HEMPSTEAD County, AR
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.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (1.8%) is water. Hempstead County is alternately considered as part of the greater regions of South Arkansas or Southwest Arkansas.
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 20,065 people, 8,094 households, and 5,711 families residing in the county.
As of the 2000 census, there were 23,587 people, 8,959 households, and 6,378 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 people per square mile (12/km2). There were 10,178 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 63.28% White, 30.36% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 4.17% from other races, and 1.59% from two or more races. 8.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 8,959 households, out of which 33.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.40% were married couples living together, 15.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.80% were non-families. 25.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 27.30% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,622, and the median income for a family was $34,082. Males had a median income of $25,830 versus $17,383 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,103. About 16.00% of families and 20.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.20% of those under age 18 and 16.70% of those age 65 or over.
Like almost all of Arkansas and the rural South, the 21st century has seen Hempstead County make a hard turn to the Republican Party after supporting Democrats throughout its history; the move is likely due to racial and cultural agitation with the party in Appalachian and rural Southern areas. John Kerry was the last Democrat to win the county in a presidential election, in 2004. Further elections has only seen sharper turns to the right, first at the presidential level and increasingly for other contested seats, to the point where this county, and Arkansas as a whole, is very Republican today. That said, the city of Hope is still very Democratic as of 2022.
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Hempstead County, AR, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.