|City of Little Rock, Arkansas|
|— City —|
Little Rock, summer 2007.
|Nickname(s): The Rock (official), Rock Town|
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)|
|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 and also the county seat of Pulaski County. The Metropolitan Statistical Area, had a population of 675,069 people, according to 2008 census estimates. The MSA is in turn included in the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Pine Bluff, Arkansas Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 850,561 in the 2008 census estimates. As of 2008, according to the US census, Little Rock had a population of 189,515.
Located near the geographic center of Arkansas, 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.
Archeological artifacts provide evidence of Native Americans' inhabiting Central Arkansas for thousands of years before European settlers 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's expedition. Historical tribes of the area included the Caddo, Quapaw, Osage, Choctaw and Cherokee.
Little Rock was named for a little rock. Early travelers used a stone outcropping on the bank of the Arkansas River 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 (302.5 km²), of which, 116.2 square miles (301.0 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 is 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.
Little Rock lies in the Humid subtropical climate zone, with hot, humid summers and mild winters.
|Average high °F (°C)||49.5
|Average low °F (°C)||30.8
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.61
|Snowfall inches (mm)||2.0
|Avg. snowy days||1.1||0.8||0.3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.3||0.3||2.8|
|Avg. precipitation days||9.6||8.3||10.0||9.7||10.6||9.2||8.3||6.5||7.9||7.5||9.0||9.7||106.3|
|Source: NCDC  February 2010|
The city operated under a city manager form of government until 2007. Voters elected to convert the city to a strong-mayor form of government, making the mayor's position a full-time position with veto power. The city also retains the city manager position. The city employs over 2500 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.
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. 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 2000 census, there were 183,133 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/sq mi (281.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.1% White, 40.4% 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.
The 2008 U.S. Census population estimate for the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway was 675,069. 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.
Large companies headquartered in other cities but with a large presence in Little Rock include Dassault Falcon Jet and Raytheon Aircraft Company near Little Rock National Airport in the eastern part of the city, and Fidelity National Information Services in northwestern Little Rock.
Non-profit organizations include Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Heifer International, Lions World Services for the Blind, William J. Clinton Museum, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Audubon Arkansas, The Nature Conservancy, and Winrock International.
One of the largest public employers in the state with over 9,400 employees, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and its affiliates—Arkansas Children's Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System—have a total economic impact in Arkansas of about $4.1 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.
Little Rock was named 22nd out of 361 metropolitan areas as best places for business in 2005 by Forbes Magazine.
Moody's Investor Services ranks Little Rock as the second most diverse economy in the nation.
The Brookings Institution ranks Little Rock as the 7th best metropolitan economy in the United States in 2009 with the second best overall growth from 2008 to 2009 after Des Moines.
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 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 2200 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 Arkansas Cancer Research Center, 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 myeloma, 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.
The public schools in Little Rock are operated by the Little Rock School District known by residents as LRSD. Currently, the district includes 64 schools with more schools being built. As of the 2005–2006 school year, the district has enrollment of 26,524. It has 5 high schools, 8 middle schools, 31 elementary schools, 1 early childhood (pre-kndergarten) center, 2 alternative schools, 1 adult education center, 1 accelerated learning center, 1 career-techinal center, and about 3,800 employees.
Public high schools in Little Rock include:
The Central Arkansas Library System includes the main building downtown and numerous branches throughout the city as well as branches in Jacksonville, Maumelle, Perryville, and Sherwood. The Pulaski County Law Library is located at the William H. Bowen School of Law
Hospitals in Little Rock include:
Some notable shopping locations in the city of Little Rock are:
Cantrell Road/Highway 10
Shackleford Road/Interstate 430
Retailers in Little Rock include Dillard's, J. C. Penney, Sears, Belk, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, and Kohl's. Additionally, several smaller and niche retailers can be found throughout the city, with corporations such as Gap Inc., Talbots, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Chico's each operating more than one company store concept in Little Rock.
|Arkansas Travelers||Texas League||Dickey-Stephens Park||1895||9|
|Arkansas Diamonds||Indoor Football League||Verizon Arena||2000||0|
|Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans||NCAA–Sun Belt Conference||Jack Stephens Center||1927||3|
|Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans||NCAA–Sun Belt Conference||Gary Hogan Field||1927||0|
|Arkansas Rhinos||North American Football League||Mills High School||2000||1|
Little Rock was 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 is scheduled to be home to the Little Rock Rivercatz of the American Basketball Association for the 2007–2008 season.
Little Rock is also home to the Arkansas Twisters of the Indoor Football League and the Arkansas RimRockers of the NBA Development League. Both of these teams play at the 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 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.
A number of highways converge near Little Rock. I-40 passes through North Little Rock to the north. 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. Other highways include I-430, I-440, I-530, and I-630. I-530 terminates in Little Rock after originating in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Nine airlines serve 18 national/international gateway cities, e.g. St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte, etc. from Little Rock National Airport. In 2006 they carried approximately 2.1 million passengers on approximately 150 daily flights to and from Little Rock.
Greyhound Lines serves Dallas, Memphis, Houston, and St. Louis, 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.
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.
Within the city, public bus service is provided by the Central Arkansas Transit Authority (CATA). As of January 2010 CAT operates 21 regular fixed routes, 3 express routes, as well as special events shuttle buses and paratransit service for disabled persons. Of the 21 fixed route services, 14 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 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.
Daily legal and real estate news is also provided Monday through Friday in the Daily Record. 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 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:
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. For more information, visit The Rep
AM radio Stations in the Little Rock area include:
FM radio stations in the Little Rock area include:
|KUAR||89.1||News and info|
|KARN-FM||102.9||News and Talk|
See also: List of people from Little Rock
Citizens of Little Rock are commonly referred to by the appellation, "Little Rockers." The city is referred to as "Rock Town" or simply "The Rock" by its citizens.
Federal Express was founded in 1971 by Frederick W. Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas, but moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1973 after Little Rock National Airport officials would not agree to provide facilities for the fledgling airline. The company is now known as FedEx Corporation.
|Little Rock, Arkansas|
|- Mayor||Mark Stodola|
|- City||116.81 sq mi (302.55 km2)|
|- Land||116.20 sq mi (300.97 km2)|
|- Water||0.61 sq mi (1.58 km2)|
|- Urban||261.31 sq mi (676.78 km2)|
|- Metro||4,090.34 sq mi (10,593.94 km2)|
|- Density||1,575.97/sq mi (608.49/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|- Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|