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Union County, Arkansas facts for kids

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Union County
Union County Courthouse in El Dorado
Map of Arkansas highlighting Union 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 2, 1829
Seat El Dorado
Largest city El Dorado
 • Total 1,055 sq mi (2,730 km2)
 • Land 1,039 sq mi (2,690 km2)
 • Water 16 sq mi (40 km2)  1.5%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 40/sq mi (20/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th
Confederate soldier monument, Union County, AR IMG 2583
Confederate monument at Union County Courthouse

Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,639. The county seat is El Dorado. The county was formed on November 2, 1829, and named in recognition of the citizens' petition for a new county, stating that they were petitioning "in the spirit of Union and Unity." The county is directly adjacent to Union Parish in the state of Louisiana.

The El Dorado, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Union County.

Called once by boosters the “Queen City of South Arkansas” and, more recently, “Arkansas’s Original Boomtown,” the city was the heart of the 1920s oil boom in South Arkansas.


Union County was formed on November 2, 1828, from portions of Clark and Hempstead counties.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,055 square miles (2,730 km2), of which 1,039 square miles (2,690 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (1.5%) is water. It is the largest county by area in Arkansas. Union County, along with Columbia County, has the largest bromine reserve in the United States. The lowest point in the state of Arkansas is located on the Ouachita River in Union County and Ashley County, where it flows out of Arkansas and into Louisiana.

Adjacent counties

Union County in Arkansas and Union Parish in Louisiana are two of twenty-two counties or parishes in the United States with the same name to border each other across state lines. The others are Big Horn County, Montana and Big Horn County, Wyoming, Sabine County, Texas and Sabine Parish, Louisiana, Bristol County, Massachusetts and Bristol County, Rhode Island, Kent County, Maryland and Kent County, Delaware, Escambia County, Alabama and Escambia County, Florida, Pike County, Illinois and Pike County, Missouri, Teton County, Idaho and Teton County, Wyoming, Park County, Montana and Park County, Wyoming, San Juan County, New Mexico and San Juan County, Utah, and Vermilion County, Illinois and Vermillion County, Indiana. respectively. (Note, despite the different spellings, the source of the name is the same for Vermilion County, Illinois and Vermillion County, Indiana—the Vermillion River which flows through both counties.)

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 640
1840 2,889 351.4%
1850 10,298 256.5%
1860 12,288 19.3%
1870 10,571 −14.0%
1880 13,419 26.9%
1890 14,977 11.6%
1900 22,495 50.2%
1910 30,723 36.6%
1920 29,691 −3.4%
1930 55,800 87.9%
1940 50,461 −9.6%
1950 49,686 −1.5%
1960 49,518 −0.3%
1970 45,428 −8.3%
1980 48,573 6.9%
1990 46,719 −3.8%
2000 45,629 −2.3%
2010 41,639 −8.7%
Est. 2015 40,144 −3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015
USA Union County, Arkansas age pyramid
Age pyramid Union County

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 45,629 people, 17,989 households, and 12,646 families residing in the county. The population density was 44 people per square mile (17/km²). There were 20,676 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 66.15% White, 31.97% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. 1.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 17,989 households out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.30% were married couples living together, 15.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.90% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 27.00% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,809, and the median income for a family was $36,805. Males had a median income of $31,868 versus $19,740 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,063. About 14.70% of families and 18.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.80% of those under age 18 and 14.30% of those age 65 or over.

Union County/Union Parish monument

In 1931, a monument was established at the Union County border with Union Parish, Louisiana, through the private efforts of former Arkansas Governor George Washington Donaghey (1856–1937), who was born in Union Parish and grew up in the border area before he moved as a teenager to Conway, Arkansas. As governor, he oversaw the construction of the state capitol building in Little Rock and brought about the establishment of the state health unit and its agricultural colleges.

After his gubernatorial tenure, Donaghey, who felt a kinship to both states, commissioned a park on the land about the monument. Known for its intricate carvings and Art Deco style, the monument includes references to different modes of transportation a century apart—1831 and 1931—and mentions Huey P. Long, Jr., whose educational program Donaghey admired. The land was not registered with the state parks offices in either state, timber companies cut trees thereabouts, and the monument was forgotten. In 1975, State Representative Louise B. Johnson obtained passage of a law to refurbish the monument. Restoration efforts were finally unveiled in 2009.


Major highways

  • US 63.svg U.S. Highway 63
  • US 82.svg U.S. Highway 82
  • US 167.svg U.S. Highway 167
  • Arkansas 7.svg Highway 7
  • Arkansas 15.svg Highway 15
  • Arkansas 129.svg Highway 129
  • I-69.svg Future Interstate 69





Unincorporated community


Union County Arkansas 2010 Township Map large
Townships in Union 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 Union 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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