Arkansas County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,019. Located in the Arkansas Delta, the county has two county seats, De Witt and Stuttgart. The first of the state's 75 present-day counties to be created, Arkansas County was formed on December 13, 1813, when this area was part of the Missouri Territory. The county was named after the Arkansas River (itself named for the Arkansas tribe), as was the subsequent Arkansas Territory. This was later split off from Missouri Territory and eventually admitted to the union as a state. The riverfront areas in the Arkansas Delta were developed for cotton plantations, based on the use of enslaved African Americans. Cotton was the major commodity crop before and after the Civil War. Other crops such as soybeans are also cultivated now, in industrial-scale production.
GeographyArkansas County is located in the Arkansas Delta (in Arkansas, usually referred to as "the Delta") a subregion of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, which is a flat area consisting of rich, fertile sediment deposits from the Mississippi River between Louisiana and Illinois. Within the Delta, Arkansas County is almost entirely within the Grand Prairie subregion, historically a flat grassland plain underlain by an impermeable clay layer (the Stuttgart soil series). Prior to the 19th century, flatter areas with slowly to very slowly permeable soils (often containing fragipans) supported Arkansas’s largest prairie, covered in prairie grasses and forbs, with oaks covering the low hills and ridges, and pockets of floodplains with bottomland hardwood forests. This region was a sharp contrast to the bottomland forests that once dominated other parts of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. Cropland has now largely replaced the native vegetation. Distinctively, rice is the main crop; soybeans, cotton, corn, and wheat are also grown. The rice fields provide habitat and forage for large numbers and many species of waterfowl; duck and goose hunting occurs at this important spot along the Mississippi Flyway.
As of the 2010 census, there were 19,019 people, 8,005 households, and 5,306 families residing in the county. The population density was 18 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 9,436 housing units at an average density of 9 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 71.8% White, 24.5% Black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 0% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. 2.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 8,005 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.87.
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