Moving to Arkansas – Things to Know Before Moving

Moving to Arkansas – Things to Know Before Moving

Arkansas is a place of southern beauty. Packed with unlimited lakes, water bodies, rivers, mountains, and 52 state parks, it is no wonder the ‘Nature State’ is often dubbed as the most enchanting state in the US. 

Recent studies prove that Arkansas is the 10 most popular states people desire to move to. Are you one among the population aspiring about moving to Arkansas? If yes, it is natural that you would be curious to know more about Arkansas before moving there. 

Read more about Arkansas to enhance your knowledge about the ‘Natural State’.

Arkansas Quick Facts

  • Area: 53,179 sq mi
  • Capital & largest city: Little Rock
  • Population: 3,013,756
  • Density: 56.4/sq mi
  • Demonym(s): Arkansan, Arkansawyer, Arkanite
  • Nicknames: The Wonder State, the Natural State

How is the weather in Arkansas?

Arkansas has a humid subtropical climate with a long, hot, and humid summer (May to September) and short, cold, and wet winter (November to February). 

In winter, Arkansas experiences snowfall and ice storms that happen in different parts of the state. 

Tornadoes, hailstorms, and thunderstorms also hit Arkansas every year.

What are the attractions in Arkansas?

Fuelled by the rich culture and natural resources, Arkansas is a blend of historical and outdoor attractions. State and national parks, waterfalls, museums, and theme parks – Arkansas boasts unlimited entertainment.

We’ve got a list of some breathtaking attractions in the Nature State.

  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  • Hot Springs National Park
  • Magic Springs and Crystal Falls Water and Theme Park
  • Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
  • Little Rock Zoo
  • Clinton Presidential Center
  • Thorncrown Chapel
  • Arkansas Air & Military Museum
  • Crater of Diamonds State Park
  • Mount Magazine State Park
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens
  • Blanchard Springs Caverns

How much does it cost to live in Arkansas?

If saving more is the purpose of moving to Arkansas, here is good news. Arkansas has a lower cost of living than most US states and this means you’ll spend less on groceries, transport, housing, healthcare, and other utilities than the neighboring states. Arkansas’s cost of living is rated 79.0.

Here’s a breakdown of the cost of living in Arkansas.

Cost of livingArkansasUnited States
Overall79100
Grocery92.7100
Health86.5100
Housing55.7100
Median home cost$128,800$231,200
Utilities95.6100
Transportation81.6100
Miscellaneous93.9100

How much does housing cost in Arkansas?

Compared to the rest of the US, Arkansas has affordable homes. The median home cost is $128,800. However, the property costs have drastically shot up in the past few years. 

What is home rental in the state?

When buying a home is not in your plan, renting one is the next best option. And fortunately, home rental in Arkansas is affordable than most neighboring states. About 28.5% of Arkansans stay in rented homes. 

If renting a home in Arkansas is what you are looking forward to, these facts would help you. 

  • The average cost of a studio apartment in Arkansas is $537
  • The average cost of a 1-bedroom home or apartment in Arkansas is $586
  • The average cost of a 2-bedroom home or apartment in Arkansas is $736
  • The average cost of a 3-bedroom home or apartment in Arkansas is $991
  • The average cost of a 4-bedroom home or apartment in Arkansas is $1,167

How is the job market in Arkansas?

While you think about moving to Arkansas, you’ll also be curious to know the job market there.

Arkansas’ economy is booming and the state is ranked as the 35th best to do business. Arkansas has the 10th lowest cost to do business and this contributes to businesses related to food processing, ammunition, aerospace, metals, technology, transportation, and logistics. 

Here are a few facts about the job market in Arkansas.

  • The unemployment rate in Arkansas is 4.8. The national average is 6.0.
  • The average annual pay for the average job in Arkansas is $59,389.
  • The average hourly pay for the average job in Arkansas is $28.55 an hour.
  • The average weekly pay for the average job in Arkansas is $1,142.
  • The average monthly pay for the average job in Arkansas is $4,949.
  • The average salaries in Arkansas could be as high as $119,848 and as low as $18,065.

If you are curious to the major sectors contributing to Arkansas economy, here they are:

  • Aerospace and defense
  • Food and beverage
  • Metals
  • Timber and forest products
  • Technology
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Distribution and logistics
  • Transportation equipment
  • Corporate and shared services

Who are the major employers in Arkansas?

Before moving to Arkansas, it is normal to be curious about the top job providers in the state. To help you, we have got the list.

RankCompanyCityEmployees
1WalmartBentonville2,200,000
2Tyson FoodsSpringdale122,000
3Dillard’sLittle Rock40,000
4J.B. Hunt Transport ServicesLowell22,190
5ActionBarling22,077
6ArcBestFort Smith13,000
7Windstream HoldingsLittle Rock11,870
8The University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle Rock9,670
9OptusJonesboro8,000
10Tyson ChickenSpringdale7,800

What are the highest paying jobs in Arkansas?

Just like in any state, Arkansas also has got jobs that pay well than others. Here’s a list of the top 10 paying jobs in the Nature State.

RankJob titleAverage salaryEntry level salary
1Obstetricians And Gynecologists$258,940$100,290
2Surgeons, Except Ophthalmologists$227,080$92,920
3Family Medicine Physicians$209,370$60,090
4Physicians, All Other; And Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric$209,160$54,660
5Pediatricians, General$195,690$116,090
6Dentists, General$163,260$77,790
7Psychiatrists$157,240$49,380
8Judges, Magistrate Judges, And Magistrates$157,170$101,160
9Marketing Managers$140,710$67,240
10Sales Managers$138,030$58,810

How to become a resident of Arkansas?

After you move to Arkansas from a different state, you need to establish the legal domicile by filling out an official “Declaration of Domicile” document that states Arkansas as your permanent home. And you become an official resident of the state after you maintain a domicile in Arkansas for the entire calendar year. 

How to register a car in Arkansas? 

To register your car in Arkansas after moving here, you need to change your address on the Arkansas DMV change of address form. You need to do this as early as possible as the state needs to register the car within 30 days of establishing the residency. 

While you can register the vehicle online, you would be required to submit the following documents.

  • Your out of state vehicle registration
  • Proof of title
  • Proof of insurance (must be valid in Arkansas)
  • Bill of sale and odometer disclosure statement

You also need to provide information on your Personal Property Tax Number (PPAN) which is assigned by your county assessor, as well as a lien contract/security agreement, a current year county tax assessment, and proof of paid tax receipt.

The registration fee depends upon the weight of the vehicle. 

How to change the driving license in Arkansas?

To obtain a new driving license in Arkansas after moving there, you need to personally visit an Arkansas revenue office and submit:

  • The out of state driving license
  • One proof of social security number
  • One document showing proof of legal presence in the U.S. (examples: U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, certification of naturalization, certification of citizenship)
  • Two documents showing proof of identity (examples: U.S. birth certificate, vehicle registration card, photo driver’s license)

If the name on your primary proof of identity does not match the name on your current driver’s license, you will be required to bring along the proof of name change, such as your marriage license, divorce decree, or a court order for a legal name change.

While the change in driving license requires a fee of $40, you don’t need to attend a driving license test. 

Though Arkansas permits you 30 days to complete your Arkansas DMV change of address information after establishing residency in the state, it is better to do it as early as possible. 

What are the pros and cons of moving to Arkansas?

When you are serious about moving to Arkansas, it is important to look beyond the spectacular landscapes, water bodies, and outdoor attractions. Realizing this, we pull out the pluses and minuses of the state and you need to weigh them before making the final call.

Pros of living in ArkansasCons of living in Arkansas
Low cost of living High sales tax
Low property taxesHigh crime rate
Weather is pleasant and niceDangers of wildlife & mosquitoes
Sports culture is robustObesity rates are high 
Top-class healthcareLimited public transport options

How is the crime rate in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, the rapid rise in the crime rate is a major concern. Both violent crimes and property crimes are higher than the US average. 

Where does Arkansas stand when it comes to crimes, such as burglary and theft? Let us see in detail.

  • The violent crime rate in Arkansas is 30.0. The national average is 22.7
  • The property crime rate in Arkansas is 44.6. The national average is 35.4
  • Both the property and violent crime rates in Arkansas are higher than the U.S. average
  • You have a 2.86% chance of being a property crime victim in Arkansas.
  • The average burglary rate is 8.78 crimes per 1,000 people.
  • The average vehicle crime rate is 2.13 crimes per 1,000 people.
  • The average arson rate is 0.2 crimes per 1,000 people.
  • Hot Springs has the highest property crime rate in Arkansas, about 71 incidents per 1,000 people.

Which are the safest cities in Arkansas

While moving to Arkansas, you would prefer renting a home or owning one in a safe city. We’ve made a list of the 10 safest cities in the cities to make your house hunting easier.

RankCityPopulationViolent Crimes Per 100kProperty Crimes Per 100k
1Cave Springs5,58053358
2Greenbrier5660176282
3Bella Vista28,931169649
4White Hall5,014991,376
5Greenwood9,436243381
6Bentonville49,4672221,373
7Walnut Ridge5,0192191,374
8Maumelle18,2231531,651
9Centerton16,542320840
10Magnolia11,4401222,578

What are the best places in Arkansas to live?

Arkansas is perhaps the most welcoming place in this world and its serene and lush landscapes, unlimited lakes, and business-friendly attitude. And we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best places in the Nature State to live after analyzing the population, home value, cost of living, crime, and the job market.

RankCityPopulationMedian home valueUnemployment rate
1Bentonville49,467$232,6002.3%
2Maumelle18,142$223,800 3.3%
3Centerton14,203$185,4002.0%
4White Hall5,078$161,0002.1%
5Lowell9,175$157,6001.0%
6Cabot26,217$154,0003.1%
7Sherwood31,004$154,8002.8%
8Bryant20,231$165,4002.5%
9Greenwood 9,387$136,0005.1%
10Mountain Home12,393$126,1004.4%

How is education in Arkansas?

While moving to Arkansas, your children will not miss quality education as the state ranks high in the education index. The state is home to some of the best schools and colleges in the country. To help you out, we’ve listed out the top schools and colleges in the ‘Natural State’. 

Best Elementary Schools in Arkansas

  • Genoa Central Elementary School
    Genoa Central School District, Public, K-4 | 442 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Greenbrier Wooster Elementary
    Greenbrier School District, Public, K-5 | 383 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Willowbrook Elementary School
    Bentonville School District, Public, K-4 | 747 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Greenbrier Springhill Elementary School
    Greenbrier School District, Public, K-5 | 450 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Center Valley Elementary School
    Russellville School District, Public, PK-4 | 380 students, Rating: 10/10
  •  

Best Middle Schools in Arkansas

  • Vilonia Junior High School
    Vilonia School District, Public, 9 | 269 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Taylor High School
    Emerson-Taylor School District, Public, 7-12 | 171 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Ruth Doyle Intermediate School
    Conway School District, Public, 5-7 | 610 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Haas Hall Academy
    Haas Hall Academy, Charter, 7-12 | 466 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Bismarck Middle School
    Bismarck School District, Public, 5-8 | 317 students, Rating: 10/10

Best High Schools in Arkansas

  • Bismarck High School
    Bismarck School District, Public, 9-12 | 305 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Valley Springs High School
    Valley Springs School District, Public, 9-12 & Ungraded | 254 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Vilonia Junior High School
    Vilonia School District, Public, 9 | 269 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Taylor High School
    Emerson-Taylor School District, Public, 7-12 | 171 students, Rating: 10/10
  • Haas Hall Academy
    Haas Hall Academy, Charter, 7-12 | 466 students, Rating: 10/10

Top Best Colleges in Arkansas

  • University of Arkansas-Main Campus – Fayetteville, AR
  • Hendrix College – Conway, AR
  • Lyon College – Batesville, AR
  • Ouachita Baptist University – Arkadelphia, AR
  • The University of Arkansas at Little Rock – Little Rock, AR
  • Arkansas State University – Jonesboro, AR
  • Henderson State University – Arkadelphia, AR
  • Southern Arkansas University – Magnolia, AR
  • The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff – Pine Bluff, AR
  • Central Baptist College – Conway, AR

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