Arkansas Population 2017

3,000,942

Our estimate for the 2016 population of Arkansas is 2,989,573. 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 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 State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 3,035,049 0.38%
2019 3,023,680 0.38%
2018 3,012,311 0.38%
2017 3,000,942 0.38%
2016 2,989,573 0.38%
2015 2,978,204 0.38%
2014 2,966,835 0.30%
2013 2,957,957 0.29%
2012 2,949,499 0.37%
2011 2,938,538 0.78%
2010 2,915,918 0.87%
2000 2,673,400 1.29%
1990 2,350,725 0.28%
1980 2,286,435 1.74%
1970 1,923,295 0.74%
1960 1,786,272 -0.66%
1950 1,909,511 -0.21%
1940 1,949,387 0.50%
1930 1,854,482 0.57%
1920 1,752,204 1.08%
1910 1,574,449 1.84%
1900 1,311,564 1.52%
1890 1,128,211 3.46%
1880 802,525 5.18%
1870 484,471 1.07%
1860 435,450 7.57%
1850 209,897 7.96%
1840 97,574 12.37%
1830 30,388 7.85%
1820 14,273 29.67%
1810 1,062 0.00%

Arkansas Facts

Arkansas Population in 2017 Source: 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

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

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

To compare Arkansas to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

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
Population 5 years and over 2,738,012 100
English 2,565,647 93.7
Spanish 143,540 5.24
German 5,475 0.2
French 4,260 0.16
Marshallese 3,845 0.14
Chinese 3,320 0.12
Portuguese 1,050 0.04
Telugu 905 0.03
Dutch 890 0.03

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

HighSchoolGraduate 84
BachelorsDegree 21
Disabled 12
NoHealthInsurance 14
LaborForceTotal 59
LaborForceFemale 54
FoodServiceSales 4,307,264
HealthCareRevenue 15,792,628
ManufacturerShipments 62,712,925
MerchantWholesalesSales 31,256,110
RetailSales 36,815,256
RetailSalesPerCapita 12,483
MeanWorkTravelTime 21
MedianHouseholdIncome 41,264
PerCapitaIncome 22,595
PovertyPercentage 19

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

NonemployerEstablishments 196,593
AllFirms 231,959
MenOwnedFirms 123,158
WomenOwnedFirms 75,962
MinorityOwnedFirms 35,982
NonminorityOwnedFirms 189,029
VeteranOwnedFirms 25,915
NonveteranOwn 192,988

Arkansas Housing

HousingUnits 1,347,528
HousingUnits 1,316,299
OwnerOccupiedRate 67
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 108,700
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,027
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 328
MedianGrossRent 675
BuildingPermits 8,500
Households 1,132,488
PersonsPerHousehold 3
SameHouseOneYearAgo 84
NonEnglishAtHome 7
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts