|Little Rock, Arkansas|
|Nickname(s): The Rock, Rock Town, LR|
Location in Pulaski County, Arkansas
|• Type||Council-Strong Mayor|
|• Mayor||Mark Stodola|
|• City||116.8 sq mi (302.5 km2)|
|• Land||116.2 sq mi (300.9 km2)|
|• Metro||4,090.34 sq mi (10,593.94 km2)|
|Elevation||335 ft (102 m)|
|• Estimate (2014)||197,706|
|• Rank||US: 118th|
|• Urban||431,388 (US: 88th)|
|• Metro||724,385 (US: 75th)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0083350|
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 very near the geographic center of the state. The city derives its name from a small rock formation along the river, named "La Petit Roche" by the French in 1799. 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 five-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 major cultural, economic, government and transportation center within Arkansas, the South and the nation. The city includes cultural institutions 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 also available to residents and visitors in a variety of ways; history museums, historic districts or neighborhoods like the Quapaw Quarter, and historic sites like 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, including Dassault Falcon Jet and LM Wind Power have large operations in the city. State government is also a large employer, with most offices being located in downtown Little Rock. Two major Interstate highways, Interstate 30 and Interstate 40 meet in Little Rock, with the Port of Little Rock serving as a major shipping hub.
Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called la Petite Roche (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 included 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 included 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. La Petite Roche (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. Just 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.
Inside Little Rock's city limits, there are numerous different neighborhoods. They are Apple Gate, Birchwood, Breckenridge, Broadmoor, Brodie Creek, Candlewood, Capitol Hill, Capitol View, Capitol View/Stifft's Station, Chenal Ridge, Cloverdale, Colony West, Downtown, East End, Echo Valley, Fair Park, Foxcroft, Geyer Springs, Gibraltar Heights, Granite Mountain, Gum Springs, Hall High, The Heights, Highland Park, Hillcrest, John Barrow, Leawood, Mabelvale, Mushroom Pass, Oak Forest, Otter Creek, Parkway Place, Pleasant Valley, Quapaw Quarter, River Mountain, River Ridge, Riverdale, Robinwood, Rock Creek, Rosedale, St. Charles, Santa Fe Heights, South End, South Little Rock, Southwest Little Rock, Stagecoach, Sturbridge, the Villages of Wellington, Wakefield, West End and Woodland Edge.
The 2013 U.S. Census population estimate for the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area was 724,385. The MSA includes the following counties: Pulaski, Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Perry, and Saline. The largest cities include 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; of which 42.0% were 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.
Large companies headquartered in other cities but with a large presence in Little Rock include 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.
Despite its size, Little Rock and its surroundings are the headquarters for some of the largest and most recognizable non-profit organizations in the world, including 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.
Major employers throughout Little Rock include 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.
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 in recent years.
Kiplinger names Little Rock as the #1 place to live among metropolitan areas under one million people in July 2013.
Little Rock offers many cultural amenities to residents and tourists, including the following:
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, including 40 world premieres, in its historic 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.
Outside magazine named Little Rock one of its 2013 Best Towns. The city offers many outdoor recreational opportunities, including dozens of parks and Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
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.
The city has two major 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 within Little Rock. The city also is home to a pair of smaller, historically black colleges, Philander Smith College, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and Arkansas Baptist College.
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. The first semester open, there were eight instructors and about 100 students. The college is currently 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 its present 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 also 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's expanded offerings now include 54 undergraduate major programs, an extensive schedule of night, weekend, and off-campus classes, and a wide range of 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 now has three doctoral programs and 29 graduate and professional programs, as well as 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 combines the patient care resources of a state-of-the art hospital and outpatient center with 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 include 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 internationally renowned programs in multiple melanoma, aging, and other areas.
Located in downtown is the specialized Clinton School of Public Service, a branch of the University of Arkansas System, which offers a master's degree 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.
Little Rock-South also houses the Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School and its The Finish Line Cafe, which is operated by culinary school staff, culinary arts instructors and students. Breakfast and lunch are offered weekdays.
Pulaski Tech offers a variety of general and developmental education courses at its Little Rock-South location. In addition, students have access to services they enjoy at the main campus—a library, computer labs, tutoring services, student services, all housed in an attractive new location with cutting-edge technology.
At the Little Rock-West location, the college offers both day and evening courses in areas such as business, English, fine arts, health sciences, history, mathematics, social sciences and developmental education.
Several full-time faculty, a student services representative and several adjunct faculty members are housed at the site. Tutoring services and an open computer lab are available at Little Rock-West. In addition, the location houses the Pulaski Technical College Office of Governmental Relations and the Career Pathways program.
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 includes 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 as well. PCSSD high schools in the city include:
The city is home to a variety of private schools, including:
The Central Arkansas Library System includes the main building downtown and numerous branches throughout the city as well as branches in Jacksonville, Maumelle, Perryville, Sherwood and Wrightsville. The Pulaski County Law Library is located at the William H. Bowen School of Law.
|Arkansas Travelers||Texas League||Dickey-Stephens Park||1895||9|
|Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans||NCAA–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 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 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.
Little Rock is home to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans. The majority of the schools athletic teams are housed in the new state-of-the-art Jack Stephens Center. The Trojans play in the Sun Belt conference, where Arkansas State University is their chief rival.
Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium plays host to at least two University of Arkansas Razorback football games 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 actitivities 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.
In addition to area newspapers, the Little Rock market is served by a variety of magazines covering diverse interests. The publications include:
All major 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 the majority of Pulaski County. Some suburbs have the option of having Comcast, Charter or other cable companies.
Television stations in the Little Rock area include:
|KVTN||25||VTN: Your Arkansas Christian Connection|
|KASN-DT2||38.2||The Country Network|
AM radio Stations in the Little Rock area include:
FM radio stations in the Little Rock area include:
|KUAR||89.1||News and info|
|KOKY||102.1||Urban Adult Contemporary|
|KARN-FM||102.9||News and Talk|
|KHLR||106.7||Urban Adult Contemporary|
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.
Nine airlines serve 18 national/international gateway cities, e.g. New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, 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.
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 Central Arkansas Transit Authority (CATA). As of January 2010, CATA operates 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 River Rail Electric Streetcar system, also operated by CATA. The River Rail Streetcar is a 3.5 mile 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 contains fourteen stops and has a rolling stock of five cars with a daily ridership of around 350.
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