Arkansas Population 2021

map placeholder

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. Its 2016 growth rate of 0.38% makes it the 29th fastest growing state in the USA.

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

Arkansas Area and Population Density

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.

The largest city is Little Rock located in the county of Pulaski, Arkansas.

Arkansas Gender and Religion Statistics

The median age is 36 in Arkansas. Nearly 75% of the population is over eighteen years of age. Approximately 51% of the Arkansas population is female, with 49% male population.

The religions within Arkansas stand at 79% Christian based faiths, 3% non-Christian faith, and 18% unaffiliated.

Arkansas Boundary, Census, and Statehood 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 Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Arkansas was:

  • White: 76.72%
  • Black or African American: 15.32%
  • Other race: 2.79%
  • Two or more races: 2.69%
  • Asian: 1.52%
  • Native American: 0.68%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.29%

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.

Arkansas Population Growth

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 Projections

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 estimates, 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.

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.

Arkansas Growth Rate

map placeholder

Arkansas Population Rank

map placeholder

Arkansas Population 2021

  • 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 mine 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 Wyatt Caraway, was from Arkansas.
  • A law was created in 1947 that officially discourages the mispronunciation of "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 District.

Arkansas Facts

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 northeastern 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.

Arkansas Population Growth Rate by County

Arkansas Population Density by County

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
Black or African American459,54215.32%
Some Other Race83,5762.79%
Two or More Races80,5372.69%
American Indian and Alaska Native20,4340.68%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander8,7330.29%

Arkansas Population by Race

Arkansas Population Pyramid $2021


Arkansas Median Age







Arkansas Adults

There are 2,295,102 adults, (498,778 of whom are seniors) in Arkansas.

Arkansas Age Dependency


Age Dependency Ratio


Old Age Dependency Ratio


Child Dependency Ratio

Arkansas Sex Ratio







Arkansas Population by Age

Arkansas Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type


Arkansas Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Non Family53%47%


Rate of Home Ownership

Arkansas Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
Non Family392,631153


Average Family Size


Average Household Size


Arkansas Households by Type

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade97,3464.84%
9th to 12th Grade172,8228.59%
High School Graduate684,65934.03%
Some College449,59722.35%
Associates Degree143,9797.16%
Bachelors Degree297,25014.78%
Graduate Degree165,9868.25%

Arkansas Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Arkansas Educational Attainment by Race

Race Total High School Bachelors
Other Race41,62121,1963,593
2+ Races34,48629,7107,471
Native American13,08410,8461,965

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 89.27%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 49.38%.

Arkansas Educational Attainment by Race

Name Average Male Female
Less Than 9th Grade$24,263$27,237$19,090
High School Graduate$29,034$33,799$22,919
Some College$32,053$40,068$27,468
Bachelors Degree$47,466$58,917$41,082
Graduate Degree$61,057$76,266$53,961


Average Earnings


Average Male


Average Female

Arkansas Earnings by Educational Attainment

Arkansas Language by Age


Arkansas Language

92.47% of Arkansas residents speak only English, while 7.53% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 5.44% of the population.

Arkansas Language

Arkansas Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate


Overall Poverty Rate


Male Poverty Rate


Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Arkansas

The race most likely to be in poverty in Arkansas is Black, with 29.32% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Arkansas is Asian, with 12.08% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.79%. Among those working part-time, it was 21.04%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 24.53%.

Arkansas Poverty

Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade27.14%
High School15.64%
Some College12.14%
Bachelors or Greater4.69%

Arkansas Poverty Rate by Education

Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed41.22%
Male Unemployed32.17%
Female Employed9.48%
Male Employed6.59%

Arkansas Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Arkansas Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Married Families$72,054$92,232
Non Families$26,714$39,301

Income by Household Type

Arkansas Marital Status


Marriage Rates


Overall Marriage Rate


Male Marriage Rate


Female Marriage Rate

Arkansas Married by Age and Sex


Arkansas Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Arkansas Marital Status by Race


Arkansas Marital Status



Number of Veterans


Male Veterans


Female Veterans

War Veterans
First Gulf War41,554
Second Gulf War37,096
World War II5,957

Arkansas Veterans by War

Age Group Veterans
65 to 7453,622
35 to 5446,522
55 to 6436,049
18 to 3417,259

Arkansas Veterans by Age

Name Veterans % of Total
2+ Races3,6938.66%
Native American1,3138.59%
Other Race1,1102.12%

Arkansas Veterans by Race

Arkansas Veterans by Education



Veteran Poverty Rate


Veteran Disability Rate

Arkansas Veterans by Education



Labor Force Participation


Employment Rate


Unemployment Rate

Arkansas Employment by Age


Arkansas Employment by Race


Arkansas Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens


Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens



Born in Arkansas


Native Born


Foreign Born


Non Citizen



Place of Birth

95.16% of Arkansas residents were born in the United States, with 61.09% having been born in Arkansas. 3.21% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Arkansas Place of Birth

  1. Arkansas Census State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)