Arkansas

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State of Arkansas
Flag of Arkansas State seal of Arkansas
Flag Great Seal
Nickname(s):
The Natural State (current)
The Bear State (former)
Motto(s): Regnat populus (Latin: The People Rule)
State song(s): "Arkansas", "Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me)", "Oh, Arkansas", and "The Arkansas Traveler"
Map of the United States with Arkansas highlighted
Official languageEnglish
DemonymArkansan
Arkansawyer
Arkanite
[1]
Capital
(and largest city)
Little Rock
Largest metroCentral Arkansas
AreaRanked 29th
 • Total53,180 sq mi
(137,733 km2)
 • Width270 miles (435 km)
 • Length240 miles (386 km)
 • % water2.09
 • Latitude33° 00′ N to 36° 30′ N
 • Longitude89° 39′ W to 94° 37′ W
PopulationRanked 33rd
 • Total3,004,279 (2017 est.)[2]
 • Density56.4/sq mi  (21.8/km2)
Ranked 34th
 • Median household income$40,531 (48th)
Elevation
 • Highest pointMount Magazine[3][4][a][b]
2,753 ft (839 m)
 • Mean650 ft  (200 m)
 • Lowest pointOuachita River at Louisiana border[4][a]
55 ft (17 m)
Before statehoodArkansas Territory
Admission to UnionJune 15, 1836 (25th)
GovernorAsa Hutchinson (R)
Lieutenant GovernorTim Griffin (R)
LegislatureArkansas General Assembly
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. SenatorsJohn Boozman (R)
Tom Cotton (R)
U.S. House delegation4 Republicans (list)
Time zoneCentral: UTC −6/−5
ISO 3166US-AR
AbbreviationsAR, Ark.
Websitewww.arkansas.gov
Arkansas state symbols
Flag of Arkansas.svg
Seal of Arkansas.svg
Living insignia
BirdMockingbird
ButterflyDiana fritillary
FlowerApple blossom
InsectWestern honeybee
MammalWhite-tailed deer
TreePine tree
Inanimate insignia
BeverageMilk
DanceSquare dance
FoodPecan
GemstoneDiamond
MineralQuartz
RockBauxite
SoilStuttgart
OtherSouth Arkansas vine ripe pink tomato (state fruit and vegetable)
State route marker
Arkansas state route marker
State quarter
Arkansas quarter dollar coin
Released in 2003
Lists of United States state symbols

Arkansas, nicknamed the Land of Opportunity or The Natural State, is a state in the United States of America. Its capital and largest city is Little Rock. It has been estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015 that around 2,978,204 people live in Arkansas.[7]

History[change | change source]

Arkansas became the 25th state to enter the Union in 1836. During the American Civil War, Arkansas was one of the Confederate states, however, it was the second state to be put back in to the U.S. in the Reconstruction.

Geography[change | change source]

View from the summit of Petit Jean Mountain, in the Arkansas River Valley, from Mather Lodge in Petit Jean State Park.
Blanchard Springs Caverns in Stone County is a popular tourist destination.
The Buffalo National River, one of many attractions that give the state's nickname The Natural State.
Flatside Wilderness Area, Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas

Arkansas borders Louisiana to the south, Texas to the southwest, Oklahoma to the west, Missouri to the north, and Tennessee and Mississippi on the east. The United States Census Bureau classifies Arkansas as a southern state. The Mississippi River forms most of Arkansas's eastern border, except in Clay and Greene counties. There the St. Francis River forms the western boundary of the Missouri Bootheel.

Arkansas has many rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Arkansas has few natural lakes but many reservoirs such as Bull Shoals Lake, Lake Ouachita, Greers Ferry Lake, Millwood Lake, Beaver Lake, Norfork Lake, DeGray Lake, and Lake Conway.[8]

Arkansas is home to many caves, such as Blanchard Springs Caverns. More than 43,000 Native American living, hunting and tool making sites have been catalogued by the State Archeologist. Arkansas is currently the only U.S. state in which diamonds are mined. This is done by members of the public with primitive digging tools for a small daily fee, not by commercial interests.[9][10]

Arkansas is home to a bunch of Wilderness Areas totaling around 150,000 acres (610 km2). These areas are set aside for outdoor recreation and are open to hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. No vehicles are allowed in these areas.

Religion[change | change source]

First Baptist Church, Magnolia

Arkansas, like most other Southern states, is part of the Bible Belt. It is mostly Protestant. The largest denominations by number of followers in 2000 were the Southern Baptist Convention with 665,307; the United Methodist Church with 179,383; the Roman Catholic Church with 115,967; and the American Baptist Association with 115,916.[11]

Education[change | change source]

Education in Arkansas has been an issue. Part of the problem has been low teacher salaries and small budgets for spending on students. Other problems have been not wanting to integrate, and poor school facilities.[source?]

Arkansas has two university systems: Arkansas State University System and University of Arkansas System. Some other public institutions are Arkansas Tech University, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, and University of Central Arkansas. It is also home to 11 private colleges and universities. One of them being Hendrix College, one of the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report.[12]

Culture[change | change source]

Arkansas is notable for its bauxite mines. Arkansas was also the first U.S. state where diamonds were found. Notable Arkansans include Bill Clinton, who was governor of Arkansas before he became the President of the United States, and Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart.

Attractions[change | change source]

Arkansas is home to many areas protected by the National Park System. These include:[13]

Related pages[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  2. The Geographic Names Index System (GNIS) of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) indicates that the official name of this feature is Magazine Mountain, not "Mount Magazine". Although not a hard and fast rule, generally "Mount X" is used for a peak and "X Mountain" is more frequently used for ridges, which better describes this feature. Magazine Mountain appears in the GNIS as a ridge,[5] with Signal Hill identified as its summit.[6] "Mount Magazine" is the name used by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, which follows what the locals have used since the area was first settled.

References[change | change source]

  1. Blevins 2009, p. 2.
  2. "Arkansas: Population estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. July 1, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  3. "Mag". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=FG1888. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  5. "Magazine Mountain". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  6. "Signal Hill". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  7. ""Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" (CSV). U.S. Census Bureau".
  8. Smith, Richard M. (1989). The Atlas of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-55728-047-3.
  9. "Crater of Diamonds: History of diamonds, diamond mining in Arkansas". Craterofdiamondsstatepark.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  10. "US Diamond Mines – Diamond Mining in the United States". Geology.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  11. "The Association of Religion Data Archives | Maps & Reports". Thearda.com. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  12. "National Liberal Arts College Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
  13. "Arkansas". National Park Service. Retrieved July 15, 2008.