Little Rock Population 2017
Little Rock has an estimated population of 199,500, up from an estimated 197,300 in 2013 and the official population of 193,500 in 2010. This makes Little Rock the 118th largest city in the United States with a population density of 1,576 people per square mile, or 609 per square kilometer. The larger urban area has a population of 432,000 (88th in the U.S.), while the metropolitan area has a population of 726,000 (75th largest in the country). The Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR Combined Statistical Area has a population of 900,000.
Little Rock Demographics
At the 2010 census, the racial and ethnic composition of Little Rock was:
- White: 55.1%
- Black: 40.4%
- Asian: 1.7%
- Native American: 0.3%
- Pacific Islander: 0.03%
- Other races: 1.3%
- Two or more races: 1.3%
- Hispanic or Latino of any race: 2.7%
An American Community Survey conducted by the Census Bureau between 2005 and 2007 found that the white population of Little Rock was about 53%, of which 49% were non-Hispanic, down from 74% in 1970. The Asian American population has since dropped from 2.1% of the population.
Little Rock Population Growth
Central Arkansas, including Little Rock, is currently leading the state in population growth with a growth rate estimated at about 2%. The area is expected to grow slowly but steadily in the years to come with more young people looking for homes in the urban core of Little Rock. The area's fastest-growing sector is retail, and the city is developing an entrepreneurial culture that is expected to bring in more young college graduates.
Little Rock History
The Little Rock area was first inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. Original inhabitants included the Bluff Dwellers, Folsom people and Mississippian culture peoples, who constructed earthwork mounds that were recorded in 1541 by Spaniard Hernando de Soto, the first explorer of the area who was followed by Jean-Baptiste Benard de La Harpe in 1722. The first settlement was Arkansas Post, a French trading post founded in 1686 at the mouth of the river. By 1769, there were many families of mixed French and Indian origin in the area.
In 1803, the United States acquired the area as part of the Louisiana Purchase. A treaty between the United States and Osage people in 1808 ended the tribe's claim on the area and more settlers arrived, most of whom were squatters as land was not offered for sale until 1815. Arkansas became part of the Missouri Territory when Louisiana became a state in 1812, and the Territory of Arkansas was created in 1819. Little Rock was chosen as the territorial capital two years later and the city of Little Rock was founded and incorporated in 1831.
In 1819, Little Rock was nothing more than 4 log huts and a handful of settlers, but it had 400 residents by the late 1820s. By 1860, Little Rock had a population of 3,700 and residents had gas lighting in their homes for the first time, although the Civil War delayed the construction of the railroad line between the city and Memphis until 1871. After the war, the city grew quickly, reaching 12,380 people by 1870 and 40,000 people by the turn of the century.
Little Rock Facts
- Little Rock s named for a small rock formation on the bank of the Arkansas River called la Petite Roche, which is French for "the little rock." This formation was used as a landmark during early river traffic.
- Two ships of the U.S. Navy are named for Little Rock, including the U.S.S. Little Rock.
- Little Rock and its surrounding areas are headquarters for some of the largest non-profit organizations in the world, including The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Arkansas, Clinton Presidential Center, Clinton Foundation, Heifer International and Winrock International.
- In 2013, Little Rock was named as the best place to live among metro areas with less than one million people by Kiplinger.
- Little Rock Central High School pushed Little Rock into the spotlight in 1957 when it became the site of the first test of the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v Board of Education, holding racial segregation unconstitutional. Nine black students, or the Little Rock Nine, made history when, with the protection of the U.S. Army, they entered the school.