Benton County, Arkansas

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Benton County
Benton County Courthouse, July 2011
Flag of Benton County
Official seal of Benton County
Map of Arkansas highlighting Benton County
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°21′08″N 94°14′03″W / 36.352222222222°N 94.234166666667°W / 36.352222222222; -94.234166666667
Country United States
State Arkansas
FoundedSeptember 30, 1836
Named forThomas Hart Benton
SeatBentonville
Largest cityRogers
Area
 • Total884 sq mi (2,290 km2)
 • Land847 sq mi (2,190 km2)
 • Water37 sq mi (100 km2)  4.1%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total284,333
 • Density320/sq mi (120/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.bentoncountyar.gov

Benton County is a county within the Northwest Arkansas region with a culture, economy, and history that have transitioned from rural and agricultural to suburban and white collar since the growth of Walmart, which is headquartered in Benton County. Created as Arkansas's 35th county on September 30, 1836, Benton County contains thirteen incorporated municipalities, including Bentonville, the county seat, and Rogers, the most populous city. The county was named after Thomas Hart Benton, a U.S. Senator from Missouri influential in Arkansas statehood.

The county is located within the gently rolling terrain of the Springfield Plateau, a subset of the Ozark Mountains. Much of eastern Benton County is located along Beaver Lake, a reservoir of the White River. The county contains three protected areas: Logan Cave National Wildlife Refuge, Pea Ridge National Military Park, and Devil's Eyebrow Natural Area, as well as parts of the Ozark National Forest, Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area, and two state wildlife management areas. Other historical features such as log cabins, one-room school houses, community centers, and museums describe the history and culture of Benton County.

Benton County occupies 884.86 square miles (229,180 ha) and contained a population of 284,333 people in 100,749 households as of the 2020 Census,[1] ranking it tenth in size and second in population among the state's 75 counties. The economy is heavily influenced by the presence of Walmart and the hundreds of associated businesses, with agriculture, tourism, and construction also important sectors. Household incomes are among the highest in the state but below national averages.

History[edit]

Benton County was created from Washington County by the 1st Arkansas General Assembly on September 30, 1836. Created shortly after statehood, it was named for Thomas Hart Benton, a U.S. Senator from Missouri influential in Arkansas's statehood.[2] Early white settlements were established at Maysville and Cross Hollow, but a new centrally located community was laid out, named Bentonville, and designated as county seat.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 884 square miles (2,290 km2), of which 847 square miles (2,190 km2) is land and 37 square miles (96 km2) (4.1%) is water.[3] Most of the water is in Beaver Lake.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

State protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18402,228
18503,71066.5%
18609,306150.8%
187013,83148.6%
188020,32847.0%
189027,71636.3%
190031,61114.1%
191033,3895.6%
192036,2538.6%
193035,253−2.8%
194036,1482.5%
195038,0765.3%
196036,272−4.7%
197050,47639.2%
198078,11554.8%
199097,49924.8%
2000153,40657.3%
2010221,33944.3%
2020284,33328.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790–1960[5] 1900–1990[6]
1990–2000[7] 2010–2020[8] 2020[1]
Age pyramid Benton County[9]

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[10] there were 153,406 people, 58,212 households, and 43,484 families residing in the county. The population density was 181 inhabitants per square mile (70/km2). There were 64,281 housing units at an average density of 76 per square mile (29/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.87% White, 0.41% Black or African American, 1.65% Native American, 1.09% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 4.08% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. 8.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of 2005 estimates, Benton County's population was 81.7% non-Hispanic white, while the percentage of Latinos grew by 60 percent in the time period. 1.1% of the population was African-American; 1.6% was Native American (the historical presence of the Cherokee Indians live in close proximity to Oklahoma); 1.7% was Asian (there was a large influx of Filipinos, Vietnamese and South Asian immigrants in recent decades) and 0.2% of the population was Pacific Islander. 1.6% reported two or more races, usually not black-white due to a minuscule African-American population. 12.8% was Latino, but the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce believed the official estimate is underreported and Latinos could well be 20 percent of the population.[11]

There were 58,212 households, out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.00% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.30% were non-families. 21.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.60% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 21.10% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,281, and the median income for a family was $45,235. Males had a median income of $30,327 versus $22,469 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,377. About 7.30% of families and 10.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.80% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 census, the county population was 221,339. The racial makeup of the county was 76.18% Non-Hispanic white, 1.27% Black or African American, 1.69% Native American, 2.85% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander. 15.49% of the population was Hispanic or Latino.[12]

2020 census[edit]

Benton County racial composition[13]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 191,761 71.34%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 4,523 1.59%
Native American 3,799 1.34%
Asian 13,602 4.78%
Pacific Islander 2,598 0.91%
Other/Mixed 17,510 6.16%
Hispanic or Latino 50,540 17.61%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 284,333 people, 100,749 households, and 72,399 families residing in the county.

Culture[edit]

In 2012, Benton County voters elected to make the county wet, or a non-alcohol prohibition location.[14]

Economy[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

The historic Trail of Tears is on US highways 62 and 71 and connects with U.S. Route 412 in nearby Washington County.

Airports[edit]

Rail[edit]

The Arkansas and Missouri Railroad parallels US Highways 62 and 71 in the county.

Politics[edit]

Like all of the conservative Bible Belt of the Ozarks and Ouachitas, Benton County is strongly Republican; however, it has been such for longer than most of the region. It voted Republican in 1928 and 1944, and the last Democratic presidential nominee to carry the county was Harry S. Truman in 1948.[15] Along with nearby Sebastian County it was one of the few counties in Arkansas to resist the appeal of southern “favorite sonsLyndon B. Johnson, George Wallace, Jimmy Carter, and Arkansas governor Bill Clinton.[a]


In Benton County, voters have supported the GOP in the last eighteen presidential elections.

United States presidential election results for Benton County, Arkansas[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 73,965 61.68% 42,249 35.23% 3,698 3.08%
2016 60,871 62.87% 28,005 28.92% 7,948 8.21%
2012 54,646 68.95% 22,636 28.56% 1,975 2.49%
2008 51,124 67.20% 23,331 30.67% 1,618 2.13%
2004 46,571 68.37% 20,756 30.47% 794 1.17%
2000 34,838 64.94% 17,277 32.21% 1,531 2.85%
1996 23,748 51.89% 17,205 37.59% 4,815 10.52%
1992 21,126 48.81% 15,774 36.45% 6,379 14.74%
1988 24,295 71.23% 9,399 27.55% 416 1.22%
1984 24,296 75.90% 7,306 22.82% 408 1.27%
1980 18,830 63.96% 9,231 31.36% 1,379 4.68%
1976 12,670 52.75% 11,289 47.00% 61 0.25%
1972 14,621 77.86% 4,083 21.74% 74 0.39%
1968 8,104 49.94% 4,088 25.19% 4,036 24.87%
1964 5,977 51.25% 5,655 48.49% 30 0.26%
1960 7,832 67.58% 3,619 31.23% 139 1.20%
1956 6,500 63.08% 3,744 36.33% 61 0.59%
1952 7,916 68.83% 3,558 30.94% 26 0.23%
1948 2,911 44.70% 3,281 50.38% 321 4.93%
1944 3,305 53.52% 2,861 46.33% 9 0.15%
1940 1,962 43.86% 2,442 54.59% 69 1.54%
1936 1,672 40.64% 2,418 58.77% 24 0.58%
1932 1,275 24.53% 3,775 72.62% 148 2.85%
1928 3,248 57.29% 2,348 41.42% 73 1.29%
1924 1,694 37.04% 2,313 50.58% 566 12.38%
1920 1,916 39.34% 2,838 58.28% 116 2.38%
1916 1,293 29.39% 3,106 70.61% 0 0.00%
1912 541 14.05% 2,353 61.12% 956 24.83%
1908 1,527 31.77% 3,067 63.82% 212 4.41%
1904 1,202 35.08% 1,963 57.30% 261 7.62%
1900 1,087 26.36% 2,980 72.28% 56 1.36%
1896 685 16.05% 3,548 83.15% 34 0.80%
1892 1,212 29.29% 2,587 62.52% 339 8.19%

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Townships[edit]

Townships in Benton County, Arkansas as of 2010

Note: Most Arkansas counties have names for their townships. Benton County, however, has numbers instead of names.

Townships in Arkansas are the divisions of a county. Each township includes unincorporated areas; some may have incorporated cities or towns within part of their boundaries. Arkansas townships have limited purposes in modern times. However, the United States census does list Arkansas population based on townships (sometimes referred to as "county subdivisions" or "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 and publications. The townships of Benton County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township.[17][18]

Township FIPS code ANSI code
(GNIS ID)
Population
center(s)
Pop.
(2010)
Pop.
density
(/mi2)
Pop.
density
(/km2)
Total area
(mi2)
Total area
(km2)
Land area
(mi2)
Land area
(km2)
Water area
(mi2)
Water area
(km2)
Geographic coordinates
Township 1 05-93626 01989186 all of: Garfield, Gateway, Lost Bridge Village, Prairie Creek; parts of: Avoca, Rogers 13,223 113.79 43.93 130.964 339.2 116.205 301.0 14.759 38.23 36°24′44″N 93°58′47″W / 36.412328°N 93.979817°W / 36.412328; -93.979817
Township 2 05-93628 01989194 small parts of: Lowell, Rogers, Springdale 14,279 150.33 58.04 111.844 289.7 94.984 246.0 16.860 43.67 36°16′50″N 93°59′00″W / 36.280449°N 93.983324°W / 36.280449; -93.983324
Township 3 05-93630 01989187 parts of: Lowell, Rogers, Springdale; most of Bethel Heights 20,037 1,903.93 735.03 10.572 27.38 10.524 27.26 0.048 0.1243 36°16′22″N 94°07′30″W / 36.272833°N 94.124961°W / 36.272833; -94.124961
Township 4 05-93632 01989188 all of Cave Springs ; most of the following: Lowell, Rogers, Springdale (within Benton County); small parts of Elm Springs 25,596 518.70 200.28 49.693 128.7 49.346 127.8 0.347 0.8987 36°16′16″N 94°11′33″W / 36.271000°N 94.192603°W / 36.271000; -94.192603
Township 5 05-93634 01989189 part of Rogers 12,792 2,873.32 1,109.45 4.460 11.55 4.452 11.53 0.008 0.02072 36°20′09″N 94°08′26″W / 36.335732°N 94.140417°W / 36.335732; -94.140417
Township 6 05-93636 01989190 most of Little Flock; almost half of Avoca; small parts of Bentonville, Pea Ridge, Rogers 14,033 671.18 259.15 20.929 54.21 20.908 54.15 0.021 0.05439 36°22′49″N 94°07′44″W / 36.380291°N 94.128869°W / 36.380291; -94.128869
Township 7 05-93638 01989191 most of Pea Ridge; part of Bella Vista; small part of Bentonville 20,317 331.80 128.10 61.597 159.5 61.233 158.6 0.364 0.9428 36°27′15″N 94°09′13″W / 36.454130°N 94.153613°W / 36.454130; -94.153613
Township 8 05-93640 01989192 part of Bentonville 12,637 1,575.69 608.43 8.028 20.79 8.020 20.77 0.008 0.02072 36°22′49″N 94°12′02″W / 36.380199°N 94.200482°W / 36.380199; -94.200482
Township 9 05-93642 01989193 most of: Bentonville, Centerton; small part of Highfill 31,362 638.18 246.36 49.497 128.2 49.143 127.3 0.354 0.9169 36°21′16″N 94°16′09″W / 36.354443°N 94.269172°W / 36.354443; -94.269172
Township 10 05-93644 01989195 most of: Bella Vista, Hiwasse 16,402 385.73 148.97 43.848 113.6 42.522 110.1 1.326 3.434 36°27′13″N 94°18′29″W / 36.453560°N 94.307978°W / 36.453560; -94.307978
Township 11 05-93645 01989196 all of: Cherokee City, Decatur, Gravette, Maysville, Sulphur Springs; small parts of: Centerton, Highfill, Hiwasse 12,273 59.13 22.83 207.804 538.2 207.558 537.6 0.246 0.6371 36°23′37″N 94°28′06″W / 36.393573°N 94.468392°W / 36.393573; -94.468392
Township 12 05-93646 01989197 most of Gentry; more than half of Siloam Springs 15,158 361.65 139.58 43.028 111.4 41.913 108.6 1.115 2.888 36°14′21″N 94°31′22″W / 36.239052°N 94.522847°W / 36.239052; -94.522847
Township 13 05-93647 01989198 all of Springtown; most of Highfill; small parts of: Elm Springs, Gentry, Springdale 13,230 94.13 36.35 141.642 366.9 140.548 364.0 1.094 2.833 36°11′38″N 94°24′35″W / 36.193862°N 94.409806°W / 36.193862; -94.409806
Source: "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: County Subdivisions in Arkansas". U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014.

Source: "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files". U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division.

Education[edit]

School districts include:[19]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Benton County was also one of few counties to have voted for Clinton during his gubernatorial campaign despite him losing it during both his presidential runs. He won the county in all his successful gubernatorial campaigns except for 1982 and 1984

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2020 Census Data". data.census.gov.
  2. ^ Daniels, Charlie (2002). The 1868 Report: A Collection of Historical Documents from Arkansas's First Land Commissioner. Little Rock: Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands. p. 27. ISBN 9781563118333. LCCN 2002111524. OCLC 57004142.
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  6. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  8. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  9. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  11. ^ "Benton County QuickFacts from the U. S. Census Bureau". Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2007.
  12. ^ "Population estimates, July 1, 2015, (V2015)". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  13. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  14. ^ "Jordan wins in Fayetteville, Benton County goes wet". Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  15. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  16. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  17. ^ 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Benton County, AR (PDF) (Map). U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  18. ^ "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  19. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Benton County, AR" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 26, 2022. Retrieved July 31, 2022. - Text list

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°21′08″N 94°14′03″W / 36.35222°N 94.23417°W / 36.35222; -94.23417