Arkansas is located in the Southern region of the United States. To promote tourism to the fifty-two state parks, the state’s motto became “The Natural State” in the 70’s. The state’s diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta. With the diverse regions of Arkansas offer residents a variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Arkansas generally has a humid subtropical climate. Moving to Arkansas is one of the best places for those seeking an outdoor life or want the option to spend more time outdoors. With four distinct seasons, the views offer a variety of beauty year round, with incredible wildflower filled Springs, verdant and lazy Summers, rust-colored and crisp Falls, and mild but opaline Winters.
The capital city is Little Rock, located in the central portion of the state, a hub for transportation, business, culture, and government. As one of the smallest states west of the Mississippi River, Arkansas offers laid-back charm even in its larger cities. Compared with major cosmopolitan areas, traffic here is rarely a problem, and most destinations are close by and easily accessible. Arkansas has the 13th largest highway system in the country, including the busiest trucking pass in the U.S. The system converges in Little Rock, with nine Interstate highway connections and twenty U.S. Routes.
Arkansas is one of the most affordable US states to live in, with the average cost of living being 9% lower than the U.S. average. The average household income is $35, 925, which is in the lower percent than rest of the U.S. The relatively low cost of living is due in part to Arkansas being one of the country’s top agricultural producers. It ranks nationally as one of the top producers of cotton, broilers, rice, turkey, pullets, and farmed catfish. It’s also one of the top states to produce lumber. Despite this, only a small percent of the state’s jobs come from agriculture. But, owing to instate production, there is a decreased transport tax on goods, making them easily afforded.
Despite being considered one of the unhealthier states, in recent years Arkansas has made noteworthy efforts to improve the health of it’s citizens, including banning smoking with the exception of a few restaurants and bars, and utilizing the Affordable Care Act to insure the uninsured. Arkansas boasts some of the nation’s finest health care facilities. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock is consistently listed in U.S. News & World Report’s annual edition of “America’s Best Hospitals.” Arkansas Children’s Hospital, also in Little Rock, is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas and one of the largest in the United States serving kids from birth to age twenty-one.
In recent years, Arkansas has been making major improvements in its education. In the past six years, it has been ranked in the top ten, especially in early childhood education, college readiness (with new reform, the state requires school curriculum to prepare students for post-secondary education), and career prep, with high rankings for teacher and principal rewards an incentives. The two major public universities are Arkansas State and the University of Arkansas, with five other major public universities. There are eleven private colleges and universities.
Arkansas is definitely an ideal state for an outdoor life. Hunting an fishing can be considered the popular sports for the state. A majority of the population are avid deer and duck hunters, with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission allotting millions of acres for gun and bow hunting. As for fishing, an abundance of reservoirs, the Norfolk Dam, the Norfolk Tailwater, the White River, and the Buffalo National River are the most populous fishing areas. Tourist sites and retirement communities have also flourished due to proximity to excellent fishing lakes.
As with most American cities, Arkansas is home to it’s own urban scene, as well. Art and music are just as readily available, as well as a thriving performing arts scene. Little Rock is home to the Arkansas Art Center that showcases work from Rembrandt and Picasso. Like with their vigorous focus on education, youth community theater is also just as important, with several performing arts centers putting on up to 100 shows annually. The art scene in Arkansas is pushed onward by the fact that several pieces of literature were set or shaped by the rural Arkansas backdrop, although some works have portrayed a stereotypical Southern view of the state. Authors like Maya Angelou (“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”) and John Grisham (“A Painted House”) were born in Arkansas and used their experiences growing up to shape and tell their stories, using their home towns as a main theme.
With it’s prime location in middle America, Arkansas offers the outdoor beauty nature enthusiasts flock toward, with urban life influenced by the South that’s been written about for decades. When describing life in Arkansas, it’s always referred to as laid-back; perfect for those looking for an easy and simple life.