Helena-West Helena Has Been Named the Worst City to Live in Arkansas

This City Has Been Named the Worst City to Live in Arkansas

Helena-West Helena, a city nestled in the eastern part of Arkansas, has consistently ranked among the lowest in terms of livability. According to various studies and rankings, the city faces a combination of social and economic challenges that negatively impact the quality of life for its residents.

These statistics paint a stark picture of economic hardship faced by many residents of Helena-West Helena:

Crime Rate Helena-West Helena Arkansas National Average
Violent Crime Rate 1,590 per 100,000 residents 419.6 per 100,000 residents 399.4 per 100,000 residents
Property Crime Rate 3,304 per 100,000 residents 2,386.4 per 100,000 residents 2,173.1 per 100,000 residents
Poverty Rate 42.7% 17.2% 11.8%

High Crime Rates

One of the most pressing issues in Helena-West Helena is its high crime rate. FBI data from 2019 revealed that the city had a violent crime rate of 1,590 per 100,000 residents, significantly higher than the national average of 399.4 per 100,000 residents. This means that residents have a 1 in 63 chance of experiencing a violent crime, compared to the national average of 1 in 252.

Similarly, property crime rates are also alarmingly high in Helena-West Helena, with a rate of 3,304 per 100,000 residents. This means that residents have a 1 in 30 chance of falling victim to a property crime, compared to the national average of 1 in 38.

Factors contributing to the city’s high crime rates include poverty, unemployment, and a lack of access to quality education and social services. These issues create a breeding ground for criminal activity, making it difficult for residents to feel safe in their own communities.

Low Quality of Life

In addition to its high crime rates, Helena-West Helena struggles with a low quality of life. The city’s poverty rate stands at a staggering 42.7%, more than double the state’s average of 17.2% and significantly higher than the national average of 11.8%. This economic hardship contributes to a range of social issues, including limited access to quality education, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

The lack of economic opportunities further exacerbates the cycle of poverty, making it difficult for residents to improve their circumstances. As a result, many residents struggle to make ends meet, leading to further social problems such as substance abuse and homelessness.

Efforts for Improvement

Despite these challenges, there are efforts underway to address the issues plaguing Helena-West Helena. Community organizations and local government initiatives are working to improve the city’s infrastructure, attract new businesses, and provide educational and job training opportunities for residents.

For instance, the Helena-West Helena Economic Development Corporation is working to attract new businesses and industries to the city. The organization has created a strategic plan to identify and promote the city’s economic potential. Additionally, the city has invested in infrastructure improvements, such as road repairs and upgrades to public buildings.

In the education sector, the Helena-West Helena School District is working to improve student outcomes. The district has implemented new curriculum and instructional strategies, as well as expanded access to early childhood education programs. The district is also working to attract and retain qualified teachers.

These efforts, along with others, represent a step towards a brighter future for Helena-West Helena. While it may take time to fully address the deep-rooted issues that have plagued the city, there is a growing sense of hope and optimism among residents.


Helena-West Helena faces significant social and economic challenges that make it a difficult place to live. However, there is a growing recognition of the need to address these issues and create a more livable community for its residents. The success of these efforts will determine whether Helena-West Helena can shed its title as the worst city to live in Arkansas and emerge as a thriving community with a promising future.

It is important to note that while Helena-West Helena faces significant challenges, there are also many positive aspects to the city. The city has a rich history and culture, and its residents are known for their resilience and spirit. With continued efforts to address the city’s issues, Helena-West Helena has the potential to become a thriving community.

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