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Arkansas is known for its great BBQ, fried catfish, some pretty nice people, and super great, super affordable places to live.
What does the most affordable place to live in Arkansas look like? Well, after crunching data from the US Census in terms of median housing costs, median income, and overall cost of living for cities with over 5,000 residents, HomeSnacks has uncovered the top ten most affordable places in Arkansas for 2019.
Word on the street is that Arkansans don't know what unemployment is. Arkansas is below the national unemployment rate at 3.7%. They have six Fortune 500 companies that help keep the Natural State employed and affordable. For instance, Bentonville is home to Walmart and we can thank Springdale for Tyson Chicken Nuggets. And if you know anything about economics, good jobs increase median incomes which translates to most people being able to live in most of Arkansas' cities. That's a good thing because Arkansas has a lot to offer. They have hip millennial cities like Bentonville and cool college cities like Fayetteville.
More importantly, if you choose to live in one of Arkansas' most affordable places, you will save money for the fun things that this southern gem has to offer. Like, scoring tickets to Fayetteville's Bikes, Brews and BBQ Festival or a day trip to Hot Springs Garvan Woodland Gardens.
Want to know more? Keep reading as we unravel Arkansas' most affordable places to live.
Are we surprised that some of Arkansas most affordable cities are also Arkansas' top 50 biggest cities? Not at all. We don't blame the good people of Arkansas for wanting to move to where their dollar goes the furthest.
So, where's the most affordable place to live in Arkansas for 2020? That would be Walnut Ridge.
To see how your city compared, take a look at the list below. And if you don't see you're favorite there, head to the bottom.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Arkansas and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Arkansas For 2020
The median income in Walnut Ridge comes in at $38,917 and the median home value is $82,700 for 2020.
The median income in El Dorado comes in at $42,411 and the median home value is $89,600 for 2020.
Berryville is a city in Carroll County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 5,356 at the 2010 census, making it the largest city in Carroll County. Along with Eureka Springs, it is one of the two county seats of Carroll County.
The median income in Berryville comes in at $43,903 and the median home value is $100,300 for 2020.
The median income in Wynne comes in at $42,864 and the median home value is $85,600 for 2020.
De Queen is a city and the county seat of Sevier County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 6,629 at the 2010 census. The placename is the anglicization of the family name of the Dutch merchant and railway financier, Jan de Goeijen. De Goeijen was reportedly rather unhappy with the deformation of his name
The median income in De Queen comes in at $38,405 and the median home value is $84,400 for 2020.
Trumann is a city in Poinsett County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 7,243 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The median income in Trumann comes in at $40,934 and the median home value is $88,100 for 2020.
Forrest City is a city in St. Francis County, Arkansas, United States, and the county seat. It was named for General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who used the location as a campsite for a construction crew completing a railroad between Memphis and Little Rock, shortly after the Civil War. The population was 15,371 at the 2010 census, an increase from 14,774 in 2000. The city refers to itself as the "Jewel of the Delta".
The median income in Forrest City comes in at $32,038 and the median home value is $63,200 for 2020.
Greenwood is a city in and one of the two county seats of Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States, perhaps best known locally for its Arkansas high school football. It is the fifth largest municipality in the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of 8,952 according to the 2010 US Census.
The median income in Greenwood comes in at $61,075 and the median home value is $130,800 for 2020.
White Hall is a city in Washington Township, Jefferson County, Arkansas, with a population of 5,526 in the 2010 census. It is included in the Pine Bluff Metropolitan Statistical Area and the greater Little Rock-North Little Rock-Pine Bluff Combined Statistical Area. The city is home to the Pine Bluff Arsenal.
The median income in White Hall comes in at $67,148 and the median home value is $139,400 for 2020.
Pocahontas is a city in Randolph County, Arkansas, United States, along the Black River. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 6,765. The city is the county seat of Randolph County.
The median income in Pocahontas comes in at $35,793 and the median home value is $77,900 for 2020.
How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Natural State For 2020
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Arkansas to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 63 places in Arkansas that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in Arkansas according to the data is Walnut Ridge. You can download the data here.
There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Arkansas Cheapskate
If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in Arkansas, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Arkansas for 2020.
Here's a look at the most expensive cities in Arkansas according to the data:
- North Little Rock
For more Arkansas reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Arkansas
- Best Counties To Live In Arkansas
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Arkansas
Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In Arkansas?