What's it like to live in Little Rock, AR?


Robin Smith

Profile written by local expert:

Robin Smith

You may know Little Rock, Arkansas, as the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Presidential Library. Or perhaps you know it better for the events that followed the Supreme Court's famous Brown v. Board of Education decision in the late 1950s, when the Arkansas National Guard tried to prevent nine black teenagers from entering Little Rock High School.  

Today, Arkansas' capital has earned a reputation among history buffs, foodies and art lovers as an exciting place to live. Residents can spend their weekend exploring the historic Arkansas State Capitol, wandering through the Arkansas Art Center or sipping beer at one of the area's breweries. Plus, the beautiful Ozark Mountains provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

Little Rock accommodates a variety of tastes. Neighborhoods range from luxurious, well-appointed loft apartments in midtown and downtown Little Rock, to the suburban and family-oriented dwellings of Chenal Valley, Hillcrest and The Heights.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Little Rock, Arkansas is ranked:

#65 in Best Places to Live

#91 in Best Places to Retire

6.5

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    5.5
  • Value
    7.6
  • Job Market
    6.6
  • Quality of Life
    6.1
  • Net Migration
    5.9

Read how we rank places

Little Rock, AR Quick Stats

  • 727,371

    Metro Population

  • $43,050

    Average Annual Salary

  • 72.8° / 52.4°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 36.3

    Median Age

  • $143,217

    Median Home Price

  • 49.8 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.2%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $780

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 22.8 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Little Rock, AR?

Little Rock has a lower cost of living than the national average, so your money will go a long way in this region. Little Rock features new multi-unit and single-family dwellings in development and under construction every day. The median sale price of a home is noticeably lower than the national median, while Little Rock residents generally pay less for things like food, utilities and health care than the average American.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.6 /10

How we calculate this.


Little Rock offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs this Year


Little Rock
$143,217

USA
$222,408

Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Little Rock, AR.

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What's the weather like in Little Rock, AR?

Little Rock experiences all four seasons. While winters are historically mild compared to metro areas farther north, summers are characterized by a rather intensely humid heat. Severe weather can include tornadoes and hail storms, which are most likely to hit in the spring and fall. Ice storm watches tend to occur in January. 

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)

42.9°F


Winter

62.2°F


Spring

81.5°F


Summer

63.8°F


Fall

Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

5.0 in


Winter

5.1 in


Spring

3.7 in


Summer

5.3 in


Fall

Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Little Rock, AR?

Most people choose to get around Little Rock by car. Subject to traffic levels, virtually any place in the region can be reached quite easily within 30 minutes. Those who prefer not to drive can rely on the Rock Region Metro bus system, which offers routes throughout downtown Little Rock and well into the suburbs. The metro area also features a streetcar with two lines operating between Little Rock and North Little Rock.

The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport offers daily direct flights to many regions across the nation, provided by major airlines like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Amtrak and Greyhound provide ground transportation to nearby metro areas.

Commuting in Little Rock, AR

Means of Transportation
Driving
94%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
1%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
1%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

22.8 minutes

3.3 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Little Rock, AR?

Little Rock has seen slow, but steady, growth in its population over the past decade, with new residents drawn to the region's educational and employment opportunities.

During the civil rights movement in the 1950s and '60s, Little Rock was thrust into the spotlight when former Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus attempted to prevent nine black students from entering Little Rock Central High School. The region has come a long way since the "Little Rock Nine" incident and is now home to a diverse population.

Religion plays a key role in the region's demographics, with nearly 60 percent of residents identifying with an organized faith – Baptist and Methodist being the most popular.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


About the same number of single people in Little Rock as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Little Rock, AR?

Little Rock is a great place to live for those who enjoy the outdoors. The region is an easy drive from Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Ouachita National Forest and the stunning Ozark Mountains. Hot Springs National Park is only an hour away. Residents can also take advantage of golf courses and trails found within the city limits.

The downtown and midtown areas feature a variety of local restaurants and breweries. The metro area also enjoys a great live music scene, which ranges from piano bars to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The local Arkansas Arts Center hosts theater performances, and the region also contains a handful of art galleries. There are also local stores and boutiques for shopping. More family-oriented entertainment can be found at neighborhood pools, the year-round ice rink and the Little Rock Zoo.