Crime in Arkansas

Arkansas's crime rate

There were 103,893 crimes reported in Arkansas in 2019, the most recent year crime data is available. Adjusted for population, Arkansas's crime rate is 3,443 crimes per 100,000 residents.

How does Arkansas compare?

Crime is more common in Arkansas than it is on average nationwide. By comparison, the national crime rate of 2,489 per 100,000 people is 28% lower. Of the 50 states, 4 have a higher crime rate than Arkansas.

Crime rates nationwide range from 1,361 per 100,000 in Maine to 3,945 per 100,000 in New Mexico, the states with the lowest and highest crime rates, respectively.

Here are the crime rates for all 50 states.

What types of crimes are being committed?

The FBI's crime rate includes seven crime categories: three property crimes -- larceny, burglary, and motor vehicle theft, and four violent crimes -- aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder.

Property crime

The vast majority of crimes in America are property crimes, accounting for 85% of total crimes in 2019. This share was slightly lower in Arkansas, with property crimes accounting for 83% of all crimes reported in the state.

There were 86,250 property crimes reported in Arkansas in 2019, or 2,858 per 100,000 residents. This is much higher than the national rate of 2,110 property crimes per 100,000 people and is the fifth highest rate of the 50 states.


Larceny is by far the most common type of property crime. The 5,086,096 reported incidents nationwide in 2019 accounted for 73% of all property crime. Arkansas's rate of 2,013 reported larceny incidents per 100,000 residents is higher than the nationwide rate of 1,550 per 100,000 and is the sixth highest among states.


An estimated 18,095 break-ins were reported in Arkansas in 2019, or 600 per 100,000 state residents -- the fourth highest rate among states. For reference, there were an estimated 1,117,696 break-ins nationwide, or 341 break-ins per 100,000 people.

Motor vehicle theft

Across the U.S., there were 721,885 reported motor vehicle thefts in 2019, a rate of 220 per 100,000 people. Arkansas's rate of 246 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents was higher than this national rate and the 18th highest rate compared to all states.

Violent crime

Violent crimes make up a small share of crimes nationwide. In Arkansas, violent crimes account for 17% of total crimes, versus 15% nationwide.

While Arkansas has the 46th lowest total crime rate of all states, it has the 47th lowest violent crime rate. The state’s violent crime rate of 585 per 100,000 people is much higher than the national rate of 379 per 100,000. There were 17,643 violent crimes reported to Arkansas law enforcement agencies in 2019.

Aggravated assault

Aggravated assault is by far the most common type of violent crime. Nationwide, there were 821,182 aggravated assaults in 2019, accounting for 66% of violent crimes across the country. In Arkansas, 13,513 aggravated assaults were reported in 2019. Arkansas's rate of aggravated assault of 448 per 100,000 people is much higher than the national rate of 250 per 100,000 and is the fourth highest of all states.


Robbery is the second most common type of violent crime in America. There were 1,557 robberies reported in Arkansas in 2019, or 52 robberies for every 100,000 residents. This is lower than the national rate of 82 robberies per 100,000 people, and the 18th lowest robbery rate among states.


There were 2,331 reported rapes in 2019 in Arkansas. The state's rate of rape of 77.2 per 100,000 residents is much higher than the national rate of 42.6 per 100,000 people. Arkansas has the second highest rate of rape.


In 2019, there were 242 murders reported to law enforcement in Arkansas. The state’s murder rate of 8.0 per 100,000 residents is much higher than the national rate of 5.0 per 100,000. Arkansas's murder rate is the eighth highest in the country.

Where are these crimes being committed?

Because crime is influenced by local circumstances, crime levels vary considerably within each state. Often a state’s dense urban areas will have higher crime rates than its rural areas. Even in a state with an exceptionally low crime rate, there is often at least one area where crime rates exceed the nation.

City with the highest crime rate in Arkansas

The city with the highest total crime rate in Arkansas is Hot Springs, with a crime rate of 7,823 per 100,000 residents. This excludes cities with a population below 5,000 and cities with incomplete FBI crime reports.

While the city may have the highest total crime rate in the state, the rate is driven by property crime. Therefore, Hot Springs is likely less dangerous than other cities in the state where more violent crimes are committed.

The most dangerous city in the state is Osceola. This city has the highest violent crime rate in Arkansas, at 2,585 per 100,000 residents, more than four times the statewide rate.

Crime over time

National historical trend

The FBI provides access to crime data by state dating back to 1960. This 60-year span, can be divided into three periods. Crime skyrocketed between 1960 and 1980, with the crime rate more than tripling in just 20 years from 1,887 crimes per 100,000 Americans to 5,950 crimes per 100,000 Americans.

Crime remained high in the 1980s and reached its second highest peak in 1991. Since that year, crime has fallen steadily nationwide, reaching its current rate of 2,489 per 100,000, a 58% decline in 28 years.

Arkansas's historical trend

In 1960, Arkansas's crime rate was 1,034 crimes per 100,000 residents. Crime peaked in the state in 1991 at 5,175 per 100,000, an increase of 400%.

Crime changes 2014-2019

Over the five years since 2014, the nationwide total crime rate has decreased by 15.2%, but this change varied dramatically between states. In New Hampshire, for example, the crime rate decreased by 37.0%, the largest decline of any state. The largest increase was in Alaska, where crime rose by 11.3% between 2014 and 2019.

With a decrease of 10.2%, Arkansas's crime rate has fallen slower than the country as a whole. The crime rate declined in 48 states over this time period, and in most of them, it declined faster than in Arkansas.

How Arkansas has compared to other states historically

Despite the state's current relatively high crime rate, since 1960, Arkansas has typically had a lower crime rate than the majority of states. Also, the state's crime rate ranking has varied much more than most states since 1960. In fact, Arkansas has been among the 10 states with the highest crime rates and the 10 states with the lowest crime rates over the time period, one of only six states where this was true.

All cities in Arkansas

Here are all Arkansas cities ranked by total crime rate. For a city to be included, it must have a complete 2019 FBI crime report and population of 5,000 or more. Click any bar or city name to see more about crime in that city.

Click here to see a list of all city crime pages.

Click here to see a list of all state crime pages.

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