47 Interesting Facts About Arkansas

Last updated on March 31st, 2020

31. Did you know that Arkansas was part of the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase?

32. Arkansas was nicknamed “The Natural State” because it is famous for its natural scenic beauty, clear lakes and streams, and abundant wildlife.

33. McClellan-Ker Arkansas River Navigation System (approximately 440 miles long) links Oklahoma and Arkansas to the Mississippi River. The project was completed in 1971. The system also serves as a substantial source of hydroelectric power, thanks to the seventeen dams and locks that have been built along the waterway.[16]

34. Arkansas sees long, hot summers and mild winters.[17]

35. At 1,460 miles long, the Arkansas River is the longest tributary in the Mississippi-Missouri River system.

36. The eastern border of Arkansas is marked by Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, and the Mississippi River.

Bromine icon.
Periodic table element bromine icon.

37. Arkansas is one of the world’s largest producers of bromine, which is mainly used as a flame retardant. According to the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission, the Arkansas bromine industry extracts more than 40 million cubic meters of brine a year from the so-called Smackover Formation.[18]

38. The state has had several different nicknames in the past including: “The Wonder State”, “The Bear State”, and “The Toothpick State”.[19]

A Northern Mockingbird is perched on a bare branch with an overcast sky.
A Northern Mockingbird is perched on a bare branch with an overcast sky.

39. The Mockingbird, the state bird of Arkansas, is also the state bird of other states including Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

40. It is a sad fact that nearly 33.5% of the deaths in the state are attributed directly to smoking. Almost 24% of the adults in Arkansas smoke, which is quite high as compared to the U.S. national average of 14% (2017 estimate.)

41. Arkansas has over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers.[20]

42. Arkansas Post was the first territorial capital of Arkansas Territory from 1819 until 1821 when Little Rock was made the capital of the state.

43. The University of Arkansas was founded in 1871. The University had a gathering of eight students and three faculty members during the first year. Today, more than 145 years later, the University is imparting education to students from 120 countries. Interestingly, Bill and Hillary Clinton began their careers by teaching law at the University of Arkansas.

44. Arkansas became a territory on March 2, 1819, out of the territory of Missouri after Missouri petitioned for statehood. The territory existed until June 15, 1936, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Arkansas.[21]

45. In 1932, Arkansas elected the first women to serve a full term as a United States Senator. Her name was Hattie Caraway. She served for 14 years in the U.S. Senate.[24]

46. Mammoth Spring, with nine million gallons of water flowing hourly, is one of the world’s largest springs.[25]

47. According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, the highest temperature ever recorded happened on Aug. 10, 1936, with a whopping 120 degrees in Ozark.[26]

Arkansas – Quick facts and State symbols

State AbbreviationAR
State CapitalLittle Rock
Largest CityLittle Rock
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 53,179 sq miles; Land Only: 52,068 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2018 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodJune 15, 1836
State rank by population33rd
State rank by date of formation25th
State rank by area29th
Number of Counties75
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
Bordering StatesLouisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas
Official LanguageEnglish
Highest PointMount Magazine
2,753 ft (839 m)
Lowest pointOuachita River at Louisiana border
55 ft (17 m)
Mean elevation650 feet above sea level
Length240 miles (386 km)
Width270 miles (435 km)
GovernorAsa Hutchinson (R)
Lieutenant GovernorTim Griffin (R)
Electoral Votes6
State MottoRegnat populus (The people rule)
State NicknameBear State
Land of Opportunity
Natural State
Wonder State
% Water2.09
Famous peopleCortez Kennedy (Pro Football player)
Arky Vaughan (Baseball player)
Nat Clifton (Basketball player)
Emma Stone (Actress)
Iris DeMent
U.S. President Born in Arkansas1. William Jefferson Clinton.
State DinosaurArkansaurus fridayi
State BirdMockingbird
State ButterflyDiana Fritillary Butterfly
State CreedArkansas Creed
State FlowerApple blossom
State Fruit & Vegetable
Vine Ripe Pink Tomato
State GemstoneDiamond
State GrainRice
State GrapeCynthiana grape
Historic cooking vesselDutch oven
State InsectHoney bee
State MammalWhite-Tailed Deer
State mineralQuartz Crystal
State NutPecan
State rockBauxite
State TreePine Tree
Longitude89° 39′ W to 94° 37′ W
Latitude33° 00′ N to 36° 30′ N
Time ZoneCentral Time Zone
Area Codes327, 479, 501, 870
Table last updatedJune 8, 2020