Jefferson County, Arkansas

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Jefferson County, Arkansas
JeffersonCo AR courthouse.jpg
Jefferson County courthouse in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Map of Arkansas highlighting Jefferson County
Location in the state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location in the U.S.
Founded November 2, 1829
Named for Thomas Jefferson
Seat Pine Bluff
Largest city Pine Bluff
 • Total 913.70 sq mi (2,366 km2)
 • Land 884.82 sq mi (2,292 km2)
 • Water 28.88 sq mi (75 km2), 3.16%
 • (2010) 77,435
 • Density 87/sq mi (33.78/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 4th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. Its population was 77,435 at the 2010 United States Census. It is included in the Pine Bluff Metropolitan Statistical Area. Jefferson County's county seat and largest city is Pine Bluff. Jefferson County is Arkansas's 21st county, formed on November 2, 1829, from portions of Arkansas and Pulaski counties, and named for Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 913.70 square miles (2,366.5 km2), of which 884.82 square miles (2,291.7 km2) (or 96.84%) is land and 28.88 square miles (74.8 km2) (or 3.16%) is water.[1] About 75% of the county including the largest city, Pine Bluff, is located in the Arkansas Delta with the remaining portion in the Arkansas Timberlands.[citation needed] Consequently, it is largely low lying flatland to the east used primarily for agriculture and expanses of trees used for timber to the west.


The area that would later become Jefferson County was occupied by the Quapaw when French explorers established the Arkansas Post in the 17th century, in what was claimed as Louisiana, part of New France.[2]

In March 1819, Robert Crittenden was appointed secretary of Arkansas Territory. That same year, Joseph Bonne, traveling upstream from Arkansas Post, built a cabin on a “high bluff covered with pine trees” on the river’s south bank.[2] Several years later, James Scull, also from Arkansas Post, established a tavern and small inn on the river's north bank, across from what would become the site of Pine Bluff.[2]

Five years later, Crittenden convinced the remaining Quapaw to sign the November 15, 1824 treaty relinquishing what remained of their tribal lands.[2] Steamboat travel led to expanding settlement, "bringing to the area such men as French-born Napoleonic soldier Antoine Barraque (Pine Bluff’s principal east-west street was named for him) and brothers James T. and John Pullen (main thoroughfares were named for them)."[2]

On November 2, 1829, Territorial Governor John Pope—Crittenden's successor—approved the establishment of Jefferson County. Bonne’s cabin became the county seat; by August 1832, "Pine Bluff Town" became the county seat."[2]

In 1886, Jefferson County produced 55,120 bales of cotton, the most in Arkansas, and the second-most throughout the South.[3] Transportation companies serving the county at the time included the Cotton Belt Route, the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway, Missouri Pacific, the Arkansas River Packet Company, the Wiley Jones Street Car Lines, and the Citizens Street Railway Company.[4]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 772
1840 2,566 232.4%
1850 5,834 127.4%
1860 14,971 156.6%
1870 15,733 5.1%
1880 22,386 42.3%
1890 40,881 82.6%
1900 40,972 0.2%
1910 52,734 28.7%
1920 60,330 14.4%
1930 64,154 6.3%
1940 65,101 1.5%
1950 76,075 16.9%
1960 81,373 7.0%
1970 85,329 4.9%
1980 90,718 6.3%
1990 85,487 −5.8%
2000 84,278 −1.4%
2010 77,435 −8.1%
Est. 2012 74,723 −3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[6]
Age pyramid for Jefferson County (as of 2000).[7]

As of the 2010 census, there were 77,435 people residing in the county. 55.1% were Black or African American, 42.0% White, 0.8% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% of some other race and 1.2% of two or more races. 1.6% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).[8]

As of the census of 2000,[9] there were 84,278 people, 30,555 households, and 21,510 families residing in the county. The population density was 95 people per square mile (37/km²). There were 34,350 housing units at an average density of 39 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 49.58% Black or African American, 48.46% White, 0.24% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 0.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. By comparison, the county had 15,714 residents in 1870, 20% of whom were White.[10]

In the county there were 30,555 households out of which 33.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.40% were married couples living together, 18.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.13. The population was spread out with 26.30% under the age of 18, 10.80% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.40 males.

Jefferson County experienced a decline in population between 2000 and 2010 of 8.1%.[11] The county has continued to decline in population since 2010, showing a 3.5% decrease in population to 74,723 between the 2010 census and the 2012 (-3.5%) census estimates.[12]

The median income for a household in the county was $31,327, and the median income for a family was $38,252. Males had a median income of $31,848 versus $21,867 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,417. About 16.00% of families and 20.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.60% of those under age 18 and 17.80% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) operates its headquarters in Pine Bluff.[13][14] The ADC headquarters moved to the Pine Bluff Complex in 1979.[15] The administrative Annex East is on Harding Avenue in Pine Bluff, south of city hall.[16] The Diagnostic Unit,[17] the Pine Bluff Unit, and the Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility are in the "Pine Bluff Complex" in Pine Bluff.[18][19] The headquarters of the Arkansas Correctional School system are within the Pine Bluff Complex.[19][20]

The Arkansas Department of Community Correction Southeast Arkansas Community Corrections Center is in Pine Bluff.[21] The Maximum Security Unit is 25 miles (40 km) north of central Pine Bluff and off of Arkansas Highway 15 in unincorporated Jefferson County.[22] The Tucker Unit is also located north of Pine Bluff.[23]

Historically the Arkansas Boys' Industrial School and the Arkansas Negro Boys' Industrial School were in the county.[24]

Major highways[edit]



Townships in Jefferson County, Arkansas as of 2010

Townships in Arkansas are the divisions of a county. Each township includes unincorporated areas and some may have incorporated towns or cities within part of their space. Townships have limited purposes in modern times. However, the US Census does list Arkansas population based on townships (often referred to as "minor civil divisions"). Townships are also of value for historical purposes in terms of genealogical research. Each town or city is within one or more townships in an Arkansas county based on census maps. The townships of Jefferson County are listed below with the town(s) and/or city that are fully or partially inside them listed in parentheses. [33][34]

Adjacent counties[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Jefferson County". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  3. ^ JeffCounty 1888, p. 4
  4. ^ JeffCounty 1888, pp. 15–16
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ Based on 2000 census data[dated info]
  8. ^ 2010 census report for Jefferson County, Arkansas
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ JeffCounty 1888, p. 3
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Pine Bluff city, Arkansas." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 7, 2010.
  14. ^ "Central Office." Arkansas Department of Correction. Retrieved on June 28, 2010.
  15. ^ "2006 Facts Brochure." Arkansas Department of Correction. July 1, 2005-June 30, 2006. 25 (25/38). Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  16. ^ "Facilities." Arkansas Department of Correction. Retrieved on June 28, 2010.
  17. ^ "Diagnostic Unit." Arkansas Department of Correction. Retrieved on June 28, 2010.
  18. ^ "Pine Bluff Unit/Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility." Arkansas Department of Correction. Retrieved on June 28, 2010.
  19. ^ a b "School Sites." Arkansas Correctional School. Retrieved on July 18, 2010.
  20. ^ "Contact Us." Arkansas Correctional School. Retrieved on July 18, 2010.
  21. ^ "Locations." Arkansas Department of Community Corrections. Retrieved on March 5, 2011. "7301 West 13th Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71602"
  22. ^ "Maximum Security Unit." Arkansas Department of Correction. Retrieved on June 28, 2010.
  23. ^ "Pine Bluff Unit/Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility/Tucker Unit." Arkansas Department of Correction. Retrieved on June 28, 2010.
  24. ^ "1936 Jefferson County, Arkansas Highway Map." Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Retrieved on September 28, 2011.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^,ftc,3,fid,78900,n,diantha.cfm
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ US Census Bureau. 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Jefferson County, AR (Map). Retrieved 20110813.
  34. ^ "Arkansas - 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". Retrieved 2012-03-06. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°17′15″N 91°56′32″W / 34.28750°N 91.94222°W / 34.28750; -91.94222