Central Arkansas, also known as the Little Rock metro, designated by the United States Office of Management and Budget as the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area, is the most populous metro area in the US state of Arkansas. With an estimated 2016 population of 734,622, it is the most populated area in Arkansas. Located at the convergence of Arkansas's other geographic regions, the region's central location make Central Arkansas an important population, economic, education, and political center in Arkansas and the South. Little Rock is the state's capital, and the city is also home to two Fortune 500 companies, Arkansas Children's Hospital, and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR MSA
Downtown Little Rock
|Principal cities||Little Rock|
North Little Rock
|• Urban||258.3 sq mi (669 km2)|
|• MSA||4,085.18 sq mi (10,580.6 km2)|
|• CSA||7,150.31 sq mi (18,519.2 km2)|
|• Urban||431,388 (US: 89th)|
|• MSA||734,622 (US: 76th)|
|• CSA||905,847 (US: 60th)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||501 & 870|
The site known as "little rock" along the Arkansas River was discovered by explorer Bernard de la Harpe in 1722. The territorial capitol had been located at Arkansas Post in Southeast Arkansas since 1819, but the site had proven unsuitable as a settlement due to frequent flooding of the Arkansas River. Over the years, the "little rock" was known as a waypoint along the river, but remained unsettled. A land speculator from St. Louis, Missouri who had acquired many acres around the "little rock" began pressuring the Arkansas territorial legislature in February 1820 to move the capital to the site, but the representatives could not decide between Little Rock or Cadron (now Conway), which was the preferred site of Territorial Governor James Miller. The issue was tabled until October 1820, by which time most of the legislators and other influential men had purchased lots around Little Rock. The legislature moved the capital to Little Rock, where it has remained ever since.
Central Arkansas is located in the Southern United States (commonly known as the South in the US), and within a subregion commonly known as the Upper South. The South is a distinct cultural region reliant upon a plantation economy in the 18th and 19th century, until the secession of the Confederate States of America and the Civil War.
The region is the point of convergence for four other Arkansas regions: the Ozarks to the north, the Arkansas River Valley to the west, the Arkansas Delta to the east, and Piney Woods to the southwest.
The Arkansas River crosses the region, and serves as the dividing line between Little Rock and North Little Rock. The Arkansas is an important geographic feature in Central Arkansas, requiring long bridge spans but allowing barge traffic to the Port of Little Rock and points upriver.
Central Arkansas includes both the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway MSA, though the broader Little Rock CSA is also considered Central Arkansas. The MSA is defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget as Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Perry, Pulaski and Saline counties. The CSA definition adds the Pine Bluff metropolitan area adding Cleveland, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties, and the Searcy Micropolitan Area, which adds White County.
It is the core of the broader Little Rock-North Little Rock Combined Statistical Area (CSA). Its economic, cultural, and demographic center is Little Rock, Arkansas's capital and largest city. The Little Rock Combined Statistical area spans ten counties and had an estimated population of 905,847 in 2016.
Prior to 2002, the area consisted of four core counties: Pulaski, Faulkner, Saline and Lonoke. The area was later expanded to include adjoining Perry County to the west, and Grant County to the south. The city of Conway was designated as a third principal city for the MSA by 2007.
|Pine Bluff MSA||91,962||2,030.05||5,257.81||45.3||17.49|
As of the census of 2000, there were 610,518 people, 241,094 households, and 165,405 families residing within the MSA. The racial makeup of the MSA was 75.40% White, 21.02% African American, 0.44% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.07% of the population.
The median income for a household in the MSA was $37,912, and the median income for a family was $44,572. Males had a median income of $31,670 versus $23,354 for females. The per capita income for the MSA was $18,305.
As of the census of 2000, there were 785,024 people, 304,335 households, and 210,966 families residing within the CSA. The racial makeup of the CSA was 73.97% White, 22.73% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.93% of the population.
The median income for a household in the CSA was $35,301, and the median income for a family was $41,804. Males had a median income of $31,192 versus $22,347 for females. The per capita income for the CSA was $16,898.
Communities are categorized based on their populations in the 2000 U.S. Census.
The Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, the oldest association in Arkansas, has produced the following list of largest employers in Central Arkansas.
|Employer||Number of employees|
|State of Arkansas||32,200|
|University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences||8,500|
|Little Rock Air Force Base||4,500|
|Little Rock School District||3,500|
|Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System||3,500|
|Pulaski County Special School District||2,700|
|CHI St. Vincent Health System||2,600|
|Arkansas Children’s Hospital||2,470|
|Union Pacific Railroad||2,000|
|Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield||1,800|
|Dassault Falcon Jet Corp.||2,000|
|School||Enrollment||Location||Type||Nickname||Athletic Affiliation |
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
|Trojans||NCAA Division I |
University of Central Arkansas
|Bears and Sugar Bears||NCAA Division I FCS|
liberal arts college
|Warriors||NCAA Division III |
The Clinton National Airport in Little Rock is the largest commercial airport in the state, with more than 100 flights arriving or departing each day and nonstop jet service to eighteen cities. North Little Rock Municipal Airport, located across the Arkansas River, is designated as a general aviation reliever airport for Clinton National by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Central Arkansas also has several smaller municipally owned general aviation airports: Conway Airport at Cantrell Field in Conway, Saline County Regional in Benton, Grider Field in Pine Bluff.
The city of Little Rock is home to the Arkansas Travelers. The Travelers are the AA Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. They compete in the Texas League and play their home games at Dickey-Stephens Park.
The 2012 Central Arkansas Bears football team represented the University of Central Arkansas in the 2012 NCAA Division I FCS football season. The Bears were led by 13th year head coach Clint Conque and played their home games at Estes Stadium. They were a member of the Southland Conference. They finished the season 9–3, 6–1 in Southland play to share the conference championship with Sam Houston State. Due to their victory over Sam Houston State, the Bears received the Southland's automatic bid into the FCS Playoffs where they lost in the second round to Georgia Southern.2017 NCAA Division I FCS football rankings
The 2017 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) football rankings comprises two human polls, in addition to various publications' preseason polls. Unlike the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), college football's governing body, the NCAA, bestows the national championship title through a 24-team tournament. The following weekly polls determine the top 25 teams at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level of college football for the 2017 season. The STATS poll is voted by media members while the Coaches' Poll is determined by coaches at the FCS level.2018 NCAA Division I FCS football rankings
The 2018 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) football rankings consists of two human polls, in addition to various publications' preseason polls. Unlike the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), college football's governing body, the NCAA, bestows the national championship title through a 24-team tournament. The following weekly polls determine the top 25 teams at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level of college football for the 2018 season. The STATS poll is voted by media members while the Coaches' Poll is determined by coaches at the FCS level.
The STATS preseason poll was released on August 6, 2018, with defending champions North Dakota State earning 151 of the 157 allotted first-place votes; defending runners-up James Madison earned the other six.
The Coaches' poll was released on August 13, 2018 - it consisted of an identical top six, with defending champions North Dakota State receiving 23 of the 26 first-place votes.Central Arkansas Bears and Sugar Bears
The University of Central Arkansas Bears and Sugar Bears participates in the NCAA Division I's Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA football) as a member of the Southland Conference. The athletic program is supported by the efforts of a diverse group of over 400 male and female student-athletes. Its men's teams are called the Bears and the women's are the Sugar Bears.Central Arkansas Bears baseball
The Central Arkansas Bears baseball team is a varsity intercollegiate athletic team of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. The team is a member of the Southland Conference, which is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. The team plays its home games at Bear Stadium in Conway, Arkansas. The Bears are coached by Allen Gum.Central Arkansas Bears basketball
For information on all University of Central Arkansas sports, see Central Arkansas Bears and Sugar Bears
For information about the Central Arkansas women's team, see Central Arkansas Sugar Bears basketball.The Central Arkansas Bears basketball team represents the University of Central Arkansas in NCAA Division I men's basketball competition. The school's team currently competes in the Southland Conference and plays its home games at the Farris Center located on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. The current head coach is Russ Pennell, who was named as head coach on March 5, 2014, taking over for interim Clarence Finley. Finley had coached for the entire 2013–14 season.The school was formerly known as Arkansas State Teachers School and the State College of Arkansas. Prior to competition at the NCAA Division I level, the Bears also competed in the NAIA and NCAA Division II.Central Arkansas Bears football
For information on all University of Central Arkansas sports, see Central Arkansas Bears and Sugar BearsThe Central Arkansas Bears football program is the intercollegiate American football team for University of Central Arkansas located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Southland Conference. Central Arkansas's first football team was fielded in 1908. The team plays its home games at the 10,000 seat Estes Stadium in Conway, Arkansas. The Bears are coached by Nathan Brown, in his first year.Central Arkansas Bears soccer
The Central Arkansas Bears men's soccer team represents the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in the Missouri Valley Conference of NCAA Division I men's soccer. The Bears play their home matches at the Bill Stephens Track/Soccer Complex located on the UCA campus in Conway, Arkansas. The team is currently coached by Ross Duncan.Central Arkansas Christian Schools
Central Arkansas Christian Schools (CAC) is a group of three private schools based in North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. CAC was established in 1971 at Sylvan Hills Church of Christ in Sherwood as a segregation academy. The school system includes Central Arkansas Christian High School and two elementary schools: Pleasant Valley and North Little Rock Elementary. Together, they composed the state's second-largest combined private school in 1997. The schools are run by the Churches of Christ and are members of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.Central Arkansas Library System
Central Arkansas Library System is a public library system headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States.
The largest public library system in Arkansas, the Central Arkansas Library System serves all residents of Pulaski County and Perry County, including Little Rock, North Little Rock, Jacksonville, Maumelle, Perryville, Sherwood, and Wrightsville.
The Main Library in downtown Little Rock is the main branch of the system. The Main Library campus also includes the Arkansas Studies Institute Building, which includes the offices of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, and the UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture. CALS Ron Robinson Theater, Cox Creative Center, and River Market Books & Gifts are also located on the Main Library campus.Conway, Arkansas
Conway is a city in the U.S. state of Arkansas and the county seat of Faulkner County, located in the state's most populous Metropolitan Statistical Area, Central Arkansas. Conway is unusual in that the majority of its residents do not commute out of the city to work. The city also serves as a regional shopping, educational, work, healthcare, sports, and cultural hub for Faulkner County and surrounding areas. Conway's growth can be attributed to its jobs in technology and higher education with its largest employers being Acxiom, the University of Central Arkansas, Hewlett Packard, Hendrix College, Insight Enterprises, and many technology start up companies. Conway is home to three post-secondary educational institutions, earning it the nickname "The City of Colleges".As of the 2017 Census Estimate, the city proper had a total population of 65,782, making Conway the eighth-largest city in Arkansas. Central Arkansas, the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area, is ranked 75th largest in the United States with 734,622 people in 2016. Conway is part of the larger Little Rock–North Little Rock, AR Combined Statistical Area, which in 2016 had a population of 905,847, and ranked the country's 60th largest CSA.Estes Stadium
First Security Field at Estes Stadium is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose stadium in Conway, Arkansas. It is home to the Central Arkansas Bears football team, representing the University of Central Arkansas in the NCAA's Southland Conference. The facility opened in 1939. In 2007, university President Lu Hardin announced that corporate sponsorship had been secured for the stadium from a local bank. As a result, the formal title of the stadium is First Security Field at Estes Stadium. The stadium is named after Dan Estes, who coached the Bears from 1915 to 1932.Farris Center
The Farris Center is a 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Conway, Arkansas. It was built in 1972. It is home to the University of Central Arkansas Bears basketball program.
Renovations to the Farris Center in 2010 included new scoreboards and renovated court including logos. New floor seating was added in 2012.KHCB-FM
KHCB-FM (105.7 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a Christian radio format.
Licensed to Houston, Texas, United States, the station serves the Houston area. The station is owned by Houston Christian Broadcasters, Inc. Since 1962, this station has offered Christian programming on a noncommercial basis. KHCB is the flagship station for a network of 38 stations.McNeese State Cowboys football
The McNeese State Cowboys football program is the intercollegiate American football team for McNeese State University located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Southland Conference. McNeese State's first football team was fielded in 1940. The team plays its home games at the 17,410 seat Cowboy Stadium in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Cowboys were formerly coached by Lance Guidry.Monte Coleman
Monte Leon Coleman (born November 4, 1957) is a former American football linebacker who played for sixteen seasons with the Washington Redskins from 1979 to 1994. He is currently the head football coach for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.Scottie Pippen
Scotty Maurice Pippen (born September 25, 1965), commonly spelled Scottie Pippen, is an American former professional basketball player. He played 17 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), winning six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen, along with Michael Jordan, played an important role in transforming the Bulls into a championship team and in popularizing the NBA around the world during the 1990s.Considered one of the best small forwards of all time, Pippen was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight consecutive times and the All-NBA First Team three times. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and was the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1994. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during the 1996–97 season, and is one of four players to have his jersey retired by the Chicago Bulls (the others being Jerry Sloan, Bob Love, and Michael Jordan). He played a main role on both the 1992 Chicago Bulls Championship team and the 1996 Chicago Bulls Championship team which were selected as two of the Top 10 Teams in NBA History. His biography on the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's website states, "The multidimensional Pippen ran the court like a point guard, attacked the boards like a power forward, and swished the nets like a shooting guard." During his 17-year career, he played 12 seasons with the Bulls, one with the Houston Rockets and four with the Portland Trail Blazers, making the postseason sixteen straight times.
Pippen is the only NBA player to have won an NBA title and Olympic gold medal in the same year twice (1992, 1996). He was a part of the 1992 U.S. Olympic "Dream Team" which beat its opponents by an average of 44 points. Pippen was also a key figure in the 1996 Olympic team, alongside former Dream Team members Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Charles Barkley as well as newer faces such as Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway and Grant Hill. He wore number 8 during both years.
Pippen is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (for his individual career, and as a member of the "Dream Team"), having been inducted for both on August 13, 2010. On December 8, 2005, the Chicago Bulls retired his number #33, while his college, University of Central Arkansas, retired his number #33 on January 21, 2010, as well.University of Central Arkansas
The University of Central Arkansas (often referred to as Central Arkansas or UCA) is a public research university in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1907 as the Arkansas State Normal School, the university is one of the oldest in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As the state's only normal school at the time, UCA has historically been the primary source of teachers in Arkansas. Today with a more academically diverse mission, UCA is noted for its nationally recognized programs in nursing, education, physical therapy, business, performing arts, and psychology.
UCA is home to the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College, which is known for being one of the first honors colleges in the United States. The honors program derives its pedagogical underpinnings from the traditional small liberal arts college. It prides itself on small class sizes, intimate teacher/student relationships, and intense study of a variety of interdisciplinary subjects.The university comprises six colleges: the College of Fine Arts and Communication, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the College of Business, the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Education. In addition to this UCA is home to five residential colleges and one commuter college, those being the HPaW Residential College, EDGE Residential College, The Stars Residential College, STEM Residential College, EPIC Residential College, and the Minton Commuter College.UCA has about 12,000 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the state. The university maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately 17 to 1. Over 150 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are offered at the university. UCA occupies over 120 buildings within its 356 acres (1.44 km2).Warren B. Woodson
Warren Brooks Woodson (February 24, 1903 – February 22, 1998) was an American football, basketball, and baseball coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Arkansas State Teachers College, now the University of Central Arkansas, (1935–1940), Hardin–Simmons University (1941–1951), the University of Arizona (1952–1956), New Mexico State University (1958–1967), and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas (1972–1973), compiling a career college football record of 203–94–14 in 31 seasons. He was also the head basketball coach at Arkansas State Teachers from 1935 to 1941 and at Hardin–Simmons in 1945–46, tallying a career college basketball mark of 116–50. Woodson won an additional 52 football games at junior college level and 18 high school football games. He was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.
Little Rock (capital)