Hot Spring County, Arkansas

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Hot Spring County, Arkansas
County of Hot Spring
Hot Spring County Courthouse in Malvern
Map of Arkansas highlighting Hot Spring County
Location in the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location in the U.S.
Founded November 2, 1829
Named for hot springs at Hot Springs, Arkansas
Seat Malvern
Largest city Malvern
 • Total 622.16[1] sq mi (1,611 km2)
 • Land 614.94[1] sq mi (1,593 km2)
 • Water 7.22[1] sq mi (19 km2), 1.16%[1]
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 33,374
 • Density 54/sq mi (21/km²)
ZIP code(s) 71901, 71913, 71921, 71923, 71929, 71933, 71941, 71943, 71964, 72084, 72104, 72167
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Hot Spring County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,923.[2] The county seat is Malvern.[3] Hot Spring County was formed on November 2, 1829, from a portion of Clark County. It was named for the hot springs at Hot Springs, Arkansas, which were within its boundaries until Garland County was formed in 1874. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

Hot Spring County comprises the Malvern, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Hot Springs-Malvern, AR Combined Statistical Area.


Hot Spring County is located in Southwest Arkansas, a region composed of the Ouachita Mountains, deep valleys, and the Arkansas Timberlands. Hot Spring County is mostly within the mountainous segment of the region, mostly covered in hardwood and pine forests. One of the six primary geographic regions of Arkansas, the Ouachitas are a mountainous subdivision of the U.S. Interior Highlands.[4] The Ouachita River roughly divides the county.[5] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 622.16 square miles (1,611.4 km2), of which 614.94 square miles (1,592.7 km2) is land and 7.22 square miles (18.7 km2) (1.16%) is water.[1]

The county is located approximately 47 miles (76 km) southwest of Little Rock, 170 miles (270 km) northeast of Shreveport, Louisiana, and 277 miles (446 km) northeast of Dallas, Texas.[Note 1] Hot Spring County is surrounded by six counties, including the Ouachitas, Central Arkansas, and Lower Arkansas Delta, due to its short and wide shape. The county neighbors Garland County to the north, Saline County in the northeast corner, Grant County to the east, Dallas County to the southeast, Clark County to the south, and a small portion with Montgomery County in the northwest.

Protected areas[edit]

Hot Spring County contains two state parks, DeGray Lake Resort State Park and Lake Catherine State Park, and one Wildlife Management Area (WMA), DeGray Lake WMA, maintained by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The county also contains 320 acres (130 ha) of Ouachita National Forest managed by the National Forest Service.

DeGray Lake

DeGray Lake Resort State Park is a 984-acre (398 ha) in southwest Hot Spring County, and Arkansas's only resort state park. The 94-room DeGray Lodge and Convention Center includes a restaurant and 18-hole championship rated golf course. Traditional state park amentities for camping, hiking, fishing, boating, picnic tables, and horseback riding are also offered. The park is owned and operated by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT). DeGray Lake WMA essentially bounds the portions of lake shoreline not bounded by the state park. The land is owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and extends into Clark County.[7]

Near Malvern, Lake Catherine State Park is a small state park on the west side of Lake Catherine. The park offers twenty cabins, including five Civilian Conservation Corps cabins of natural wood and stone built in the 1930s, and 70 campsites. In summer, the parks offers a marina, boat rental, visitor center, guided tours, nature center and horseback trail rides.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 458
1840 1,907 316.4%
1850 3,609 89.3%
1860 5,635 56.1%
1870 5,877 4.3%
1880 7,775 32.3%
1890 11,603 49.2%
1900 12,748 9.9%
1910 15,022 17.8%
1920 17,784 18.4%
1930 18,105 1.8%
1940 18,916 4.5%
1950 22,181 17.3%
1960 21,893 −1.3%
1970 21,963 0.3%
1980 26,819 22.1%
1990 26,115 −2.6%
2000 30,353 16.2%
2010 32,923 8.5%
Est. 2016 33,374 [8] 1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010–2016[2]
Age pyramid Hot Spring County[13]

As of the 2000 census,[14] there were 30,353 people, 12,004 households, and 8,834 families residing in the county. The population density was 49 people per square mile (19/km²). There were 13,384 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.33% White, 10.26% Black or African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. 1.27% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,004 households out of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.20% were married couples living together, 10.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.10% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 15.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,543, and the median income for a family was $37,077. Males had a median income of $27,800 versus $19,461 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,216. About 10.30% of families and 14.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.00% of those under age 18 and 14.20% of those age 65 or over.

Human resources[edit]


Educational attainment in Hot Spring County is typical for a rural Arkansas county, with an 2011-2015 American Community Survey study finding 84.8% of Hot Spring County residents over age 25 held a high school degree. This ratio is in line with the state average of 84.8% and slightly below the national average of 86.7%. The county's percentage of residents holding a bachelor's degree or higher is 13.0%, significantly below state and national averages of 21.1% and 29.8%, respectively.[15]

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Public school district boundaries in Hot Spring County as of July 2016

Four public school districts are based in Hot Spring County: Malvern School District is the largest school district in Hot Spring County, with the Bismarck School District serving the western portion of the county, Ouachita School District serving a small area around Donaldson, and Magnet Cove School District around Magnet Cove. Successful completion of the curriculum of these schools leads to graduation from Malvern High School, Bismarck High School, Ouachita High School, and Magnet Cove High School respectively. All four high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses and are accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE).

Residents outside the three Hot Spring County-based districts are within either the Centerpoint School District, Glen Rose School District, or Poyen School District.

Higher education[edit]

Hot Spring County contains one institution of higher education, College of the Ouachitas, a public community college in Malvern. Other higher education institutions in the region include National Park College, a public two-year college in Hot Springs, and two four-year liberal arts universities in Arkadelphia, Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University.

Library system[edit]

The Malvern-Hot Spring County Library at 202 East Third Street in downtown Malvern was founded in 1928 and became a member library of the Mid-Arkansas Regional Library System in 1974. The facility offers books, e-books, media, reference, youth, business and genealogy services.

Public safety[edit]

The Hot Spring County Sheriff's Office is the primary law enforcement agency in the county. The agency is led by the Hot Spring County Sheriff, an official elected by countywide vote every four years.

The county is under the jurisdiction of the Hot Spring County District Court, a state district court.[16] State district courts in Arkansas are courts of original jurisdiction for criminal, civil (up to $25,000), small claims, and traffic matters.[17] State district courts are presided over by a full-time District Judge elected to a four-year term by a districtwide election. Hot Spring County District Court is located at 410 Locust Street in Malvern.[16]

Superseding district court jurisdiction is the 7th Judicial Circuit Court, which covers Hot Spring and Grant counties. The 7th Circuit contains two circuit judges, elected to six-year terms circuitwide.[18] Circuit courts have the right to refer some matters to state district court at their discretion.[17]


Hot Spring County vote
by party in presidential elections [19]
Year GOP DNC Others
2016 68.5% 8,153 26.3% 3,137 5.2% 619
2012 63.1% 7,087 34.0% 3,824 2.9% 328
2008 60.3% 7,209 35.9% 4,288 3.8% 458
2004 49.4% 5,960 48.9% 5,901 1.7% 204
2000 45.9% 5,042 50.3% 5,527 3.8% 412

The county government is a constitutional body granted specific powers by the Constitution of Arkansas and the Arkansas Code. The quorum court is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all spending and revenue collection. Representatives are called justices of the peace and are elected from county districts every even-numbered year. The number of districts in a county vary from nine to fifteen, and district boundaries are drawn by the county election commission. The Hot Spring County Quorum Court has nine members. Presiding over quorum court meetings is the county judge, who serves as the chief operating officer of the county. The county judge is elected at-large and does not vote in quorum court business, although capable of vetoing quorum court decisions.[20][21]


Hot Spring County is represented in the Arkansas State Senate by Republican Alan Clark, a Hot Springs businessman. In the Arkansas House of Representatives, it is represented by a Republican as well, Laurie Rushing, a real estate broker from Hot Springs.


Property tax is assessed by the Hot Spring County Assessor annually based upon the fair market value of the property and determining which tax rate, commonly called a millage in Arkansas, will apply. The rate depends upon the property's location with respect to city limits, school district, and special tax increment financing (TIF) districts. This tax is collected by the Hot Spring County Collector between the first business day of March of each year through October 15th without penalty. The Hot Spring County Treasurer disburses tax revenues to various government agencies, such as cities, county road departments, fire departments, libraries, and police departments in accordance with the budget set by the quorum court.




Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]


Townships in Hot Spring County, Arkansas as of 2010

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 Hot Spring County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township. [22][23][24]



Hot Spring County contains one public owned/public use general aviation airport, Malvern Municipal Airport southeast of Malvern. For the twelve-month period ending July 31, 2015, the facility saw 11,850 general aviation operations and 150 military operations.[25] The nearest commercial service airport is Clinton National Airport in Little Rock.

Major highways[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mileages from Hot Spring County to Little Rock, Shreveport, and Dallas are based on highway miles using county seat Malvern for Hot Spring County.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation (2014-10-16). Arkansas County Polygons (SHP file) (Map). Arkansas GIS Office. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Atkins-Gordeeva, Jennifer; Staff (July 20, 2016). "Hot Spring County". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  5. ^ Transportation Planning and Policy Division (May 12, 2008). General Highway Map, Hot Spring County, Arkansas (PDF) (Map). 1:62500. Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Google Maps (Search for Malvern, AR)". Google. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Wildlife Management Area Details". DeGray Lake WMA. Little Rock: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  11. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  13. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  15. ^ "American Community Survey". United States Census Bureau. 2011–2015. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  16. ^ a b "Directory" (2016), p. 42.
  17. ^ a b Staff of the Arkansas Judiciary (September 2, 2014). "Arkansas Court Structure" (PDF). Arkansas Judiciary. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Directory" (2016), p. 13.
  19. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  20. ^ Teske, Steven (March 24, 2014). "Quorum Courts". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved January 23, 2016. 
  21. ^ Goss, Kay C. (August 28, 2015). "Office of County Judge". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved January 23, 2016. 
  22. ^ 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Hot Spring County, AR (PDF) (Map). U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  23. ^ "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Summary Population and Housing Characteristics, CPH-1-5, Arkansas" (PDF). Census of Population and Housing. United States Census Bureau. September 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  25. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for M78 (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Accessed March 9, 2017.
  • Staff of the Arkansas Judiciary (December 14, 2016). "Arkansas Judicial Directory" (PDF). Little Rock: Arkansas Judiciary. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°19′07″N 92°57′14″W / 34.31861°N 92.95389°W / 34.31861; -92.95389