Best Places To Retire In Arkansas For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in Arkansas.

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What do 500,000 Arkansas retirees know that the rest of America does not? HomeSnacks knows.

Yes, we've done the unthinkable and created a list of the top ten best places to retire in Arkansas for 2020 and listed them below. There are a couple of things, however, that you should know before scrolling down to our list, so we suggest you get comfortable and keep reading.

First up, we obtained the data for our list by looking at the latest FBI and Census reports for 33 Arkansas cities with 10,000 residents. We then looked at how safe, affordable, and the proximity of each place to an international airport.

We discovered that Arkansas is safe and affordable; but sadly, you're going to be out of luck if you're looking to live close to an international airport: there are none. But, the state does have seven passenger airports ready to connect you to your family and friends when you need a break from retirement life. But, you really shouldn't need a break from The Natural State because there's a ton of stuff to do. Like, taking a Lake of the Ozarks dinner cruise on the Belle of the Ozarks or playing a round at Stonebridge Meadows in Fayetteville.

And if you do start to get bored, you can always be a greeter at Walmart: Bentonville is after all the birthplace of the big box store.

So, want to know where you can live out your best years in Arkansas? Keep reading, you're almost there.

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

When you choose to live in one of Arkansas' best places to retire, you are choosing to live where your dollar will go the furthest, where your safety is a priority, and where you will have the most fun. And word on the street, parking is easy in these places and there are a ton of drive-up pharmacies.

So, where is the best place to retire in Arkansas? According to the latest data, Batesville is the best place to retire in Arkansas for 2020.

To see how your favorite places in Arkansas compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

For more Arkansas state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Arkansas For 2020

Batesville, AR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,642
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $606
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.

Blytheville, AR

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 14,298
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $641
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.

Mountain Home, AR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,303
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $672
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.

Harrison, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,069
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $617
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.

Camden, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,152
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $514
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.

Van Buren, AR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 23,296
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $722
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.

Siloam Springs, AR

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 16,567
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $714
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.

Fort Smith, AR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 87,639
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $666
Distance to Closest Airport: 103 miles
More on Fort Smith: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fort Smith is the second-largest city in Arkansas and one of the two county seats of Sebastian County. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 86,209. With an estimated population of 87,443 In 2012, it is the principal city of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 298,592 residents that encompasses the Arkansas counties of Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian, and the Oklahoma counties of Le Flore and Sequoyah.

Helena-West Helena, AR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 10,965
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $573
Distance to Closest Airport: 50 miles
More on Helena-West Helena: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Helena-West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States. The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.

Magnolia, AR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,573
Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 19)
Median Rent: $688
Distance to Closest Airport: 140 miles
More on Magnolia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Magnolia is a city in Columbia County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 11,577. The city is the county seat of Columbia County.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Natural State for 2020

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 33 places from across the state.

For these 33, 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 33, 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. You can download the data here.

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. Bryant
  3. Conway

For more Arkansas reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Arkansas?

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

How Is The Area In ?

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.