Is Fort Smith Arkansas A Good Place to Live? Pros and Cons

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Is Fort Smith Arkansas A Good Place to Live – Choosing the right place to call home is a significant decision that can shape your overall quality of life. Whether you’re considering a move for career opportunities, a change of scenery, or a fresh start, it’s essential to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of potential destinations.

One such city that may pique your interest is Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Nestled along the Arkansas River, Fort Smith offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and a thriving community.

Fort Smith’s rich history dates back to its establishment as a frontier military post in 1817.

The city played a pivotal role in the expansion of the American West and served as a cultural melting pot, attracting people from diverse backgrounds.

Today, Fort Smith embraces its past, preserving its historical landmarks and providing a vibrant setting for residents and visitors alike.

But is Fort Smith a good place to live?

Is Fort Smith Arkansas A Good Place to Live

Let’s delve into what makes this city special and examine the factors that contribute to its desirability as a residential destination.

Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Considering a move to Fort Smith, Arkansas? It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of living in any new city before making a decision.

Fort Smith offers a rich history, affordable cost of living, beautiful natural surroundings, a strong sense of community, and educational opportunities.

However, it’s also important to consider factors such as limited employment opportunities in certain industries and potential concerns about public transportation infrastructure.

We will explore the advantages and disadvantages of living in Fort Smith, helping you make an informed choice about this vibrant city as a potential place to call home.

Pros of Living in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas, offers a range of advantages and considerations for those contemplating a move. Let’s examine the pros and cons of living in this city:

1. Government spending is high

Fort Smith benefits from significant government spending, which can contribute to infrastructure development, public services, and community programs.

2. Race diversity

Fort Smith is known for its diverse population, embracing people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. This diversity fosters a multicultural environment and promotes understanding and inclusivity.

3. Religion diversity

The city also boasts a wide range of religious diversity, with numerous places of worship representing different faiths. This diversity allows for the practice of various religions and provides opportunities for cultural exchange and tolerance.

4. Occupation diversity

Fort Smith offers a diverse range of employment opportunities across different industries. This variety can provide residents with options for career growth and job security.

5. Industry Diversity

The city’s economy benefits from a diverse mix of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, and retail. This diversity can help create a stable job market and a resilient economy.

6. Low hurricane risk

Fort Smith is located inland, reducing the risk of hurricanes compared to coastal regions. This can provide residents with peace of mind and minimize potential property damage and displacement.

7. Low earthquake risk

The city experiences a relatively low risk of earthquakes compared to other areas prone to seismic activity. This factor contributes to a sense of safety and reduces concerns about earthquake-related hazards.

8. Low volcanic hazard risk

Fort Smith is not located near any active volcanoes, eliminating concerns about volcanic hazards such as lava flows, ashfall, or toxic gases.

9. Low cancer mortality rate

Fort Smith has a low cancer mortality rate, indicating good access to healthcare facilities, preventive measures, and treatment options. This can be a positive aspect for residents concerned about healthcare quality.

10. Blue Ribbon Elementary School (s)

The presence of blue ribbon elementary schools in Fort Smith indicates a commitment to providing high-quality education and can be an advantage for families with young children.

11. Comfortable humidity (<60%)

Fort Smith enjoys a relatively comfortable humidity level, with levels staying below 60%. This can contribute to a more pleasant living environment, especially for those sensitive to high humidity.

12. Sunny

Fort Smith experiences a considerable amount of sunshine throughout the year, which can enhance residents’ moods and provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

Cons of Living in Fort Smith, Arkansas

1. High property tax

Fort Smith has relatively high property tax rates compared to some other areas. This can impact homeowners’ expenses and potentially affect affordability, particularly for those on fixed incomes or with lower property values.

2. Too close to an airport

The city’s proximity to an airport can bring both advantages and disadvantages. While it provides convenient access to air travel, some residents may find the noise from air traffic to be disruptive or bothersome, especially if they live in close proximity to the airport.

3. Low house ownership rate

Fort Smith has a lower rate of house ownership compared to the national average. This may limit the options for those who prefer to own their homes rather than rent, and it can potentially impact the stability and long-term investment potential of the housing market.

4. High risk of severe storms

Fort Smith is situated in an area prone to severe weather, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hailstorms. This can pose risks to property and personal safety, and residents may need to take necessary precautions and have emergency plans in place.

5. High private school enrollment for Elementary school level

Some families may find that enrollment in private schools at the elementary level is relatively high in Fort Smith. This could limit the options for public schooling and potentially increase education expenses for families seeking private education.

6. High private school enrollment for Middle school level

Similar to the elementary level, private school enrollment may also be relatively high for middle school students in Fort Smith. This may impact public school resources and options for families seeking public education.

7. Less comfortable weather

While Fort Smith enjoys a considerable amount of sunshine, the weather can be characterized by hot and humid summers and mild to cool winters. Some people may find the climate less comfortable due to the high humidity or extreme temperature fluctuations.

When considering these cons, it’s important to evaluate their significance based on your personal circumstances, preferences, and priorities.

Read Also: Is Arkansas A Good Place to Live?

What may be a drawback for one person could be manageable or even negligible for another.

Assessing these factors alongside the city’s benefits can help you make an informed decision about living in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

How Much Does it Cost to Live in Fort Smith Arkansas?

The cost of living in Fort Smith, Arkansas is relatively affordable compared to both the state and national averages.

Is Fort Smith Arkansas A Good Place to Live

For a single adult, the total cost of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities amounts to approximately $30,660 per year.

This figure is lower than the annual cost of living for the state of Arkansas, which is $32,443, and significantly lower than the national average of $38,433.

The affordability of living in Fort Smith can be attributed to several factors, including the city’s lower cost of housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation compared to many other areas in the United States.

These lower expenses can help individuals stretch their budgets further and contribute to a more affordable lifestyle.

What Are the Best Neighborhoods in Fort Smith?

Fort Smith, Arkansas offers several desirable neighborhoods that provide a range of amenities and a high quality of life. While preferences may vary depending on individual needs and preferences, some of the best neighborhoods in or around Fort Smith include:

1. Fianna Hills

Located in southwest Fort Smith, Fianna Hills is known for its picturesque landscapes and well-maintained homes. This neighborhood offers a suburban feel with a mix of single-family houses and townhomes.

Residents of Fianna Hills enjoy access to parks, golf courses, walking trails, and a community center.

2. Cavanaugh

Situated in the western part of Fort Smith, Cavanaugh is a neighborhood that appeals to families and professionals alike. It features a blend of established homes and newer developments.

Cavanaugh offers a quiet atmosphere, tree-lined streets, and proximity to schools, shopping centers, and recreational facilities.

3. Oak Park

Oak Park is a well-established neighborhood located in the central part of Fort Smith. Known for its charming character and tree-shaded streets, Oak Park offers a mix of architectural styles, including historic homes.

The neighborhood is close to downtown Fort Smith and provides easy access to cultural attractions, restaurants, and parks.

These neighborhoods are just a few examples of the desirable areas in Fort Smith, and there are other options available depending on specific preferences, such as proximity to schools, amenities, or lifestyle preferences.

Final Thoughts: Is Fort Smith Arkansas A Good Place to Live?

Fort Smith, Arkansas can be considered a good place to live for many individuals and families. The city offers a range of benefits that contribute to its desirability as a residential destination.

These include its rich history, affordable cost of living, beautiful natural surroundings, a strong sense of community, educational opportunities, and lower risks of natural hazards.

Fort Smith’s high government spending, race and religion diversity, occupation and industry diversity, and low cancer mortality rate further add to its appeal.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that every person’s perspective on what makes a place “good” can vary based on personal preferences, needs, and priorities.

Some individuals may find certain aspects of Fort Smith less favorable, such as high property tax rates, proximity to an airport, lower house ownership rates, the risk of severe storms, or higher private school enrollment levels.

It’s crucial to consider these factors alongside the city’s advantages when determining if Fort Smith aligns with your specific lifestyle and goals.

Fort Smith, with its unique blend of history, affordability, natural beauty, and community spirit, may indeed be a good place to live for those seeking a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.


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