31 Texarkana, AR 30,120 42
32 Jacksonville, AR 28,637 46
33 El Dorado, AR 18,201 37

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