Jonesboro, Arkansas

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Jonesboro, Arkansas
Clockwise from top: Craighead County Courthouse, house in the West Washington Avenue Historic District, downtown Jonesboro, and Arkansas State University's Dean B. Ellis Library
Clockwise from top: Craighead County Courthouse, house in the West Washington Avenue Historic District, downtown Jonesboro, and Arkansas State University's Dean B. Ellis Library
Official seal of Jonesboro, Arkansas

Motto: People, Pride, Progress

Nicknames: JoBro, the Borough, J Town, J-Boogie
Location in the state of Arkansas
Location in the state of Arkansas
Jonesboro, Arkansas is located in USA
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 35°49′41″N 90°41′39″W / 35.82806°N 90.69417°W / 35.82806; -90.69417Coordinates: 35°49′41″N 90°41′39″W / 35.82806°N 90.69417°W / 35.82806; -90.69417
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Craighead
Incorporated February 19, 1859
 • Mayor Harold Perrin
 • City 79.3 sq mi (205.4 km2)
 • Land 79.9 sq mi (206.9 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)
Elevation 259 ft (79 m)
Population (2012 United States Census Estimate)
 • City 70,187
 • Density 879/sq mi (339.3/km2)
 • Metro 124,042
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 72401-72404
Area code(s) 870
FIPS code 05-35710
GNIS feature ID 0077389

Jonesboro is a city in Craighead County, Arkansas, United States. According to the 2013 Census, the population of the city was 71,551. [1] A college town, Jonesboro is the largest city in northeastern Arkansas and the fifth most populous city in the state. It is the principal city of and is included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2010, the Jonesboro metropolitan area had a population of 121,026[2] and a population of 163,116 in the Jonesboro-Paragould Combined Statistical Area.[3]

Jonesboro is home to Arkansas State University and is a regional center for manufacturing, agriculture, medicine, education, and trade.


The history of Jonesboro begins with settlement of the region by indigenous peoples during the Paleo-Indian period beginning in about 12,000 BC. Subsequent periods of native life emerged until the 17th century. New France set up small settlements, and in 1803 Napoleonic France sold the area to the U.S. as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Statehood for Arkansas came following a compromise in 1820 that allowed slavery. Settlement was rapid after 1820, aided by a network of rivers navigable by steamboats, centered in the dominant city St. Louis. The Civil War saw numerous small battles and control by the Union. After the war, its economy became more diverse, and railroads, centered in Kansas City, opened up new farmlands in the west. In the early 20th century Progressive reforms sought to modernize state and local government and minimize political corruption. During the 20th century, Arkansas' economy diversified further, and it developed a balanced agricultural and economic sector. By the 21st century manufacturing was fading, as service industries grew, especially in medicine, education and tourism. Agriculture remained profitable, as the farms grew larger and fewer people lived on them.


Jonesboro is located at 35°49′41″N 90°41′39″W / 35.82806°N 90.69417°W / 35.82806; -90.69417 (35.828067, -90.694048)[4] atop Crowley's Ridge in northeastern Arkansas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 80.5 square miles (208.4 km2), of which 79.9 square miles (206.9 km2) is land and 0.58 square miles (1.5 km2), or 0.72%, is water.[1]


Jonesboro has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa).

Climate data for Jonesboro
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 46
Average low °F (°C) 26
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.29
Source: [5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 2,065
1900 4,508 118.3%
1910 7,123 58.0%
1920 9,384 31.7%
1930 10,326 10.0%
1940 11,729 13.6%
1950 16,310 39.1%
1960 21,418 31.3%
1970 27,050 26.3%
1980 31,530 16.6%
1990 46,534 47.6%
2000 55,515 19.3%
2010 67,263 21.2%
Est. 2014 72,210 [6] 7.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
A flock of Canada geese at Craighead Forest Park

As of the census[8] of 2013, there were 71,551 people, 26,111 households, and 16,637 families residing in the city. The population density was 697.1 people per square mile (269.1/km²). There were 28,321 housing units at an average density of 304.7 per square mile (117.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 74.7% White, 18.4% Black, 0.4% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. 5.2% of the population were Hispanic.

There were 26,111 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. There are 878 unmarried partner households: 776 heterosexual, 50 same-sex male, and 52 same-sex female households. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 16.6% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,196, and the median income for a family was $42,082. Males had a median income of $21,633 versus $31,633 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,884. About 12.9% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.4% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over.



The region is served by Jonesboro Municipal Airport. Scheduled flights between Jonesboro and St. Louis, Missouri, are offered daily by Air Choice One.

Public transport[edit]

The area is served by the Jonesboro Economic Transit System (JETS). As of 2011, JETS operates three fixed routes, as well as para-transit service for disabled persons.

List of highways[edit]


Elementary and secondary education[edit]

The Dean B. Ellis Library at Arkansas State University's main campus

There are four public school districts operating within the city limits of Jonesboro. They include:

Postsecondary education[edit]

Jonesboro is the main campus of the following Division I school:

In popular culture and trivia[edit]

Centennial Bank Stadium, home of Jonesboro's ASU Red Wolves
  • Jonesboro is the place of death of the fictional character Rooster Cogburn in Charles Portis' novel True Grit, and in its 1969 and 2010 film adaptations.
  • Numerous references to the city are made in Jonesboro native John Grisham's book A Painted House and in the 2003 movie of the same title. The story takes place in Craighead County, and the movie was filmed in the town of Lepanto in neighboring Poinsett County.
  • Elvis Presley, who frequently played the high school and college dance circuit in the Jonesboro area, became an honorary member of Tau Kappa Epsilon of Arkansas State University.[13]
  • Nettleton, a community annexed to Jonesboro in the 1960s, made national headlines in 1939 when a local minister's teenaged daughter wore short pants in public.[14]
  • In the 2012 bestseller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, the female lead buys a used car in Jonesboro, meeting the sellers in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart.

Notable people[edit]


Entrance into The Mall at Turtle Creek

The Mall at Turtle Creek, opened in 2006, is the largest mall in northeast Arkansas. Before the opening of the mall, the Indian Mall was the primary shopping destination in northeast Arkansas. In 2012, Indian Mall, named for the former mascot of Arkansas State University, was demolished. The only store to remain in its original location was Sears.

In 2012, Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked Jonesboro ninth of the "Ten Best Cities for Cheapskates".[16]

Local television and radio[edit]




  • KASU-FM 91.9 FM Public Radio
  • K224DW (KDXY-FM/HD2) 92.7 FM Sports ESPN Jonesboro
  • K237FI (KNEA-AM) 95.3 FM Sports 95.3 The Ticket
  • K253BQ (KJBX-FM/HD2) 98.5 FM Religious Sunny 98.5
  • KEGI-FM 100.5 FM Classic Rock 100.5 The Eagle Rocks
  • K267AS (KBTM-AM) 101.3 FM News/Talk News Talk 1230
  • KIYS-FM 101.7 FM Top 40 101.7 KISS-FM
  • KDXY-FM 104.9 FM Country 104.9 The Fox
  • KJBX-FM 106.3 FM Hot AC The Mix 106.3
  • K298AV (KDXY-FM/HD3) 107.5 FM Top 40 107.5 The Party Station
  • KFIN-FM 107.9 FM Country 107.9 K-FINE


  • KNEA-AM 970 AM Sports 95.3 The Ticket
  • KBTM-AM 1230 AM News/Talk News Talk 1230


External links[edit]