Independent Living in Arkansas

As families search for senior living, Arkansas should stand out for those seeking a mild climate, affordable living costs, and plenty of natural beauty and outdoor activities.

Arkansas — known as “The Natural State” for its abundance of lakes, rivers, and forests — sits in a geographical transition zone between the Deep South and the Midwest, and features the best of both regions. Winters are short without extreme cold, and the Ozarks stretch down into the state’s northern counties. Here you’ll find gems such as Eureka Springs, the artistic oasis in the hills surrounding Beaver Lake, along with Ozark National Forest and the Buffalo National River. But it’s the Ouachita Mountains and healing waters of Hot Springs National Park of central Arkansas that attract most of the state’s tourists. Arkansas is also home to the small but diverse cities of Fayetteville and Little Rock, both of which are college towns with enough options and activities to cater to anyone’s interests.

Currently, A Place for Mom partners with more than 30 independent living communities in Arkansas.

The median monthly cost of independent living in Arkansas is about $2,500.

Top cities in Arkansas

Independent Living in Arkansas

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Arkansas Independent Living Regulations

Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because independent living is often provided by assisted living communities, states may regulate independent living within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to community records in Arkansas.

In Arkansas, independent living communities — also known simply as retirement communities — are geared towards seniors who are able to live on their own, without daily assistance, and prefer to live among people their age. This usually means residents are self-sufficient and do not require hands-on care. Think of independent living communities as age-restricted (typically 55+) complexes, which provide organized activities, meal services, and transportation.

Cost of Living

Overall, the cost of living in Arkansas is considered to be much more affordable than the national average. All index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.

Price Indexes

  • Cost of Living: 88
  • Groceries: 92
  • Housing: 74
  • Utilities: 92
  • Transportation: 84

Demographics

About 17% of Arkansas’ population are seniors. In the 2016 presidential election, Arkansas leaned conservative. However, many of its counties with larger cities, like the Little Rock area, tend to be more progressive.

2016 Presidential Election

  • 34% voted Democratic
  • 61% voted Republican
  • 5% voted third party

Population

  • Median age: 38
  • Over the age of 55: 30%
  • 2018 population: 3,013,825
  • 2020 population: 3,035,598
  • Estimated 2025 population: 3,090,722

Miscellaneous

  • 41% regularly attend a religious service
  • 23% consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or a non-believer
  • The state has a total of 6,697 congregations
  • There are 361 Masonic lodges in the state

Climate and Weather

Arkansas has a humid subtropical climate, meaning the state often experiences mild temperatures throughout the year. In fact, the average temperature is above 50F for nine months of the year. Summers tend to be hot with lots of moisture in the air, and winters are usually cool but not extremely cold. The state receives plenty of rainfall, particularly in the spring, although droughts can occur in late summer. Thunderstorms are common throughout the year, with the biggest threat of severe storms and tornadoes occurring during spring. Winter storms are less common, and they usually bring more sleet and freezing rain than snow.

Humidity and Precipitation

  • Average humidity level: 71%
  • Average monthly precipitation: 4”
  • Average maximum monthly precipitation: 7” (May)

Air Quality

  • Average air quality index rating: 39 (Good)
  • Average maximum air quality rating: 48 in July (Good)

Seasonal Temperatures

  • Average temperature: 60°F
  • Average summer temperature: 79°F
  • Typical summer high: 95°F (July)
  • Typical summer low: 60°F (June)
  • Average winter temperature: 41°F
  • Typical winter high: 60°F (February)
  • Typical winter low: 22°F (January)

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Cities in Arkansas
and surrounding area

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