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Hempstead County, Arkansas facts for kids

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Hempstead County
County of Hempstead
Hempstead County Courthouse
Former Hempstead County Courthouse
Bill Clinton Birthplace
Watermelon Festival
Clockwise from top: Hempstead County Courthouse in Hope, Bill Clinton Birthplace, Politicians at the Hope Watermelon Festival, the former Hempstead County Courthouse)
Map of Arkansas highlighting Hempstead County
Location within the U.S. state of Arkansas
Map of the United States highlighting Arkansas
Arkansas's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Arkansas
Founded December 15, 1818
Named for Edward Hempstead
Seat Hope
Largest city Hope
 • Total 741 sq mi (1,920 km2)
 • Land 728 sq mi (1,890 km2)
 • Water 14 sq mi (40 km2)  1.8%%
 • Total 20,065
 • Density 27.078/sq mi (10.455/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th

Hempstead County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,609. As of the 2020 census, the population decreased to 20,065. The county seat is Hope. Hempstead County is Arkansas's fourth county, formed on December 15, 1818, alongside Clark and Pulaski counties. The county is named for Edward Hempstead, a delegate to the U.S. Congress from the Missouri Territory, which included present-day Arkansas at the time. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

Historic Washington State Park is located in Hempstead County some nine miles northwest of Hope in the historic village of Washington, Arkansas. The state park opened in 1973 as "Old Washington Historic State Park", but the "Old" was dropped from the name in 2006. The park offers walking tours of the historic village, which contains more than a dozen historic structures from the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Hempstead County Veterans Monument IMG 1510
Veterans Monument in front of current 1939 Hempstead County Courthouse in Hope

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 741 square miles (1,920 km2), of which 728 square miles (1,890 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (1.8%) is water. Hempstead County is alternately considered as part of the greater regions of South Arkansas or Southwest Arkansas.

Major highways

  • I-30 (AR).svg Interstate 30
  • US 67.svg U.S. Highway 67
  • US 278.svg U.S. Highway 278
  • US 371.svg U.S. Highway 371
  • Arkansas 4.svg Highway 4
  • Arkansas 27.svg Highway 27
  • Arkansas 29.svg Highway 29
  • Arkansas 32.svg Highway 32

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 2,512
1840 4,921 95.9%
1850 7,672 55.9%
1860 13,989 82.3%
1870 13,768 −1.6%
1880 19,015 38.1%
1890 22,796 19.9%
1900 24,101 5.7%
1910 28,285 17.4%
1920 31,602 11.7%
1930 30,847 −2.4%
1940 32,770 6.2%
1950 25,080 −23.5%
1960 19,661 −21.6%
1970 19,308 −1.8%
1980 23,635 22.4%
1990 21,621 −8.5%
2000 23,587 9.1%
2010 22,609 −4.1%
2020 20,065 −11.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020
USA Hempstead County, Arkansas age pyramid
Age pyramid Hempstead County

2020 census

Hempstead County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 10,558 52.62%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 5,644 28.13%
Native American 81 0.4%
Asian 88 0.44%
Pacific Islander 5 0.02%
Other/Mixed 736 3.67%
Hispanic or Latino 2,953 14.72%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 20,065 people, 8,094 households, and 5,711 families residing in the county.


1874 Hempstead County, AR, Courthouse IMG 1498
The 1874 Hempstead County Courthouse in the historic village of Washington is now the visitors center for Historic Washington State Park.
Upper floor courtroom at Historic Washington State Park IMG 1502
The upper floor courtroom in the former Hempstead County Courthouse in Washington, Arkansas



Unincorporated communities


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 Hempstead County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township.

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