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Arkansas (pronounced ) is a southern state in the southern United States. The population according to the 2000 census was 2,673,400. Its U.S. postal abbreviation is AR, and its Associated Press abbreviation is Ark. It was admitted in 1836.

USS Arkansas was named in honor of this state.



The early French explorers of the state gave it its name, which is probably a phonetic spelling for the French word for "downriver" people, a reference to the Quapaw people and the river along which they settled. Other Native American nations living in present-day Arkansas were Caddo and Osage Nation.

On June 15, 1836, Arkansas became the 25th state of the United States as a slave state. Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861 during the American Civil War. Under the Military Reconstruction Act, Congress, by June 1868, had readmitted Arkansas, as well as North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

The state is the only one with an official pronunciation. The traditional form "arkanSAW" was made official by the state legislature in 1881.

Law and government

The current governor of Arkansas is Mike Huckabee, a Republican. Huckabee, who had been elected lieutenant governor in a 1993 special election, ascended to the governor's office when Governor Jim Guy Tucker, a Democrat, was convicted of felony mail fraud as part of the Whitewater Scandal. This led to a state "Constitutional crisis" when Tucker refused to give up the governor's office for a short period of time, because the Arkansas Constitution does not allow a convicted felon to be governor of the state. Tucker had been lieutenant governor under Bill Clinton and had become governor as a result of Clinton's election to the presidency.

In Arkansas, the lieutenant governor is elected separately from the governor and thus can be from a different political party.

Each office's term is four years long.

See: List of Arkansas Governors


See: List of Arkansas counties, List of cities in Arkansas, List of Arkansas townships.

The capital of Arkansas is Little Rock. Arkansas is the only state in the US where diamonds are found naturally.

The eastern Arkansas border is the Mississippi River. Arkansas shares its southern border with Louisiana, its northern border with Missouri, its eastern border with Tennessee and Mississippi, and its western border with Texas and Oklahoma. Arkansas is a beautiful land of mountains and valleys, thick forests and fertile plains. The Ozark and Ouachita mountain ranges in northern and western Arkansas are known as the Highlands; the southern and eastern parts of Arkansas are called the Lowlands.

The so called Lowlands are better known as the Delta and the Grand Prairie. The land along the Mississippi river is referred to as the "Delta" of Arkansas. It gets this name from the formation of its rich alluvial soils formed from the flooding of the mighty Mississippi. The Grand Prairie is slightly away from the Mississippi river in the southeast portion of the state and consists of a more undulating landscape. Both are fertile agricultural areas and home to much of the crop agriculture in the state.

Arkansas is home to many caves, such as Blanchard Springs Caverns. Hot Springs National Park and the Buffalo National River can also be found within its borders.

Interstate highways

United States highways

North-south routes East-west routes


The state's total gross state product for 1999 was $64 billion placing Arkansas 33rd in the nation. Its Per Capita Personal Income for 2000 was $22,257, 47th in the nation. The state's argiculture outputs are poultry and eggs, soybeans, sorghum, cattle, cotton, rice, hogs, and milk. Its industrial outputs are food processing, electric equipment, fabricated metal products, machinery, paper products, bromine, and vanadium.


See also: List of people from Arkansas

As of 2003, the state's population was 2,725,714 according to Census Bureau estimates.

48.8% is male, and 51.2% is female.

Racially, Arkansas is:

The five largest ancestry groups in the state are: American (15.9%), African American (15.7%), Irish (9.5%), German (9.3%), English (7.9%).


Arkansas, like most other southern states, is overwhelmingly Protestant. The religious affiliations of the people are as follows:

  • Protestant – 84%
  • Roman Catholic – 5%
  • Other Christian – 1%
  • Other Religions – 0%
  • Non-Religious – 6%

The three largest Protestant denominations in Arkansas are: Baptist (42% of the total state population), Methodist (9%), Pentecostal (6%).

Important cities and towns

Education and Research centers

Centers of Research

Colleges and universities

External links

Last updated: 10-11-2005 08:01:47
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