Arkansas – Originally part of the “Louisiana Purchase” from Napoleonic France, Arkansas is now well known as a Southern state with a great tradition in the arts. In 2017, estimates put the state’s population at around 3 million, making it the 33rd most populous of the states. That population is widely spread, resulting in it being only 34th in terms of population density.
Historically, the economy of Arkansas was based largely upon plantations and related agriculture. By the late 20th century, that picture had changed and the position is now highly diverse including manufacturing, retail and mining. The state’s average personal and household income levels are towards the lower end of the US spectrum, with both being around $40,000pa meaning that it ranks 45th and 49th respectively when compared to other states. However, a 2014 survey showed that it was the most affordable US state to live in.
Arkansas has several challenges in terms of crime statistics. State averages show that:
- It’s the 44th safest state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
- Arkansas's violent crime rate is roughly double the national average (194%) based upon 6.74 crimes per 1,000 versus a national average of 3.47.
- Arkansas's property crime levels that are on national average levels being 39.28 per 1,000 compared to the national average of 40.43 – giving a ratio of 0.97.
There are some parts of the state that have far lower crime rates than the state average. The safest areas include:
- Bella Vista
Safest Cities in Arkansas, 2019
|Rank||City||Violent Crimes||Property Crimes||Violent Crime Rate||Property Crime Rate|
|12||North Little Rock||530||2,764||7.918||41.292|
To identify the safest cities in Arkansas, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. A total of 7,639 cities were factored into this ranking with populations ranging from 7,639 to 4,007,147. However, we eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.
Overall, data from 8,793 law enforcement agencies that represented more 193 million of the US population helped us draw interesting insights between the size of the police force and incidence of crime.
There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”
We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then rated them using the population of the city and created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and we normalized it so the final number became a score between 0 and 1.
Next, we computed a new variable called Police Adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. We transformed and normalized this police adequacy variable also, resulting in a score between 0 and 1. Finally, we combined the two scores to create a safety score for each city.