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Pine Bluff is the second oldest city in Arkansas. It is a small working-class agricultural, industrial and railroad town with antebellum and Civil War history. Cotton, rice and poultry are grown and processed locally, and there is an assortment of manufacturing including papermaking, steel and wire, and electrical distribution products. The area is a major hub and service location on the Union Pacific Railroad, and the Pine Bluff Arsenal provides some military-related employment. There is some water and outdoor recreation nearby on the partially dammed Arkansas River and in wooded areas nearby.
Overshadowing positive qualities is a high violent crime rate, and the likely contributing factors of low educational attainment and high unemployment. The reported violent crime rate is the among the worst in the United States. On the positive side, housing costs are some of the lowest in the country.
The area around Pine Bluff is mostly level, especially along the broad Arkansas Valley. As the name suggests, Pine Bluff is known for its large pine trees. Typical of the region, the climate is modified continental with exposure to all North American climates. Summer has prolonged periods of warm and humid weather. Winters are mild with some cold spells. Most precipitation is in summer as thunderstorms with a dry period in late summer and fall. Snow is negligible, but the city is located in an area of relatively frequent ice storms.
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