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Polk County, Arkansas facts for kids

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Polk County
Polk County Courthouse in Mena
Polk County Courthouse in Mena
Map of Arkansas highlighting Polk 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 November 30, 1844
Named for James K. Polk
Seat Mena
Largest city Mena
 • Total 862 sq mi (2,230 km2)
 • Land 858 sq mi (2,220 km2)
 • Water 4.8 sq mi (12 km2)  0.6%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 24/sq mi (9/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th

Polk County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,662. The county seat is Mena. Polk County is Arkansas's 48th county, formed on November 30, 1844, and named for James Polk, President of the United States. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

Polk County is the setting for Stephen Hunter's fictional Bob Lee Swagger series, the most notable being Black Light, as well as the place where Joel B Reed's fictional character, Jazz Phillips, of the Jazz Phillips mystery series, grew up.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 862 square miles (2,230 km2), of which 858 square miles (2,220 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) (0.6%) is water.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Ouachita National Forest (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,263
1860 4,262 237.5%
1870 3,376 −20.8%
1880 5,857 73.5%
1890 9,283 58.5%
1900 18,352 97.7%
1910 17,216 −6.2%
1920 16,412 −4.7%
1930 14,857 −9.5%
1940 15,832 6.6%
1950 14,182 −10.4%
1960 11,981 −15.5%
1970 13,297 11.0%
1980 17,007 27.9%
1990 17,347 2.0%
2000 20,229 16.6%
2010 20,662 2.1%
Est. 2015 20,216 −2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015
USA Polk County, Arkansas age pyramid
Age pyramid Polk County

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 20,229 people, 8,047 households, and 5,793 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 9,236 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.69% White, 0.16% Black or African American, 1.49% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.72% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. 3.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 8,047 households out of which 31.90% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.40% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.00% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 25.00% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 17.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $25,180, and the median income for a family was $31,379. Males had a median income of $23,397 versus $17,294 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,063. 18.20% of the population and 14.00% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 23.50% are under the age of 18 and 16.20% are 65 or older.

As of 2010 Polk County had a population of 20,662. Of this population 89.77% were non-Hispanic whites, 0.31% were blacks, 1.76% Native Americans, 0.45% Asians, 2.03% non-Hispanics reporting one or more race and 5.76% Hispanic or Latino.




Unincorporated community


Polk County Arkansas 2010 Township Map large
Townships in Polk 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 Polk County are listed below; listed in parentheses are the cities, towns, and/or census-designated places that are fully or partially inside the township.

  • Acorn (small part of Mena)
  • Big Fork
  • Cedar
  • Center (most of Mena)
  • Cove (Hatfield)
  • Eagle
  • Faulkner
  • Freedom
  • Fulton
  • Gap Springs
  • Mill Creek
  • Mountain
  • Ouachita
  • Ozark (Grannis, Wickes)
  • Potter (small part of Mena)
  • Rich Mountain
  • White (Cove, Vandervoort)
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