10 Best Places To Retire In Arkansas For 2019


We analyzed over 34 places in Arkansas to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in Arkansas.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Arkansas.

Where exactly in Arkansas is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Batesville as the best place to hang up your cleats.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Arkansas that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Batesville don’t mind us spreading the word.

Why did Batesville take the top spot? And where are Little Rock and Fort Smith?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

For Arkansas state reading:

Batesville, AR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,579
Rank Last Year: 36 (Up 35)
Median Rent: $580
Distance to Closest Airport: 94 miles
More on Batesville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Mountain Home, AR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,312
Rank Last Year: 49 (Up 47)
Median Rent: $635
Distance to Closest Airport: 138 miles
More on Mountain Home: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Camden, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,515
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $523
Distance to Closest Airport: 155 miles
More on Camden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Camden is a city in and the county seat of Ouachita County in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Arkansas.

Harrison, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,168
Rank Last Year: 26 (Up 22)
Median Rent: $586
Distance to Closest Airport: 154 miles
More on Harrison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Harrison is a city in Boone County, Arkansas, United States. It is the county seat. It named after General Marcus LaRue Harrison, a surveyor that laid out the city along Crooked Creek at Stifler Springs. According to 2012 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 13,163, up from 12,943 at the 2010 census.

Blytheville, AR

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 14,849
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Rent: $647
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on Blytheville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Blytheville is the largest city in Mississippi County, Arkansas, United States. Blytheville is approximately 60 miles north of West Memphis. The population was 18,272 at the 2000 census.

Review Of Blytheville by HomeSnacks User

Im from Blytheville Arkansas and it is an okay town. It can be dangerous every blue moon.

Malvern, AR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,937
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 8)
Median Rent: $649
Distance to Closest Airport: 167 miles
More on Malvern: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Paragould, AR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 27,521
Rank Last Year: 28 (Up 21)
Median Rent: $691
Distance to Closest Airport: 32 miles
More on Paragould: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Van Buren, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 23,155
Rank Last Year: 37 (Up 30)
Median Rent: $657
Distance to Closest Airport: 100 miles
More on Van Buren: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Bentonville, AR

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 42,499
Rank Last Year: 60 (Up 51)
Median Rent: $831
Distance to Closest Airport: 92 miles
More on Bentonville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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: 16,095
Rank Last Year: 43 (Up 33)
Median Rent: $713
Distance to Closest Airport: 75 miles
More on Siloam Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Natural State for 2019

To create our list of the best places in Arkansas to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Natural State — 538 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 34 places from across the state.

For these 34, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 34, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Batesville, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In Arkansas Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Arkansas goes to Batesville.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Jacksonville
  2. Conway
  3. North Little Rock

For more Arkansas reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Arkansas?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Batesville 10,579 $580
2 Mountain Home 12,312 $635
3 Camden 11,515 $523
4 Harrison 13,168 $586
5 Blytheville 14,849 $647
6 Malvern 10,937 $649
7 Paragould 27,521 $691
8 Van Buren 23,155 $657
9 Bentonville 42,499 $831
10 Siloam Springs 16,095 $713

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.