Arkansas State: Population, Rankings, and Facts

#48 in Overall Ranking out of 50 in 2021

Formerly known as the Bear State, Arkansas is a southern location in the United States that is often overlooked. Now referred to as the Natural State, this place boasts a wealth of landscapes and beauty, as well as several popular tourist attractions. Keep reading to see it measures up against other locales in the U.S.

Updated: April 26, 2021
  • Area
    53,179 sq. mi.
  • Capital
    Little Rock
  • Population
  • Income
  • Home Value
  • Crime
  • Unemployment
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Poverty
  • Environment
  • Infrastructure

Arkansas was the 25th to join the United States, and throughout the years, it has held a key spot in American history. For instance, it was the site of numerous Civil War battles, and it saw the expansion of the Transcontinental Railroad, which changed the way residents lived and worked.

On the map, this place is wedged between Mississippi and Missouri. Moreover, AR is a prominent place in the southern U.S. As such, it has played a critical role in racial rights and the country’s desegregation movements. It was where the landmark court case “Brown v. Board of Education” took place.

While it’s a southern locale, Arkansas state sees a diverse climate, including snow and humid summers. The average yearly precipitation is around 50 inches. January is the coldest month with an average minimum temperature of 28 degrees, while July and August have the highest maximum temp, at 91 degrees.

Amidst this historical aspect, the Natural State has some growing to do. While its infrastructure is slowly improving, there are fewer economic and educational opportunities here compared to other locations in the nation. 

Most people who live in this area were born here or have family nearby, but perhaps in the future, AR will prove to be a hub for fiscal growth and schooling.

How We Figured Out Which Were the Best States to Live In

To find the best states to live in, it was important to assess a wide range of resources, including new state data and maps. This included U.S. organizations like the FBI, Department of Labor, the Census Bureau, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United Health Foundation

Then, it was time to begin the crucial task of finding the top metrics that mattered to American individuals and families. A few examples are crime levels, population, poverty statistics, education and work opportunities, and median home values.

Arkansas Rankings

  • Population
    Data: 3,017,804

    Interestingly, the capital has changed over the years, and today, Little Rock is one of the largest cities in the region. Looking at a map, the vast majority of the population are white families living in single homes. Maysville is the fastest-growing city.

  • Median Income
    Income in $
    Data: $45,869

    For a place that once had a cashless society, AR's economy is now vast and encompasses several booming industries. These include agriculture and mining. Some of the top producers are here, such as Walmart, Tyson Foods, and Dillard's.

  • Home Value
    Home Value
    Data: $142,070

    Home values in AR have increased by over 7% in the past year, although the median property price is quite low compared to the rest of the U.S. Most people live in urban or suburban areas, particularly the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metropolis.

  • Unemployment Rate
    Data: 4.9%

    Accounting for individuals ages 16 and up, the Arkansas unemployment rate is not terrible. Even though most jobs are in outdated sectors like agriculture, the economy is growing at a rapid pace, so more jobs should be created.

  • Poverty
    Data: 16.4%

    Unfortunately, throughout history, AR has been one of the states with the highest poverty levels, at over 16%. The rate among females (18.5%) is higher than that of males (15.5%). Black residents are most likely to live in poor conditions, at over 28%. This is followed by people of more than two races (22%) and Hispanics (20%).

  • Education
    Data: 22.0%

    Over 34% of residents have a high school diploma or GED, and 22% have some college education. Only 14% have a Bachelor's degree, and just over 8% have completed graduate school. Some of the top schools here include the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University.

  • Medicine
    Health Outcomes: 47

    According to the census of 2019, just 42% of residents get medical insurance through an employer. Over 26% of people benefit from Medicaid, while over 15% received Medicare. However, 9% of individuals don't have any coverage at all, and AR's overall behavioral and clinical health services underperform the national average.

  • Crime Rate
    Violent Crime: 17,643

    Unfortunately, there are problems with criminal activity. The crime rate is among the highest in the country. There are 584 violent crimes per 100,000 people every year. The area sees over 2,300 rapes and 1,500 robberies annually. Property crimes are also common at 1,557 occurrences.

  • Natural Environment
    Air: 32

    AR is in the middle of the road when it comes to the natural environment. The reason may be the wealth of nature in this area. There were 354 drinking water incidents in the past year, which is quite low. However, it has more issues with hazardous waste and water compared to other states.

  • Infrastructure
    Poor Roads: 6.3%

    Workers here spend over 21 minutes commuting to their jobs each day. The fact that over 6% of roads are in poor condition makes for a stressful situation. That said, residents pay about $495 on infrastructure, which is lower than many other places in the United States.

Arkansas Facts

  • Arkansas’ abbreviation is AR.
  • There are 75 counties, including two that dissolved: Lovely and Miller Counties.
  • The honeybee was named the official insect in 1973.
  • Sales tax in AR is 6.5%, with local taxes ranging from 6.5% to 12.6%. The property tax amounts to 0.64%.
  • The state flag is a red banner with a blue-bordered diamond and 25 white stars. This flag design reflects the fact that it was #25 to join the Union.
  • Some famous people from the Natural State include Maya Angelou, Johnny Cash, Scott Joplin, and Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart.
  • The state flower is the apple blossom.
  • This is the one remaining state that allows diamond mining.
  • The mockingbird is the state bird of AR.
  • Some of the most beautiful places here include Hot Springs National Park and the Ozark Mountains.
  • Even though the spelling looks similar to Kansas, the pronunciation reflects the way the indigenous Native Americans said it, which itself is a translation of the French pronunciation.
  • The state motto is “The People Rule.”
  • There are 720 zip codes in AR.

Arkansas in Photos

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FAQ Section

  • Where is Arkansas?

    It is in the southern U.S., towards the central area. It shares borders with Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Its natural boundaries include the Mississippi and St. Francis Rivers.

  • What Time Zone is AR in?

    It is in the Central Daylight Time Zone (GMT -5), also known as CDT. It is one hour behind New York. In November, the time zone changes to GMT -6.

  • What to Do in Arkansas?

    Some cool activities to do here include hiking, motorbiking, and off-roading on the trails, visiting cultural and historical museums, and taking city tours. A few popular attractions are the Giant Statue of Christ in the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Beatles Park, Johnny Cash’s childhood home, Indian Rock cave, and the Hemingway & Pfeiffer Museum.

    Plus, there are 50 Arkansas state parks, so there are plenty of ways to get a nature fix here. Fishing is very popular in the winter but requires a fishing license.

  • What is the Minimum Wage in AR?

    It is $11.00 an hour, which is higher than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

  • What is Arkansas Known for?

    It is known for being part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 when the U.S. obtained the land from France. AR is also home to “The American Spa,” or Hot Springs National Park. Along with diamonds, this locale is famous for silica, natural gas, and bromine. Its Crater of Diamonds Park is quite well-known, as is the Quartz Crystal Mines.

  • How to Apply for Unemployment in the Natural State?

    For those who have lost their jobs, the unemployment filing process goes like this:

    1. Go to the AR Division of Workforce Services website and fill out an online application.
    2. Provide a Social Security Number, contact info, and the start and end dates for the most recent job.
    3. Save the confirmation message and wait for the approval.