If you’re looking to move to Arkansas in the new year, you might be asking yourself what area is going to be best for you financially. Luckily, there are some great towns and cities in Arkansas that offer affordable living, strong communities, and economic opportunity. Here are five of the most popular affordable cities and towns in Arkansas.
The southwestern Arkansas town of De Queen was founded along a railroad begun in the late 1880s from Kansas City to Port Arthur, Texas. When an economic depression beginning in 1893 dried up sources of American capital needed for the railway’s completion, Arthur Stillwell, who had conceived the idea for the rail line and who was then part owner of the Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Gulf Railroad, traveled to Holland in 1894 seeking investors for the project. His effort failing, Stillwell contacted Jan DeGeoijen, a coffee broker he had met on a previous trip to Europe. He convinced DeGeoijen to support the project and in a few months the two managed to raise $3 million. The town was named in honor of DeGeoijen, but due to pronunciation difficulties among early residents it was altered to the English variation “De Queen.”
The duck and rice capital of the world – that’s how Stuttgart is known. The town is surrounded by the Arkansas Grand Prairie where the commercial production of rice was pioneered in 1904 and led to Arkansas’s status as the top rice producing state in the U.S. Rice fields and irrigation reservoirs entice the annual migration of ducks and geese on the Mississippi Flyway to linger, making the area nationally renowned among waterfowl hunters.
Blytheville, established as a lumber mill town in the 1880s, has also served as a center for the cotton-growing industry, a Strategic Air Command (SAC) airbase and a gateway city for the Natural State. The airbase was phased out years ago, but Blytheville has emerged as a steel production center and agri-business is strong.
Walnut Ridge, located in Lawrence County in northeast Arkansas, is a community with a rich cultural history, much of it tied to various forms of transportation. The region’s first inhabitants were Native Americans, most likely members of the Osage tribe, who settled in northeast Arkansas and southern Missouri. Around 1860, the earliest permanent European settlers came to what is now Walnut Ridge, AR. The new residents settled in an area separate from the current town, now referred to as Old Walnut Ridge. Higher in elevation than surrounding areas, settlers believed Old Walnut Ridge was better suited for farming. However, when it was announced in 1873 that the railroad would be laying tracks through the area, the settlement moved closer to the railroad route.
5. Little Rock
Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, is a city on the Arkansas River. It’s home to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, with exhibits including a replica of the Oval Office and presidential artifacts. In an 1800s Greek Revival building, the Old State House Museum traces Arkansas history. MacArthur Park has a pond, plus the Arkansas Arts Center, known for its large collection of drawings. You’ll benefit from looking at Little Rock Houses for Sale, since the city’s affordability will become clear.