Arkansas Population 2017

2,998,643

Our estimate for the 2017 population of Arkansas is 3 million. Its 2016 growth rate of 0.38% makes it the 29th fastest growing state in the USA.

The last official census in the United States of America was carried out in 2010, when the population was calculated as 2,915,918, making Arkansas the 32nd largest state in the US. When the official Census estimates were released for 2015, Arkansas' total had grown by just over 60,000 people to 2,978,204.

The population of Arkansas will surpass the 3 million mark in late 2016 or early 2017 if it continues to grow at a similar rate.

Arkansas Density and Demographics

Arkansas’ population provides some fairly unremarkable figures in terms of population density, in keeping with its status as one of the middle ranked states in terms of population numbers

The surface area of the state is 53,179 square miles (137,733 square kilometers), and based on the 2010 Census population, that equated to 56 people in every square mile of Arkansas land. Overall, this would mean that the state is the 34th highest in terms of population density.

A population estimate in 2006 showed that there had been a net gain in numbers of 52,214 from the 2000 Census due to natural growth. This took into account the birth rate against the death rate and a further rise in numbers due to net migration.

Arkansas Population History

Arkansas was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and was included in Louisiana Territory, established in 1805 and comprising the whole of the Louisiana Purchase north of present-day Louisiana. Arkansas (then spelled Arkansaw) became a territory in 1819 and at first included most of present-day Oklahoma; in 1828 it reached essentially its present boundaries, although the boundary with Texas was incorrectly interpreted at that time. Arkansas was admitted as a State on June 15, 1836.

In 1810, census coverage of Louisiana Territory was limited to portions of present-day Arkansas and Missouri, mainly close to the Mississippi River. The 1810 census was reported by districts; the total for 1810 is for Arkansas District, which was entirely within present-day Arkansas. New Madrid District, which included the northern part of present-day Arkansas, was mainly in Missouri. In 1820 census coverage included much of the present State and a small number of people in present-day Oklahoma and Texas. By 1830 census coverage included the whole of Arkansas, and also included (in old Miller County) a portion of today's Texas.

Arkansas Population Chart

Arkansas Population History

The census history of the United States as a whole reflects the huge rise in population since the beginning of the 19th century. Arkansas is certainly no exception to this rule.

In 1810, the population in the state was a mere 1,062, but by the next census in 1820, things were starting to move considerably. The final numbers were declared at 14,273 -- an incredible rise of 1,244% in just ten years. From this point until 1940, the population grew consistently as net immigration played a huge part in the growth of the state.

From 1940 to 1960, Arkansas saw consecutive declines in their Census counts, due mostly to World War II, and post-war migration. After 1960, Arkansas resumed it's relatively high level of growth until 2010. During this 50 year period, Arkansas saw an annualized growth rate of just over 1%. The most recent estimates suggest this pace has slowed since 2012.

Arkansas Population Growth

If the state maintains its current growth rate, it should comfortably exceed 3 million residents by the time the 2020 Census is held. According to esimates, the 2020 population could grow as high as 3.2 million,, although an estimate of 3.03 million is more in line with the current growth rate.

Population Data via US Census

Arkansas Growth Rate

Arkansas Population Rank

Year Pop % Change
20203,029,8280.34%
20193,019,4330.35%
20183,009,0380.35%
20172,998,6430.35%
20162,988,2480.35%
20152,977,8530.37%
20142,966,9120.28%
20132,958,6630.27%
20122,950,6850.38%
20112,939,4930.81%
20102,915,9180.87%
20002,673,4001.29%
19902,350,7250.28%
19802,286,4351.74%
19701,923,2950.74%
19601,786,272-0.66%
19501,909,511-0.21%
19401,949,3870.50%
19301,854,4820.57%
19201,752,2041.08%
19101,574,4491.84%
19001,311,5641.52%
18901,128,2113.46%
1880802,5255.18%
1870484,4711.07%
1860435,4507.57%
1850209,8977.96%
184097,57412.37%
183030,3887.85%
182014,27329.67%
18101,0620.00%

Arkansas Facts

Arkansas Population in 2018Source: Murrayultra

  • The first "diamond rush" of North America began when two diamonds were found in 1906. The property was purchased and made into the "Crater of Diamonds State Park," the only active diamond mind in the US.
  • The first Wal-Mart store was opened in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962. Today, the corporation's headquarters is located in Bentonville.
  • Over 23 million travelers visit the state of Arkansas each year, leading to travel and tourism revenues of over $5.7 billion annually.
  • The first woman elected to the Senate, Hattie Ophelia Caraway, was from Arkansas.
  • A law was created in 1947 that makes it illegal to mispronounce "Arkansas" while in the state.
  • The state has over 600,000 acres of lakes, as well as 9,700 miles of rivers and streams.
  • Arkansas Post, located near the mouth of the Arkansas River, was the first permanent white settlement in the state in 1686.
  • The entirety of Eureka Springs' city limits are designated as a Historic Distict.

Arkansas Population Density by County

Pulaski County

  • Population393,250
  • Density518.45 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20102.51%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State13.16%

Arkansas Population Growth Rate by County

Arkansas has seen both increases and decreases across its counties from the time of the 2010 Census until the US Census Bureau's estimates in 2015. Four counties saw significant increases, with the northeaster county of Benton seeing the highest increase in population by 11.96%. Washington County, located directly south of Benton County, posted growth of 10.51%. In the center of the state, Saline County had 9.09% growth during the 5-year period, while Craighead County in the northeastern region of Arkansas had growth of 7.89%. Faulkner County and Lonoke County saw smaller, yet still respectable growth, while other counties that grew include White county and Greene County.

Just as there has been population growth, some Arkansas counties have seen decreases in population between 2010 and 2015. All but two counties located along the eastern border have seen declines in population. This includes Phillips County (9.95% decrease), Desha County (7.71% decrease), and Lee County (6.98% decrease.) Sevier County and Scott County along the western border saw negative growth, as well as Lafayette County to the south, amongst others.

Population Pyramid

0k5k10k15k20kArkansas Male Population0k5k10k15k20kArkansas Female Population

To compare Arkansas to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
Two or More Races59,4552%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander8,7570.29%
Asian46,9111.58%
American Indian and Alaska Native29,2680.98%
Black or African American466,11215.65%
White2,367,70179.5%

Arkansas ranks 12th among all states in terms of the size of its African American population. According to the 2010 US Census, the total population identifying as Black or Native American was rising close to half a million residents. This portion of the population primary resides in the southern and eastern regions of the state, while European Americans comprise the majority of the central region, as well as the northwestern Ozarks.

Arkansas has seen stready population growth among other races through the years, recording a 114% increase in the Hispanic and Latino population and a 251% increase in the population of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander residents between the census held in 2000 and one held in 2010. According to data from 2011, 39% of children under the age of 1 were classified as minorities.

The largest ancestry groups in the state include African American, Irish, German, English, anf French. There are many descendents from Europeans that settled in Arkansas before it became a state that reside in Arkansas.

Languages Spoken in Arkansas

Language Population Percentage
Dutch8900.03%
Telugu9050.03%
Portuguese1,0500.04%
Chinese3,3200.12%
Marshallese3,8450.14%
French4,2600.16%
German5,4750.20%
Spanish143,5405.24%
English2,565,64793.70%
Population 5 years and over2,738,012100.00%

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Arkansas. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Arkansas Economy

IndicatorValue
High school graduate or higher 84.3%
Bachelor's degree or higher 20.6%
With a Disability 12.2%
Persons Without Health Insurance 13.9%
In Civilian Labor Force 59%
In Civilian Labor Force (Female) 54%
Food Services Sales $4,307,264
Health Care Revenue $15,792,628,000
Manufacturers Shipments $62,712,925,000
Merchant Wholesaler Sales $31,256,110,000
Total Retail Sales $36,815,256,000
Total Retail Sales per Capita $12,483
Mean Travel Time to Work 21.4 minutes
Median Household Income $41,264
Per Capita Income (past 12 months) $22,595
Persons in Poverty 18.9%

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Arkansas for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 4.5% and the labor force participation rate is 58.7%.

Arkansas Business

IndicatorValue
Total Nonemployer Establishments 196,593
All firms 231,959
Men-owned Firms 123,158
Women-owned Firms 75,962
Minority-owned Firms 35,982
Nonminority-owned Firms 189,029
Veternan-owned Firms 25,915
Nonveteran-owned Firms 192,988

Arkansas Housing

IndicatorValue
Housing Units 1,316,299
Owner Occupied Housing Rate 66.5%
Median Value Owner Occupied Housing Units $108,700
Median Monthly Owner Costs (w/Mortgage) $1,027
Median Monthly Owner Costs (no mortgage) $328
Median Gross Rent $675
Building Permits 8,500
Households 1,132,488
Persons per Household 2.53 persons
Living in Same House 1 Year Ago 83.8%
Language Other than English Spoken at Home 7.1%
Data Sources
  1. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  2. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts
  5. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)