17 Reasons Not to Move to Little Rock, Arkansas (Voted by the locals!)

Closeup of Little Rock, Arkansas on a road map of the United States.

Many people enjoy living in Little Rock, Arkansas, but it is definitely not a perfect place. I lived in this city for a few years, so I definitely know the cons of living in this city. Keep reading to learn more about them.

1. Cockroaches

Little Rock actually has several different kinds of cockroaches, so there’s a variety of disgusting going around! Cockroaches are infamously difficult to kill, and their tough bodies and simplified nervous systems mean they might be able to survive nuclear warfare. And now you need to keep these demons from living in your house.

Cockroaches will enter houses to escape heat or cold, so they become a particular threat in the summer and winter months. They are some of the biggest household pests around, and some of them can even fly. They don’t seem to fear humans, so don’t expect a cockroach to do you the courtesy of giving you some space. If you don’t like attempting to kill cockroaches, don’t move to Little Rock.

2. Fire Ants

Fire ants are some of the scariest bugs I’ve ever come across. They have a sting that will leave an itchy welt for days, and while they aren’t overly intimidating by themselves, they never come alone. Fire ants will set up shop anywhere, and I’ve had to keep nests of them out of my house more than once.

They are infamous for not drowning during floods like other household pests. Instead, they build a raft out of their own bodies to stay afloat, and that mass of biting insects will immediately latch onto whatever surface it comes across, including people, so beware!

These little monsters are hard to spot because they’re so small. I’ve had to deal with fire ant bites between my toes, and I can say from experience that dealing with fire ant bites is not fun. Avoid these insects at all costs! And if you ever have to move to Little Rock, consider wearing close-toed shoes at all times and maybe blow torching any ant hills you come across.

3. Termites

Termites are tiny little bugs that live in massive colonies and eat away at wood. If they get in your house, beware! They can cause a massive amount of damage without even being seen. You can keep an eye out for termites by checking for sagging wood, hollow-sounding walls, and peeling paint. If you ever have to move to Little Rock, make sure your house is bug-free before you move in!

Get an exterminator immediately if these guys get in your house! They will mercilessly destroy everything in their path, including your entire house.

4. Mosquitoes

Did you know mosquitoes are considered by scientists to be the most dangerous animals ever? They spread lots of diseases with their itchy and irritating bites. Little Rock, Arkansas, is located in the hot and muggy south, which means it’s a breeding ground for these little biting insects. They breed in tepid, still water and are absolutely everywhere in the summer. They’ll make a meal out of every single bare patch of skin they can get to. I hope you’re not worried about malaria if you move to Little Rock!

5. Obesity

Any Little Rock, Arkansas resident can tell you that this city loves its sugar. In fact, it might love sugar a little too much. Little Rock’s signature sweet tooth has come back to bite its residents. The rate of obesity is roughly 35%, and even worse than that, the rate of obesity in the North Little Rock School District is higher than the national rate at 37.5%.

Obesity in America has been on the rise in recent years everywhere due to more processed foods and more access to cheaper but less healthy junk foods, so having a higher rate of obesity than the already concerning average does not bode well for Little Rock.

6. Crime

Little Rock may have an actual little rock, but the crime is certainly not little. The crime rate in Little Rock saw a 20% increaseOpens in a new tab. in 2020, giving residents a chance of being a victim of violent crime that’s more than double the national likelihood. This skyrocketing crime rate is mostly due to disturbing increases in homicide and aggravated assault. So much for that southern hospitality!

It is true that most metropolitan cities saw an increase in violent crime in 2020, but the spike in Little Rock is higher than average. This is definitely a disturbing trend for a city with a reputation of being a boring place to live. Maybe there’s more to Little Rock than we think.

7. High Tax Rates

Now, for everybody’s favorite thing in the world: taxes. Little Rock, Arkansas has a higher tax rate than average at over 8%.Opens in a new tab. Little Rock’s issue is there are lots of smaller taxes that all pile up together, and then you are forking over nearly 10% of your hard-earned, cold hard cash. Needless to say, residents are not happy about it.

They have the state tax for Arkansas of 6.5%, the Pulaski County sales tax of 1%, and finally the Little Rock tax of 1.125%. Apparently, Little Rock is so special it gets its very own tax. High tax rates can lead to increased stress as well as a more limited budget. Little Rock just doesn’t cut you a break!

8. High Rent Rates

House with “For Rent” sign in front

The cost of rent in Little Rock is higher than average and is rising. Currently, the average rate for an apartment in Little Rock is over $800 a monthOpens in a new tab., and the rate for a three-bedroom went up by 15% in the last year. Considering this is a car-dependent city and taxes are high, life in Little Rock is not cheap.

Housing costs can be the most stressful of any living expenses, as you need a place to live before you need anything else. Things might be a little tighter around the waist than you’re used to if you ever move to Little Rock, Arkansas.

9. Poverty

Unfortunately for residents, it doesn’t pay to live in Little Rock. The poverty rate in this city is as the median income for households is only $53,620Opens in a new tab., and over 15% of Little Rock residents fall below the poverty line. Poverty rose during the pandemic, and right now, the last thing Americans need is more struggle.

Poverty can lead to more than just people buying fewer groceries. It can also be an indicator of bad education, higher crime, and less domestic stability. The high poverty rate is an indicator that Little Rock just isn’t a stable place to live or a reliable place to seek work and find housing.

10. Lack of Public Transport

Little Rock is, unfortunately, lacking in public transportation. Residents say it’s a very car-dependent city, and if you don’t have a personal vehicle, you’re pretty much stuck. Having a personal car to take to get anywhere is frustrating and expensive! Nothing about owning a car is cheap, so that makes life in Little Rock that much more expensive.

Plus, you have to worry about traffic. With everybody needing a car, those streets are going to get clogged fast. Maybe you could keep a book in your car to read while you idle in the street waiting for the traffic to clear so you can get to work.

11. Crowding

Many people say they love the country for the open space and freedom it provides. A big, blue sky and wide roads to traverse are a big selling point for those enthusiastic about the outdoors and just getting some peace and quiet. As the biggest city in Arkansas with hundreds of thousands of people, Little Rock just can’t offer that. Maybe if you get some noise-canceling headphones so you can hear yourself think.

The large crowds make for tighter living spaces, slower roads, more light pollution, and more noise. You won’t be able to properly enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife of Arkansas in Little Rock, where more people are being shoved together than anywhere else in the state.

12. Heat

Hot and muggy pretty much describes Little Rock weather perfectly. This city is characterized by oppressive and suffocating heat during the summer. You might have heard the phrase “it’s a dry heat” before. Well, you didn’t hear it in Little Rock. The hot air can make you feel like you’re sitting in a sauna, even while outside.

Be careful about where you park your car in the summer! The heat can make your vehicle feel like a portable oven. You could try to bake cookies in there sometime to snack on while you wait for the AC to kick on. Good luck, and remember to wear sunscreen! You will definitely need it in Little Rock, Arkansas.

13. Rain

Did I mention the rain? Because Little Rock has plenty of it. The interesting thing is that the rain isn’t consistent, it comes in a rainy season lasting roughly four months. It’s sunny for the rest of the year, then for a few months every year around late spring, the rain skyrockets, leaving huge puddles, plenty of mud, and some wet socks to go around.

May is the wettest monthOpens in a new tab. with up to a 40% chance of precipitation. You might want to think about getting some rubber boots if you ever come to Little Rock in the spring.

14. Nothing to Do

Residents of Little Rock say that there’s just nothing to do in this city. Most cities are packed to the edges with tourist traps and entertainment, but not Little Rock. You can always check out the local farms and ranches and watch the grass grow, but you will quickly get tired of doing so. Little Rock might just be the least urban big city in America.

If you like spending your Friday nights on the couch watching bad movies and listening to the crickets outside, then this might be the city for you! Just keep your doors locked while you do, as you don’t want to forget about those high crime rates! You would think a city couldn’t be simultaneously dangerous and boring, but Little Rock manages. I’m honestly kind of impressed.

15. Bad schools

Little Rock is trying to deal with students acting out, and it is not going well. Schools are more disruptive and there have been more fighting and discipline issuesOpens in a new tab. than ever. Other Little Rock residents claim that schools in this city don’t listen to parental concerns and student voices just aren’t getting through to school administrators.

The pandemic did lead to more fighting and bullying in schools, but it’s a sorry excuse for the schools of Little Rock that are letting their students down. Schools should be a safe place for learning, not fights and ignorance. Little Rock needs to step up where its students are concerned.

16. Drug problem

Little Rock, Arkansas isn’t the first place people think of when they think of the opioid epidemic, but I suppose this city just wants to circumvent those harsh stereotypes. According to a recent study, Arkansas has the third-biggest opioid problemOpens in a new tab. in the US.

Opioids are drugs that are meant to numb pain and are some of the most addictive and dangerous substances abused by drug users today. They are responsible for the majority of drug-related deaths and are all too easy to overdose on. In Little Rock, drugs and opiates are becoming a major problem, one that is all too hard to stamp out.

17. Nowhere to Go

The fact that there are no interesting places to go to in or around Little Rock, Arkansas doesn’t help when you are trying to find something to do. Little Rock isn’t close to any particular landmarks. However, they do have an actual little rock that you can go to! Other than that, there just isn’t anything Little Rock is known for! They have the basic parks and shopping, but you can find that kind of entertainment in most cities.

If you are thinking about moving to Little Rock, Arkansas, you may want to reconsider because of these factors.

Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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