Arkansas, state in the south-central United States. It is bordered by Tennessee and Mississippi, across the Mississippi R. (E), Louisiana (S), Texas and Oklahoma (W), and Missouri (N).
Area, 53,104 sq mi (137,539 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 2,673,400, a 13.7% increase since the 1990 census.
Capital and largest city, Little Rock.
Motto, Regnat Populus [The People Rule].
State bird, mockingbird.
State flower, apple blossom.
State tree, pine.
A major cotton-producing state in the 19th cent., Arkansas has since diversified its agricultural production and overall economy. Cotton is still an important crop, but ranks below soybeans and rice. Arkansas has become a leading producer of poultry, raising over one billion broiler chickens a year; turkeys, dairy goods, and catfish are also important. The state's most important mineral products are petroleum, bromine and bromine compounds, and natural gas, and it is the nation's leading bauxite producer. Principal manufactures are food products, chemicals, lumber and paper goods, electrical equipment, furniture, automobile and airplane parts, and machinery. The Pine Bluff Arsenal is among military installations contributing to the Arkansas economy.
The capital and largest city is Little Rock ; other important cities are Fort Smith , North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs, and West Memphis.
The climate of Arkansas is marked by long, hot summers and mild winters. The state's many lakes and streams and its abundant wildlife provide excellent hunting and fishing. The mineral springs at Hot Springs also attract many visitors to Arkansas, where tourism is an important industry.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003.