As of 2006, Arkansas has an estimated population of 2,810,872, which is an increase of 29,154, or 1.1%, from the prior year and an increase of 105,756, or 4.0%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 52,214 people (that is 198,800 births minus 146,586 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 57,611 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 21,947 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 35,664 people. It is estimated that about 48.8% is male, and 51.2% is female. From 2000 through 2006 Arkansas has had a population growth of 5.1% or 137,472. The population density of the state is 51.3 people per square mile.
The center of population of Arkansas is located in the far northeast corner of Perry County.
The racial background of Arkansas is made up of:
People of Irish, German, and English background comprised the majority of Arkansas' European descendant residents.
People of European ancestry have a strong presence in the northwestern Ozarks and the central part of the state. African Americans live mainly in the fertile southern and eastern parts of the state. Arkansans of Irish, English and German ancestry are mostly found in the far northwestern Ozarks near the Missouri border. Ancestors of Irish in the Ozarks were chiefly Scotch-Irish, Protestants from Northern Ireland and the Scottish lowlands, part of the largest group of immigrants from Great Britain and Ireland before the American Revolution. Scots-Irish settled throughout the backcountry of the South and in the more mountainous areas.
As of 2000, 95.07% of Arkansas residents age 5 and older speak English at home and 3.31% speak Spanish. German is the third most spoken language at 0.299%, followed by French at 0.291% and Vietnamese at 0.13%.
In 2006, Arkansas has a larger percentage of tobacco smokers than the national average, with 24% of adults smoking.
Arkansas, like most other Southern states, is part of the Bible Belt and is predominantly Protestant. The religious affiliations of the people are as follows:
The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Southern Baptist Convention with 665,307; the United Methodist Church with 179,383; the Roman Catholic Church with 115,967; and the American Baptist Association with 115,916.
In March 2008, The American State Litter Scorecard, presented at the American Society for Public Administration national conference, rated Arkansas a national Worst state for removing litter and debris from highways and public properties. The state has an above national average fatality rate from litter/debris-related vehicle accidents, based on NHTSA statistics .
Little Rock National Airport (Adams Field) and Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill in Benton County are Arkansas's main air terminals. Passenger service is also available at Fort Smith, as well as limited service at Texarkana, Russellville,Pine Bluff, Harrison, Ozark Regional Airport Mountain Home, Hot Springs, El Dorado and Jonesboro. Many air travelers in eastern Arkansas use Memphis International Airport.
The Amtrak Texas Eagle passenger train makes several stops in Arkansas daily on its run from Chicago to San Antonio to Los Angeles.