Prairie County is located in the Central Arkansas region of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The county is named for the Grand Prairie, a subregion of the Arkansas Delta known for rice cultivation and aquaculture which runs through the county. Created as Arkansas's 54th county in 1864, Prairie County is home to four incorporated towns, including DeValls Bluff, the southern district county seat, and two incorporated cities, including Des Arc, the northern district county seat. The county is also the site of numerous unincorporated communities and ghost towns. Occupying 676 square miles (175,000 ha), Prairie County is the median-sized county in Arkansas. As of the 2010 Census, the county's population is 8,715 people in 4,503 households. Based on population, the county is the ninth-smallest county of the 75 in Arkansas.
GeographyThe county is located between two primary geographic regions of Arkansas: Central Arkansas and the Arkansas Delta (in Arkansas, usually referred to as "the Delta"). The Arkansas Delta is 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. The county is often described as being within the Grand Prairie, a subdivision of the Arkansas Delta known today for rice farming and aquaculture, rather than Central Arkansas or the Delta. It is this geographic feature from which the county derives its name. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 676 square miles (1,750 km²), of which 648 square miles (1,680 km²) is land and 28 square miles (73 km²) (4.1%) is water.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 9,539 people, 3,894 households, and 2,795 families residing in the county. The population density was 6/km² (15/mi²). There were 4,790 housing units at an average density of 3/km² (7/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.83% White, 13.71% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.28% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. 0.81% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.There were 3,894 households out of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 11.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88.
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