Little Rock, Arkansas Population 2021

196,968
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Little Rock is a city located in Arkansas. With a 2020 population of 196,968, it is the largest city in Arkansas and the 129th largest city in the United States. Little Rock is currently declining at a rate of -0.09% annually but its population has increased by 1.78% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 193,524 in 2010. Little Rock reached it's highest population of 198,631 in 2016. Spanning over 123 miles, Little Rock has a population density of 1,642 people per square mile.

The average household income in Little Rock is $83,730 with a poverty rate of 16.63%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $872 per month, and the median house value is $167,600. The median age in Little Rock is 36.7 years, 34.8 years for males, and 38.4 years for females. For every 100 females there are 92.2 males.

Little Rock is the capital and largest city in the state of Arkansas, and it's located near the very center of Arkansas. Little Rock is found in Pulaski County, and it was founded in 1821.

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 Population Growth

Central Arkansas, including Little Rock, is currently leading the state in population growth with a growth rate estimated at 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 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.

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 the 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 Demographics

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

  • White: 50.29%
  • Black or African American: 42.04%
  • Asian: 3.30%
  • Two or more races: 2.25%
  • Other race: 1.76%
  • Native American: 0.31%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%
The current population of Little Rock, Arkansas is 196,968, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 197,484.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 193,524.

Little Rock, Arkansas Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021746,9902,3030.31%
2020744,6872,3030.31%
2019742,3842,3030.31%
2018740,0812,5240.34%
2017737,5573,3910.46%
2016734,1663,2770.45%
2015730,8892,6990.37%
2014728,1905,0310.69%
2013723,1595,4940.76%
2012717,6656,9830.97%
2011710,6828,3881.18%
2010702,2940.00%

Little Rock Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White99,55050.29%
Black or African American83,21642.04%
Asian6,5303.30%
Two or More Races4,4632.25%
Some Other Race3,4861.76%
American Indian and Alaska Native6120.31%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1010.05%
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Little Rock Population by Race

Little Rock Population Pyramid 2021

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Little Rock Median Age

36.7


Total

34.8


Male

38.4


Female

Little Rock Adults

There are 151,688 adults, (27,941 of whom are seniors) in Little Rock.

Little Rock Age Dependency

60

Age Dependency Ratio

22.6

Old Age Dependency Ratio

37.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Little Rock Sex Ratio

Female

103,019

52.04%

Male

94,939

47.96%

Little Rock Population by Age

Little Rock Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Little Rock Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married79.7%20.3%
All55.3%44.7%
Male43.2%56.8%
Non Family43.1%56.9%
Female38.4%61.6%

55.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Little Rock Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All81,9872.3755.3
Non Family35,3511.2343.1
Married29,1623.1279.7
Female13,9843.4438.4
Male3,4903.443.2

3.14

Average Family Size

2.37

Average Household Size

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Little Rock Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade4,2723.20%
9th to 12th Grade7,4195.55%
High School Graduate29,74822.25%
Some College28,15521.06%
Associates Degree8,2246.15%
Bachelors Degree31,71923.72%
Graduate Degree24,17018.08%
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Little Rock Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Little Rock Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White67,66865,23139,300
Black51,77945,67511,701
Hispanic7,5284,612771
Asian4,3344,1323,041
Multiple Races2,2572,068906
Other Race1,7171,087172
Native American38635181
Islander1018362

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 96.40%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 70.17%.

Little Rock Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$38,686$43,736$34,938
Less Than High School$22,738$25,814$18,292
High School Grad$27,574$31,267$24,515
Some College$31,208$33,850$29,226
Bachelors Degree$50,021$59,227$43,083
Graduate Degree$68,975$95,022$58,190

$38,686

Average Earnings

$43,736

Average Male

$34,938

Average Female

Little Rock Earnings by Educational Attainment

Little Rock Language by Age

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Little Rock Language

88.91% of Little Rock residents speak only English, while 11.09% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 6.48% of the population.

Little Rock Language

Little Rock Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black81,69720,19224.72%
White87,9767,4918.51%
Hispanic14,5543,63224.96%
Other3,4611,04730.25%
Multiple4,41567715.33%
Asian6,53065910.09%
Native60825041.12%

16.63%

Overall Poverty Rate

15.41%

Male Poverty Rate

17.76%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Little Rock

The race most likely to be in poverty in Little Rock is Native, with 41.12% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Little Rock is White, with 8.51% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.08%. Among those working part-time, it was 19.90%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 27.51%.

Little Rock Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School28.71%
High School18.40%
Some College13.90%
Bachelors or Greater5.56%

Little Rock Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Male Unemployed25.23%
Female Unemployed20.66%
Female Employed9.01%
Male Employed6.58%

Little Rock Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Little Rock Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$51,485$83,730
Families$70,000$108,217
Married Families$101,775$142,315
Non Families$36,119$49,397
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Income by Household Type

Little Rock Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

39.9%

Overall Marriage Rate

43.1%

Male Marriage Rate

37.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Little Rock Married by Age and Sex

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Little Rock Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is 45-54, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Little Rock Marital Status by Race

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Little Rock Marital Status

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10,622

Number of Veterans

9,388

Male Veterans

1,234

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam3,073
Second Gulf War2,197
First Gulf War2,140
Korea916
World War II449

Little Rock Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
35 to 542,815
55 to 642,368
75+2,255
65 to 742,203
18 to 34981

Little Rock Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White5,6337.01%
Black4,5877.54%
2 or More2709.13%
Hispanic1671.81%
Asian440.93%
Other331.62%
Hawaiian2827.72%
Indian276.92%

Little Rock Veterans by Race

Little Rock Veterans by Education

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11.64%

Veteran Poverty Rate

29.22%

Veteran Disability Rate

Little Rock Veterans by Education

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65.8%

Labor Force Participation

63%

Employment Rate

4.1%

Unemployment Rate

Little Rock Employment by Age

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Little Rock Employment by Race

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Little Rock Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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65.94%

Born in Arkansas

92.28%

Native Born

7.72%

Foreign Born

5.06%

Non Citizen

2.67%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

92.28% of Little Rock residents were born in the United States, with 65.94% having been born in Arkansas. 5.06% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Little Rock Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021196,968-172-0.09%
2020197,140-172-0.09%
2019197,312-172-0.09%
2018197,484-830-0.42%
2017198,314-317-0.16%
2016198,6314530.23%
2015198,1785830.30%
2014197,5954520.23%
2013197,1435790.29%
2012196,5641,2720.65%
2011195,2921,3200.68%
2010193,97210,8390.58%
2000183,1337,3380.41%
1990175,79516,6441.00%
1980159,15126,6681.85%
1970132,48324,6702.08%
1960107,8135,6000.53%
1950102,21314,1741.50%
194088,0396,3600.75%
193081,67916,5372.29%
192065,14219,2013.55%
191045,9417,6341.83%
190038,30712,4334.00%
189025,87412,7367.01%
188013,1387580.60%
187012,3808,65312.76%
18603,7271,5275.41%
18502,2000.00%

Little Rock Population by Year