These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Arkansas For 2018

We analyzed over 52 places in Arkansas to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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

But 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.

But where exactly in Arkansas? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

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.

Here are our top ten places in the Natural State to retire for 2018:

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

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. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in Arkansas.

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

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 with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’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.

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1. Batesville

Batesville, Arkansas

Source: Public domain’

Population: 10,579
Median Rent: $580
Distance to Closest Airport: 94 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,157
More on Batesville: Homes For Sale | Data
Batesville is the second oldest municipality in the state of Arkansas, after Georgetown. It was named for the first territorial delegate from Arkansas to the Congress of the United States, James Woodson Bates, who settled in the town. The town has also gone by the names of Napoleon and Poke Bayou.

2. Mountain Home

Mountain Home, Arkansas

Source: Public domain’

Population: 12,312
Median Rent: $635
Distance to Closest Airport: 138 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,239
More on Mountain Home: Homes For Sale | Data

3. Camden

Camden, Arkansas

Population: 11,515
Median Rent: $523
Distance to Closest Airport: 155 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,524
More on Camden: Homes For Sale | Data
Indigenous peoples of various cultures lived along the rivers of Arkansas for thousands of years and created complex societies. Mississippian culture peoples built massive earthwork mounds along the Ouachita River, beginning circa 1000.

4. Harrison

Harrison, Arkansas

Population: 13,168
Median Rent: $586
Distance to Closest Airport: 154 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,434
More on Harrison: Homes For Sale | Data
Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the area, the first probably being cliff dwellers who lived in caves in the bluffs along the rivers. In later times, the Osage, a branch of the Sioux, was the main tribe in the Ozarks, and one of their larger villages is thought to have been to the east of the present site of Harrison. The Shawnee, Quapaw, and Caddo people were also familiar to the area.

5. Blytheville

Blytheville, Arkansas

Population: 14,849
Median Rent: $647
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
Crime Per 100k: 7,273
More on Blytheville: Homes For Sale | Data
Blytheville was founded by Methodist clergyman Henry T. Blythe in 1879. It received a post office in 1879, was incorporated in 1889, and became the county seat for the northern half of Mississippi County (Chickasawba District) in 1901. Blytheville received telephone service and electricity in 1903, and natural gas service in 1950.

6. Malvern

Malvern, Arkansas

Population: 10,937
Median Rent: $649
Distance to Closest Airport: 167 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,032
More on Malvern: Homes For Sale | Data
Named after Malvern Hill, Virginia, Malvern was founded in 1870 by the Cairo and Fulton Railroad as a city site 21 miles (34 km) southeast of Hot Springs. On October 15, 1878, Malvern officially became the county seat of Hot Spring County. The original inhabitants of the county were Native Americans, trappers, hunters, and farmers.

7. Paragould

Paragould, Arkansas

Population: 27,521
Median Rent: $691
Distance to Closest Airport: 32 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,599
More on Paragould: Homes For Sale | Data
The city’s name is a blend combining the last names of competing railroad magnates J. W. Paramore and Jay Gould. Paramore’s Texas & St. Louis Railway (later the Cotton Belt) and Gould’s St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway (later the Missouri Pacific) intersected here in 1882. A group of citizens chose the name, and it is believed to be the only city in the world with this name. Gould objected to his name’s being second and refused to list the new town on his schedules.

8. Van Buren

Van Buren, Arkansas

Population: 23,155
Median Rent: $657
Distance to Closest Airport: 100 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,314
More on Van Buren: Homes For Sale | Data
The area was settled by David Boyd and Thomas Martin in 1818. After Arkansas became a territory in 1819 Daniel and Thomas Phillips constructed a lumber yard in the community to serve as a fuel depot for traffic along the Arkansas River. In 1831 a post office was constructed for the community, at the time known as Phillips Landing. This post office was named after the newly appointed Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren.

9. Bentonville

Bentonville, Arkansas

Population: 42,499
Median Rent: $831
Distance to Closest Airport: 92 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,762
More on Bentonville: Homes For Sale | Data
The area now known as Bentonville’s first known use by humans was as hunting grounds by the Osage Nation who lived in Missouri. The Osage would leave their settlements to hunt in present-day Benton County for months at a time before returning to their families. White settlers first inhabited the area around 1837 and named their settlement ‘Osage’. By this time, the Osage had ceased using the area for hunting, and the white settlers began to establish farms. Upon establishment of Benton County on September 30, 1836, Osage was deemed a suitable site for the county seat, and the town square was established as the home of county government the following year. Osage was renamed Bentonville in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, a senator from Missouri who strongly supported Arkansas statehood. The Osage post office was established on December 31, 1836, and renamed Bentonville on January 3, 1906.

10. Siloam Springs

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Population: 16,095
Median Rent: $713
Distance to Closest Airport: 75 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,957
More on Siloam Springs: Homes For Sale | Data
Osage Indians were the known first inhabitants of the area. Siloam Springs’ first white settlers were of German and Scots-Irish origin. Simon Sager is considered the founder of the town, then known as Hico.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire 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:

  • Jacksonville
  • Conway
  • North Little Rock

For more Arkansas reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Arkansas

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Batesville 1 10,579 $580 94 3,157
Mountain Home 2 12,312 $635 138 4,239
Camden 3 11,515 $523 155 4,524
Harrison 4 13,168 $586 154 4,434
Blytheville 5 14,849 $647 3 7,273
Malvern 6 10,937 $649 167 4,032
Paragould 7 27,521 $691 32 5,599
Van Buren 8 23,155 $657 100 4,314
Bentonville 9 42,499 $831 92 1,762
Siloam Springs 10 16,095 $713 75 3,957
Fort Smith 11 87,712 $626 103 6,773
Magnolia 12 11,651 $664 140 3,725
Arkadelphia 13 10,728 $562 187 4,483
Cabot 14 25,407 $738 115 2,310
Jonesboro 15 72,638 $706 42 5,170
West Memphis 16 25,411 $687 14 6,536
Pine Bluff 17 45,404 $670 129 7,688
El Dorado 18 18,393 $609 130 6,692
Maumelle 19 17,795 $888 137 2,461
Helena-West Helena 20 11,325 $608 50 5,430
Hot Springs 21 36,711 $667 178 8,605
Marion 22 12,323 $781 17 4,844
Rogers 23 61,979 $821 96 4,149
Sherwood 24 30,251 $793 126 4,674
Fayetteville 25 80,552 $734 96 5,182
Centerton 26 11,403 $937 89 1,552
Benton 27 33,613 $740 150 5,137
Texarkana 28 30,155 $702 168 6,148
Little Rock 29 197,640 $803 136 8,479
Russellville 30 29,136 $672 166 4,983
Bryant 31 19,529 $846 145 4,726
North Little Rock 32 66,042 $792 129 5,192
Conway 33 64,184 $742 140 5,149
Jacksonville 34 28,661 $790 122 5,422

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