Phillips County, Arkansas

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Phillips County
Phillips County courthouse in Helena-West Helena
Phillips County courthouse in Helena-West Helena
Map of Arkansas highlighting Phillips County
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 34°23′25″N 90°52′11″W / 34.390277777778°N 90.869722222222°W / 34.390277777778; -90.869722222222
Country United States
State Arkansas
FoundedMay 1, 1820
Named forSylvanus Phillips
SeatHelena-West Helena
Largest cityHelena-West Helena
Area
 • Total727 sq mi (1,880 km2)
 • Land696 sq mi (1,800 km2)
 • Water32 sq mi (80 km2)  4.4%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total21,757
 • Estimate 
(2019)
17,782
 • Density30/sq mi (12/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitephillipscounty.arkansas.gov

Phillips County is a county located in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Arkansas, in what is known as the Arkansas Delta along the Mississippi River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,757.[1] The county seat is Helena–West Helena.[2] Phillips County is Arkansas's seventh (7th) county, formed on May 1, 1820. It was named for Sylvanus Phillips, the area's first-known white or European-American settler; he was elected as representative to the first Territorial Legislature of the Arkansas Territory. This fertile lowland area was developed for cotton plantations in the antebellum area and is still largely rural and agricultural.[citation needed]

The Helena-West Helena, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Phillips County. From September 30-October 1, 1919 during the Elaine race riot in Phillips County, at least 237 African Americans were killed, attacked at large by armed whites trying to suppress the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America which was organizing in the county. Because the white mob actions were racial terrorism against African Americans, the deaths were classified as lynchings by the Equal Justice Initiative in its 2015 report on lynchings in the South. Based on this, Phillips County ranks as the county with the highest number of lynchings in U.S. history.[3]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 727 square miles (1,880 km2), of which 696 square miles (1,800 km2) is land and 32 square miles (83 km2) (4.4%) is water.[4]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18301,152
18403,547207.9%
18506,93595.5%
186014,877114.5%
187015,3723.3%
188021,26238.3%
189025,34119.2%
190026,5614.8%
191033,53526.3%
192044,53032.8%
193040,683−8.6%
194045,97013.0%
195046,2540.6%
196043,997−4.9%
197040,046−9.0%
198034,772−13.2%
199028,838−17.1%
200026,445−8.3%
201021,757−17.7%
202016,568−23.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790–1960[6] 1900–1990[7]
1990–2000[8] 2010–2016[1]
Age pyramid Phillips County[9]

2020 census[edit]

Phillips County Racial Composition[10]
Race Num. Perc.
White 5,541 33.44%
Black or African American 10,305 62.2%
Native American 38 0.23%
Asian 64 0.39%
Pacific Islander 4 0.02%
Other/Mixed 352 2.12%
Hispanic or Latino 264 1.59%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 16,568 people, 7,485 households, and 4,836 families residing in the county.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 census, there were 21,757 people living in the county. 63.1% were Black or African American, 35.0% White, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 0.4% of some other race and 0.9% of two or more races. 1.3% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 census,[11] there were 26,445 people, 9,711 households, and 6,768 families living in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km2). There were 10,859 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 59.04% Black or African American, 39.25% White, 0.43% from other races, 0.32% Asian, 0.17% Native American, 0.01% Pacific Islander, and 0.78% from two or more races. 1.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. At over 58% of the county's population, Phillips County has the highest percentage of African Americans in the state of Arkansas.[12]

There were 9,711 households, out of which 34.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.30% were married couples living together, 25.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.30% were non-families. 27.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 32.20% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 23.20% from 25 to 44, 21.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 84.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $22,231, and the median income for a family was $26,570. Males had a median income of $24,675 versus $17,520 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,288. About 28.70% of families and 32.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.50% of those under age 18 and 26.20% of those age 65 or over.

For the period 2000–2009, the Helena-West Helena statistical area lost 20.89% of its population, the largest decline of any statistical area in the country.


Government[edit]

As a majority-black county, Phillips County is strongly Democratic. It has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in all but two elections in the last century. Strom Thurmond carried the county in his whites-only Dixiecrat effort in 1948. At that time, Democrats were composed chiefly of conservative whites, as most blacks had been disenfranchised at the turn of the century. Prior to that, they had been affiliated with the Republican Party.

Richard Nixon carried the county in his 1972 landslide). Blacks were not yet voting in full force, following passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as some states and counties continued to have ways to suppress their vote.

United States presidential election results for Phillips County, Arkansas[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,417 38.72% 3,623 58.04% 202 3.24%
2016 2,446 35.18% 4,310 61.99% 197 2.83%
2012 2,598 32.76% 5,202 65.60% 130 1.64%
2008 3,097 34.53% 5,695 63.50% 177 1.97%
2004 3,161 35.65% 5,642 63.62% 65 0.73%
2000 3,154 33.87% 6,018 64.62% 141 1.51%
1996 2,205 25.73% 5,715 66.69% 650 7.58%
1992 2,695 27.40% 6,456 65.63% 686 6.97%
1988 3,892 39.47% 5,580 56.59% 389 3.94%
1984 4,686 43.70% 5,946 55.45% 91 0.85%
1980 4,270 38.31% 6,642 59.59% 234 2.10%
1976 3,342 30.06% 7,774 69.93% 1 0.01%
1972 6,235 58.90% 4,283 40.46% 68 0.64%
1968 2,154 18.78% 5,039 43.92% 4,279 37.30%
1964 3,963 40.48% 5,818 59.43% 9 0.09%
1960 2,168 32.47% 4,105 61.48% 404 6.05%
1956 2,826 40.72% 3,917 56.44% 197 2.84%
1952 2,592 40.88% 3,741 59.01% 7 0.11%
1948 351 11.33% 1,018 32.85% 1,730 55.82%
1944 501 19.66% 2,046 80.30% 1 0.04%
1940 245 9.88% 2,235 90.12% 0 0.00%
1936 94 3.98% 2,259 95.60% 10 0.42%
1932 142 4.52% 2,976 94.66% 26 0.83%
1928 487 19.08% 2,061 80.76% 4 0.16%
1924 454 19.65% 1,785 77.27% 71 3.07%
1920 868 30.54% 1,965 69.14% 9 0.32%
1916 552 27.35% 1,466 72.65% 0 0.00%
1912 198 15.06% 926 70.42% 191 14.52%
1908 393 24.65% 1,194 74.91% 7 0.44%
1904 251 14.83% 1,434 84.75% 7 0.41%
1900 388 22.23% 1,349 77.31% 8 0.46%
1896 815 41.20% 1,085 54.85% 78 3.94%


Education[edit]

School districts serving Phillips County include the Helena-West Helena School District, the Marvell–Elaine School District, and the Barton–Lexa School District.

Previously the Lake View School District served a portion of the county. On July 1, 2004, the Lake View district merged into the Barton–Lexa district. Previously the Elaine School District served another portion of the county. On July 1, 2006, the Elaine district merged into the Marvell district.[14][15]

Marvell Academy, a private school founded in 1966[16] as a segregation academy,[17] is in unincorporated Phillips County, near Marvell.[18]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Town[edit]

Unincorporated places[edit]

Townships[edit]

Townships in Phillips 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 Phillips County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township. [19][20]

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
Big Creek 05-90273 00068945 425 11.05 4.26 38.474 99.65 38.474 99.65 0 0.000 34°29′04″N 90°53′36″W / 34.484468°N 90.893231°W / 34.484468; -90.893231
Cleburne 05-90849 00068946 660 29.12 11.24 22.692 58.77 22.665 58.70 0.027 0.06993 34°36′32″N 90°41′27″W / 34.608847°N 90.690904°W / 34.608847; -90.690904
Cleveland 05-90870 00068947 198 8.01 3.09 24.731 64.05 24.722 64.03 0.009 0.02331 34°28′46″N 90°58′19″W / 34.479487°N 90.971919°W / 34.479487; -90.971919
Cypress 05-91005 00068948 152 9.54 3.68 15.938 41.28 15.938 41.28 0 0.000 34°28′35″N 91°01′08″W / 34.476511°N 91.018900°W / 34.476511; -91.018900
Hickory Ridge 05-91704 00068949 Marvell 1,550 49.89 19.26 31.10 80.55 31.066 80.46 0.034 0.08806 34°35′11″N 90°56′11″W / 34.586411°N 90.936268°W / 34.586411; -90.936268
Hicksville 05-91707 00068950 231 6.99 2.70 33.046 85.59 33.046 85.59 0 0.000 34°35′11″N 91°01′00″W / 34.586511°N 91.016744°W / 34.586511; -91.016744
Hornor 05-91767 00068951 part of Helena-West Helena 9,697 265.48 102.51 36.526 94.60 36.526 94.60 0 0.000 34°32′24″N 90°40′45″W / 34.539980°N 90.679052°W / 34.539980; -90.679052
Lake 05-92094 00068953 41 0.91 0.35 50.741 131.4 44.870 116.2 5.871 15.21 34°24′38″N 90°40′36″W / 34.410535°N 90.676788°W / 34.410535; -90.676788
Marion 05-92391 00068955 589 14.42 5.57 40.865 105.8 40.846 105.8 0.019 0.04921 34°35′51″N 90°52′13″W / 34.597488°N 90.870256°W / 34.597488; -90.870256
Mooney 05-92547 00078865 179 1.70 0.66 115.059 298.0 105.231 272.5 9.828 25.45 34°11′30″N 90°58′10″W / 34.191547°N 90.969308°W / 34.191547; -90.969308
St. Francis 05-93276 00068956 most of Helena-West Helena 4,746 103.10 39.82 53.971 139.8 46.034 119.2 7.937 20.56 34°32′21″N 90°36′13″W / 34.539209°N 90.603521°W / 34.539209; -90.603521
Spring Creek 05-93462 00068958 Lexa, small part of Lake View 1,789 22.46 8.67 79.694 206.4 79.648 206.3 0.046 0.1191 34°31′40″N 90°45′56″W / 34.527768°N 90.765687°W / 34.527768; -90.765687
Tappan 05-93573 00068959 Elaine, most of Lake View 1,500 8.49 3.28 184.506 477.9 176.595 457.4 7.911 20.49 34°20′37″N 90°52′49″W / 34.343723°N 90.880168°W / 34.343723; -90.880168
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.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Robertson, Campbell (February 10, 2015). "History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  7. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  9. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  10. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  12. ^ "Arkansas Black Population Percentage by County". www.indexmundi.com. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  13. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  14. ^ "Consolidation/Annexations of LEA's (1983-2010) Archived 2010-09-24 at the Wayback Machine." Arkansas Department of Education. Retrieved on March 2, 2011.
  15. ^ "Education Board approves mergers, removes Greenland from fiscal distress". March 13, 2006. Archived from the original on September 12, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "About Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine." Marvell Academy. Retrieved on March 2, 2011.
  17. ^ "Private Schools: The Last Refuge." TIME. Friday November 14, 1969. Retrieved on March 2, 2011.
  18. ^ "Marvell Academy Principals." Manta. Retrieved on March 2, 2011. "645 Highway 243 Marvell, AR 72366."
  19. ^ 2011 Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS): Phillips County, AR (PDF) (Map). U. S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
  20. ^ "Arkansas: 2010 Census Block Maps - County Subdivision". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  21. ^ "Bruce Bennett (1917-1979)". encyclopediaofarkansas.net. Retrieved May 10, 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°23′25″N 90°52′11″W / 34.39028°N 90.86972°W / 34.39028; -90.86972