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Rison, Arkansas
Cleveland County Courthouse in Rison - listed on National Register of Historic Places
Cleveland County Courthouse in Rison - listed on National Register of Historic Places
Location of Rison in Cleveland County, Arkansas.
Location of Rison in Cleveland County, Arkansas.
Coordinates: 33°57′26″N 92°11′23″W / 33.95722°N 92.18972°W / 33.95722; -92.18972Coordinates: 33°57′26″N 92°11′23″W / 33.95722°N 92.18972°W / 33.95722; -92.18972
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Cleveland
 • Total 3.27 sq mi (8.48 km2)
 • Land 3.27 sq mi (8.48 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
269 ft (82 m)
 • Total 967
 • Density 295.27/sq mi (113.99/km2)
Time zone UTC−06:00 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−05:00 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 870 Exchange: 325
FIPS code 05-59480
GNIS feature ID 0058495

Rison is a city in and the county seat of Cleveland County, Arkansas, United States. Its population was 1,344 at the 2010 U.S. census. It is included in the Pine Bluff, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Rison is a bedroom community for people who work in Pine Bluff (in neighboring Jefferson County). The largest employers are the city and county governments, the Cleveland County School District, the Cleveland County Nursing Home. There are two banks, eight churches, and about forty-five businesses within the city limits. Among the local properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places are the Rison Cities Service Station and the Rison Texaco Service Station.


Rison had its start in 1883, shortly after the railroad was built through that territory. It was named for William Richard Rison, an Alabama banker and friend of the founder of the town.


Rison is located in north-central Cleveland County at 33°57′26″N 92°11′23″W / 33.957089°N 92.189711°W / 33.957089; -92.189711. U.S. Route 79 passes through the western side of the city, leading northeast 25 miles (40 km) to Pine Bluff and southwest 17 miles (27 km) to Fordyce.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.8 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 453
1910 725 60.0%
1920 685 −5.5%
1930 876 27.9%
1940 1,005 14.7%
1950 953 −5.2%
1960 889 −6.7%
1970 1,214 36.6%
1980 1,325 9.1%
1990 1,258 −5.1%
2000 1,271 1.0%
2010 1,344 5.7%
2020 967 −28.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,271 people, 471 households, and 324 families residing in the city. The population density was 475.1 people per square mile (183.8/km2). There were 532 housing units at an average density of 198.9/sq mi (76.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 62.23% White, 33.36% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 1.73% from other races, and 2.12% from two or more races. 2.20% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 471 households, out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.3% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,865, and the median income for a family was $30,833. Males had a median income of $26,500 versus $18,229 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,106. About 25.6% of families and 32.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.0% of those under age 18 and 30.5% of those age 65 or over.


Public education for early childhood, elementary and secondary school students in the city limits of Rison is provided by the Cleveland County School District, which is headquartered in Rison. Students graduate from Rison High School. The district was established by the July 1, 2004 consolidation of the Rison School District and the Kingsland School District.

Notable people

  • Jeremy James, singer/songwriter originally from Rison
  • Tyrell Johnson, NFL player for the Minnesota Vikings
  • Jerry Taylor, Arkansas legislator and businessman
  • Ed Wilson, Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame
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