|City of Little Rock|
|Nickname(s): The Rock, Rock Town, LR|
Location of Little Rock in Pulaski County, Arkansas.
|Arkansas, United States & North America|
|• Mayor||Mark Stodola (D)|
|• Council||Little Rock City Council|
|• City||121.30 sq mi (314.16 km2)|
|• Land||118.69 sq mi (307.40 km2)|
|• Water||2.61 sq mi (6.76 km2)|
|• Metro||4,090.34 sq mi (10,593.94 km2)|
|Elevation||335 ft (102 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||198,541|
|• Rank||US: 118th|
|• Density||1,672.81/sq mi (645.87/km2)|
|• Urban||431,388 (US: 88th)|
|• Metro||724,385 (US: 75th)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP code(s)||72002, 72103, 72201, 72202, 72204, 72205, 72206, 72207, 72209, 72210, 72211, 72212, 72223, 72227|
|GNIS feature ID||0083350|
|Major airport||Adams Field (LIT)|
Little Rock is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Arkansas. It is also the county seat of Pulaski County. It was incorporated on November 7, 1831, on the south bank of the Arkansas River close to the state's geographic center. The city derives its name from a rock formation along the river, named "la petit roche" by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe in the 1720s. The capital of the Arkansas Territory was moved to Little Rock from Arkansas Post in 1821. The city's population was 193,524 at the 2010 census. The six county Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked 75th in terms of population in the United States with 724,385 residents according to the 2013 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.
Little Rock is a cultural, economic, government, and transportation center within Arkansas and the South. Several cultural institutions are in Little Rock, such as the Arkansas Arts Center, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, in addition to the hiking, boating, and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Little Rock's history is available through history museums, historic districts or neighborhoods like the Quapaw Quarter, and historic sites such as Little Rock Central High School. The city is the headquarters of Dillard's, Windstream Communications, Acxiom, Stephens Inc., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Heifer International, the Clinton Foundation, and the Rose Law Firm. Other large corporations, such as Dassault Falcon Jet and LM Wind Power have large operations in the city. State government is a large employer, with many offices being in downtown Little Rock. Two Interstate highways, Interstate 30 and Interstate 40, meet in Little Rock, with the Port of Little Rock serving as a shipping hub.
Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called "le petit rocher" (French: "the little rock"). The "little rock" was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing. The "little rock" is across the river from "big rock," a large bluff at the edge of the river, which was once used as a rock quarry.
Archeological artifacts provide evidence of Native Americans inhabiting Central Arkansas for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. The early inhabitants may have been the Folsom people, Bluff Dwellers, and Mississippian culture peoples who built earthwork mounds recorded in 1541 by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. Historical tribes of the area were the Caddo, Quapaw, Osage, Choctaw, and Cherokee.
Little Rock was named for a stone outcropping on the bank of the Arkansas River used by early travelers as a landmark. Le Petit Rocher (French for "the Little Rock"), named in 1722 by French explorer and trader Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe, marked the transition from the flat Mississippi Delta region to the Ouachita Mountain foothills. Travelers referred to the area as "the Little Rock," and the landmark name stuck.
Little Rock is located at (34.736009, −92.331122).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 116.8 square miles (303 km2), of which, 116.2 square miles (301 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it (0.52%) is water.
Little Rock is located on the south bank of the Arkansas River in Central Arkansas. Fourche Creek and Rock Creek run through the city, and flow into the river. The western part of the city is located in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Northwest of the city limits are Pinnacle Mountain and Lake Maumelle, which provides Little Rock's drinking water.
The city of North Little Rock is located just across the river from Little Rock, but it is a separate city. North Little Rock was once the 8th ward of Little Rock. An Arkansas Supreme Court decision on February 6, 1904, allowed the ward to merge with the neighboring town of North Little Rock. The merged town quickly renamed itself Argenta (the local name for the former 8th Ward), but returned to its original name in October 1917.
The 2013 U.S. Census population estimate for the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area was 724,385. The MSA covers the following counties: Pulaski, Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Perry, and Saline. The largest cities are Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, Jacksonville, Benton, Sherwood, Cabot, Maumelle, and Bryant.
Little Rock lies in the humid subtropical climate zone, with hot, humid summers and mild winters, with usually little snow. It has experienced temperatures as low as −12 °F (−24 °C), which was recorded on February 12, 1899, and as high as 114 °F (46 °C), which was recorded on August 3, 2011.
|Climate data for Little Rock (Little Rock Nat'l Airport), 1981−2010 normals, extremes 1875−present[a]|
|Record high °F (°C)||83
|Average high °F (°C)||50.5
|Daily mean °F (°C)||40.8
|Average low °F (°C)||31.2
|Record low °F (°C)||−8
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.55
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||1.6
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||8.9||9.1||9.8||9.4||11.1||8.7||8.2||6.4||7.3||8.2||8.9||9.7||105.7|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||0.6||0.6||0.3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.2||1.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||180.9||188.2||244.5||276.7||325.3||346.2||351.0||323.0||271.9||251.0||176.9||166.2||3,101.8|
|Percent possible sunshine||58||62||66||71||75||80||80||78||73||72||57||54||70|
|Source: NOAA (sun 1961−1990 at North Little Rock Airport), The Weather Channel|
As of the 2005–2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 52.7% of Little Rock's population; of which 49.4% were non-Hispanic whites, down from 74.1% in 1970. Blacks or African Americans made up 42.1% of Little Rock's population, with 42.0% being non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.4% of Little Rock's population while Asian Americans made up 2.1% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 1.2% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 1.4% of the city's population; of which 1.1% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 4.7% of Little Rock's population.
As of the 2010 census, there were 193,524 people, 77,352 households, and 46,488 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,576.0 people per square mile (608.5/km²). There were 84,793 housing units at an average density of 729.7 per square mile (281.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.9% White, 42.3% Black, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.28% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. 2.7% of the population is Hispanic or Latino.
There were 77,352 households, out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,572, and the median income for a family was $47,446. Males had a median income of $35,689 versus $26,802 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,209. 14.3% of the population is below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.9% of those under the age of 18 and 9.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
In the late 1980s, Little Rock experienced a 51% increase in murder arrests of kids under 17, and a 40% increase in among 18- to 24-year-olds. From 1988 to 1992, murder arrests of youths under 18 increased by 256%. By the end of 1992, Little Rock reached a record of 61 homicides, but in 1993 surpassed it with 76. It was one of the highest per-capita homicide rates in the country, placing Little Rock fifth in Money Magazine's 1994 list of most dangerous cities.
Dillard's Department Stores, Windstream Communications and Acxiom, Simmons Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Rose Law Firm, Central Flying Service and large brokerage Stephens Inc. are headquartered in Little Rock.
Large companies headquartered in other cities but with a large presence in Little Rock are Dassault Falcon Jet near Little Rock National Airport in the eastern part of the city, Fidelity National Information Services in northwestern Little Rock, and Welspun Corp in Southeast Little Rock.
Little Rock and its surroundings are the headquarters for some of the largest non-profit organizations in the world, such as Winrock International, Heifer International, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Clinton Foundation, Lions World Services for the Blind, Clinton Presidential Center, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, FamilyLife, Audubon Arkansas, and The Nature Conservancy.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Baptist Health Medical Center, Entergy, Dassault Falcon Jet, Siemens, AT&T Mobility, Kroger, Euronet Worldwide, L'Oréal Paris, Timex, and UAMS are employers throughout Little Rock.
One of the largest public employers in the state with over 10,552 employees, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and its healthcare partners — Arkansas Children's Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System—have a total economic impact in Arkansas of about $5 billion per year. UAMS receives less than 11% of its funding from the state. Its operation is funded by payments for clinical services (64%), grants and contracts (18%), philanthropy and other (5%), and tuition and fees (2%).
The Little Rock port is an intermodal river port with a large industrial business complex. It is designated as Foreign Trade Zone 14. International corporations such as Danish manufacturer LM Glasfiber have established new facilities adjacent to the port.
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Many cultural sites are located in Little Rock, including:
Founded in 1976, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is the state's largest nonprofit professional theatre company. A member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT D), The Rep has produced more than 300 productions, such as 40 world premieres, in its building located in downtown Little Rock. Producing Artistic Director, Robert Hupp leads a resident staff of designers, technicians and administrators in the creation of eight to ten productions for an annual audience in excess of 70,000 for MainStage productions, educational programming and touring. The Rep produces works that range from contemporary comedies and dramas to world premiers and the classics of dramatic literature.
photo by Gayle Nicholson
The city has operated under the city manager form of government since November 1957. In 1993, voters approved changes from seven at-large city directors (who rated the position of mayor among themselves) to a popularly elected mayor, seven ward directors and three at-large directors. The position of mayor remained a part-time position until August 2007. At that point, voters approved making the mayor's position a full-time position with veto power. The current Mayor is Mark Stodola, a former Little Rock City Attorney and prosecuting attorney. The current City Manager is Bruce T. Moore, who is the longest-serving City Manager in Little Rock history. The city employs over 2,500 individuals in 14 different departments, including the Police Department, the Fire Department, Parks and Recreation, and the Zoo.
Most Pulaski County government offices are located in the city of Little Rock, including the Quorum, Circuit, District, and Juvenile Courts; and the Assessor, County Judge, County Attorney, and Public Defenders offices.
Both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit have judicial facilities in Little Rock. The city is served by the Little Rock Police Department.
Little Rock is home to two universities that are part of the University of Arkansas System: the campuses of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are located in the city. A pair of smaller, historically black colleges, Philander Smith College, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and Arkansas Baptist College, are also located in Little Rock.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock was founded in 1927 as Little Rock Junior College, under the supervision of the city Board of Education. In its first semester, there were eight instructors and about 100 students. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a status it has kept since 1929. Housed originally in public school buildings, the college moved in 1949 to another location between University Ave and Fair Park Blvd, North of Asher Ave., on land donated by Raymond Rebsamen, a Little Rock businessman. The college was the sole beneficiary of a continuing trust established by former Governor George W. Donaghey at the time. In 1957, the institution began a four-year degree program, became independent and privately supported under a separate board of trustees, and took the name Little Rock University.
In September 1969, The Little Rock University merged into the University of Arkansas System, to create the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The University of Arkansas System merger began a period of steady growth, which saw UALR go from about 3,500 students and 75 full-time faculty members in 1969 to about 10,000 students and over 400 full-time faculty members in the 1998 academic year. The university consists of 54 undergraduate major programs, an extensive schedule of night, weekend, and off-campus classes, and various community educational services. UALR began offering graduate and professional work in 1975. Besides the juris doctor offered at the William H. Bowen School of Law, UALR has three doctoral programs and 29 graduate and professional programs, and joint programs with other campuses of the University of Arkansas System.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is part of the University of Arkansas System. UAMS has about 2,200 students in six academic units: the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Health Related Professions, and Public Health and the Graduate School. UAMS also has more than 660 resident physicians completing their training at UAMS or at one of the seven Area Health Education Centers around the state. UAMS provides hospital and outpatient care, and houses the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, and Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute. Arkansas Children's Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System are affiliates of UAMS.
The outreach efforts of UAMS has seven Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) in Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, El Dorado, Texarkana, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, and Helena, Arkansas; networks of senior health centers and centers for young children with special health care needs; and interactive video education and medical consultation services to community hospitals around the state. UAMS is the state's largest basic and applied research institution with programs in multiple melanoma, aging, and other areas.
Located in downtown is the Clinton School of Public Service, a branch of the University of Arkansas System, which offers master's degrees in public service.
Pulaski Technical College has two locations in Little Rock. The Pulaski Technical College Little Rock-South site is located at 13000 Interstate 30 in the former Little Rock Expo building near the Pulaski and Saline County line.
Almost half of the building's 159,000 square feet houses the Pulaski Technical College Transportation Technology Center programs in automotive technology, collision repair technology, commercial driver training, diesel technology, small engine repair technology and motorcycle/all-terrain vehicle repair technology.
The Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute and The Finish Line Cafe are located in Little Rock-South. Breakfast and lunch are offered weekdays.
Pulaski Tech offers general and developmental education courses at its Little Rock-South location.
Little Rock is home to both the Arkansas School for the Blind (ASB) and the Arkansas School for the Deaf (ASD), which are state-run schools operated by the Board of Trustees of the ASB–ASD. In addition, eStem Public Charter High School and LISA Academy provide tuition-free public education as charter schools.
The city's comprehensive public school system is operated by the Little Rock School District (LRSD). As of 2012[update], the district consists of 64 schools with more schools being built. As of the 2009–2010 school year, the district has enrollment of 25,685. It has 5 high schools, 8 middle schools, 31 elementary schools, 1 early childhood (pre-kindergarten) center, 2 alternative schools, 1 adult education center, 1 accelerated learning center, 1 career-technical center, and about 3,800 employees.
LRSD public high schools include:
The Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) serves parts of Little Rock. PCSSD high schools are located in the city such as:
Various private schools are located in Little Rock, such as:
Little Rock previously had a Catholic high school for African-Americans, St. Bartholomew High School; it closed in 1964. The Catholic grade school St. Bartholomew School, also established for African-Americans, closed in 1974. The Our Lady of Good Counsel School closed in 2006.
The Central Arkansas Library System comprises the main building downtown and numerous branches throughout the city, Jacksonville, Maumelle, Perryville, Sherwood and Wrightsville. The Pulaski County Law Library is at the William H. Bowen School of Law.
|Arkansas Travelers||Texas League||Dickey-Stephens Park||1963||7|
|Little Rock Rangers||National Premier Soccer League||War Memorial Stadium||2015||0|
|Little Rock Trojans||NCAA Division I (Sun Belt Conference)||Jack Stephens Center and Gary Hogan Field||1927||3|
Little Rock is home to the Arkansas Travelers. They are the AA professional Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Seattle Mariners in the Texas League. The Travelers played their last game in Little Rock at Ray Winder Field on September 3, 2006, and moved into Dickey-Stephens Park in nearby North Little Rock in April 2007.
Little Rock was also home to the Arkansas Twisters (later Arkansas Diamonds) of Arena Football 2 and Indoor Football League and the Arkansas RimRockers of the American Basketball Association and NBA Development League. Both of these teams played at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
The city is also home to the Little Rock Trojans, the athletic program of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The majority of the school's athletic teams are housed in the Jack Stephens Center, which opened in 2005. The Trojans play in the Sun Belt Conference, where the Arkansas State Red Wolves are their chief rival.
Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium plays host to at least one University of Arkansas Razorback football game each year. The stadium is known for being in the middle of a golf course. Each fall, the city closes the golf course on Razorback football weekends for fans to tailgate. It is estimated that over 80,000 people are present for the tailgating activities on these weekends. War Memorial also hosts the Arkansas High School football state championships, and starting in the fall of 2006 hosts one game apiece for the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Arkansas State University also plays at the stadium from time to time.
Little Rock was a host of the First and Second Rounds of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. It has also been a host of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament.
The now defunct Arkansas RiverBlades and Arkansas GlacierCats, both minor-league hockey teams, were located in the Little Rock area. The GlacierCats of the now defunct Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) played in Little Rock at Barton Coliseum while the RiverBlades of the ECHL played at the Verizon Arena.
Hubert "Geese" Ausbie played basketball at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, where he earned All-Conference and All-American honors. He later gained fame as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette is the largest newspaper in the city, as well as the state. As of March 31, 2006, Sunday circulation is 275,991 copies, while daily (Monday-Saturday) circulation is 180,662, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The newspaper also published the free tabloid Sync Weekly and the monthly magazine Arkansas Life.
Daily legal and real estate news is also provided Monday through Friday in the Daily Record. Healthcare news covered by Healthcare Journal of Little Rock. Entertainment and political coverage is provided weekly in Arkansas Times and monthly in the Little Rock Free Press. Business and economics news is published weekly in Arkansas Business. Entertainment, Political, Business, and Economics news is published Monthly in "Arkansas Talks" www.Arkansastalks.org
In addition to area newspapers, the Little Rock market is served by a variety of magazines covering diverse interests. The publications are:
Many television networks have local affiliates in Little Rock, in addition to numerous independent stations. As for cable TV services, Comcast has a monopoly over Little Rock and much of Pulaski County. Some suburbs have the option of having Comcast, Charter or other cable companies.
Television stations in the Little Rock area are:
|KETS-3||2.3||AETN Plus / World|
|KETS-4||2.4||Arkansas Information Reading Service (audio only; radio reading service)|
|KVTN||25||VTN: Your Arkansas Christian Connection|
AM radio Stations in the Little Rock area are:
FM radio stations in the Little Rock area are:
|KUAR||89.1||News and info|
|KOKY||102.1||Urban Adult Contemporary|
|KARN-FM||102.9||News and Talk|
Hospitals in Little Rock include:
Little Rock is served by two primary Interstate Highways and four auxiliary Interstates. I-40 passes through North Little Rock to the north, and I-30 enters the city from the south, terminating at I-40 in the north of the Arkansas River. Shorter routes designed to accommodate the flow of urban traffic across town include I-430, which bypasses the city to the west, I-440, which serves the eastern part of Little Rock including Clinton National Airport, and I-630 which runs east–west through the city, connecting west Little Rock with the central business district. I-530 runs southeast to Pine Bluff as a spur route.
US 70 parallels I-40 into North Little Rock before multiplexing with I-30 at the Broadway exit (Exit 141B). US 67 and US 167 share the same route from the northeast before splitting. US 67 and US 70 multiplex with Interstate 30 to the southwest. US 167 multiplexes with US 65 and I-530 to the southeast.
Amtrak serves the city twice daily via the Texas Eagle, with northbound service to Chicago and southbound service to San Antonio, as well as numerous intermediate points. Through service to Los Angeles and intermediate points operates three times a week. The train carries coaches, a sleeping car, a dining car, and a Sightseer Lounge car. Reservations are required.
Six airlines serve 14 national/international gateway cities, e.g. Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte, Orlando etc. from Clinton National Airport. In 2006 they carried approximately 2.1 million passengers on approximately 116 daily flights to and from Little Rock. In July 2017, a seventh airline, Frontier Airlines, announced that they would be resuming scheduled operations to Denver in 2018.
Greyhound Lines serves Dallas and Memphis, as well as intermediate points, with numerous connections to other cities and towns. Jefferson Lines serves Fort Smith, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City, as well as intermediate points, with numerous connections to other cities and towns. These carriers operate out of the North Little Rock bus station.
Within the city, public bus service is provided by the Rock Region Metro, which until 2015 was named the Central Arkansas Transit Authority (CATA). As of January 2010, CATA operated 23 regular fixed routes, 3 express routes, as well as special events shuttle buses and paratransit service for disabled persons. Of the 23 fixed-route services, 16 offer daily service, 6 offer weekday service with limited service on Saturday, and one route runs exclusively on weekdays. The three express routes run on weekday mornings and afternoons. Since November 2004, downtown areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock have been additionally served by the Metro Streetcar system (formerly the River Rail Electric Streetcar), also operated by Rock Region Metro. The Streetcar is a 3.4-mile (5.5 km)-long heritage streetcar system that runs from the North Little Rock City Hall and throughout downtown Little Rock before crossing over to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The streetcar line has fourteen stops and a fleet of five cars with a daily ridership of around 350.
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