When deciding where to live, safety is a top priority. Our team at ValuePenguin has analyzed the most recent FBI Crime Report to determine the safety of cities in Arkansas. These 55 ranged in crime score from 223 to 5,436, with an average of 1,823. The top five safest cities and towns range from small to large, and four of the five are situated along the western, Arkansas-Oklahoma border.
Little Rock, the state’s capital and the most populous city in the study, fell to the bottom of our rankings despite the fact that we adjusted our crime score metric for population size. The score also took into account both the amount of violent and property-related crimes per 100,000 people (more on our methodology below). For more insight, take a look at the report:
5 Safest Places in Arkansas
These cities have an average crime score of 378, which is 79% lower than their typical peer in Arkansas. With some of the state’s lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state.
1. Malvern, Ark.
With the fewest violent crimes per 100,000 people (73), Malvern takes the top spot on our list. A 45-minute drive southwest of Little Rock, the city, rich in the natural resource of clay, calls itself the “brick capital of the world.” It’s also home to the College of the Ouachitas, named one of the top community colleges in the country, and a newspaper, the Malvern Daily Record, that is nearing its 100th birthday.
2. Bella Vista, Ark.
Bella Vista, which has the second-fewest violent and property-crime totals per 100,000 people in this study, is the most populous city among the top five. The northernmost place ranked here – it’s mere miles from the Arkansas-Missouri border and nestled in the Ozark Mountains – Bella Vista has a crime score that is 32% lower than the next one on this list. Formerly dominated by its senior citizen community, the median age of residents here is 51, 13 years older than the state’s average.
3. Pea Ridge, Ark.
The least populous city to crack the top five, Pea Ridge is located a dozen miles east of the previous city on this list. Its top attraction – aside from its strong safety record – is the Pea Ridge National Military Park, which memorializes the American Civil War battle named after the city. History is, in fact, on every corner. Streets going north and south are named after union soldiers, while those heading east and west borrow their names from confederate fighters. Despite the city’s emphasis on the past, its residents have a median age of just 31.
4. Centerton, Ark.
Another member of Benton County, Centerton is a located dozen miles south of the previous city on the list. It’s used to being recognized for its safety; Bloomberg Businessweek named it the best place to raise your kids in 2012. For our purposes, Centerton recorded the fourth-lowest, population-adjusted crime score, employing the FBI’s 2013 data. Another factoid: Its downtown is four miles from Walmart’s headquarters and largest warehouse.
5. Greenwood, Ark.
The only other Arkansas city to break 500 in crime score, Greenwood calls itself “a great place to live,” and safety is a reason why. (High school football is another, at least according to its Wikipedia page.) Actually closer geographically to Tulsa, Okla., than it is to Little Rock, Greenwood is also an affordable city in which to live. Residents here had an estimated home value of $118,824 in 2012, while paying a median gross rent of $653.
Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 20,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 20,000. Here are our findings:
Full List of Places in Arkansas
Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Arkansas” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.
To rank these places, we collected data from the 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 5,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.
We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 90% and property crime at 10%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.
Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!
Crime per 100K
Crime per 100K
|48||North Little Rock||65,398||705||5,965||2,964|