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Best Cities 2010: Little Rock, AR

City: Little Rock

State: Arkansas

Best Cities Overall Rank: 24

About Little Rock: Little Rock is not only the geographical center of Arkansas, but the hub of business, the arts, government and healthcare in the state.

Arkansas Children's Hospital is one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the nation and the University of Arkansas for Medical Science campus is nationally known for its cancer research and geriatric care. Little Rock has several major corporations, including Dillard's and Acxiom, and many available jobs are in the robotics, software engineering, call center, transportation, wood products, aerospace, and electric industries. One of the largest public employers in the state is the University of  Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Little Rock's unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, which is lower than the national rate of 9.7 percent.

County: Pulaski

Population: 189,515

Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

Newspaper with the largest circulation: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Little Rock blogs:

Arkansas Times

In Rock

Little Rock's Facebook page: Follow Little Rock on Facebook


Education rank: 29

High School graduation rate 2008: 82.94%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 0

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 0

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 1

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 0.535

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 258

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 13.19

Total Expenditures Per Student: $11,581


Health rank: 22

Quality children's hospitals: 1

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 0.53

Quality Pediatricians: 0

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0

Average number of Unhealthy Air Quality days between 2006-2008, by county: 0.3


Safety rank: 61

Violent Crimes, 2008: 2356

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1,243.17

Sex Offenders: 207

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 109.25


Economy rank: 1   

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 17.6        

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 7.4      

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 533.26

Median Home Sale Price: $162,700                   

5-Year Home Value Index: 3.33%                        

Percent of homes sold for a loss: 12.82%      


Recreation Rank:  7

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 5,800         

Parkland per 100,000: 3,060.44