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By the numbers 

The sum total of Central Arkansas.

While numbers are the Achilles' heel of liberal arts majors the world over, a good, swift dive down to the bottom of the statistical barrel can tell you loads about who lives in a place and why. Here, we present a look at the numbers behind the people who live in Little Rock and Pulaski County. All statistics come from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey.

Physical environment

Little Rock is located at 286 feet above sea level in its lowest part, the flatlands along the Arkansas River, and rises to 630 feet above sea level in the hills of its west and central areas. Pulaski County is 770.82 square miles in size. Little Rock is 116.2 square miles and North Little Rock is 49.3 square miles.

Weather and climate

The normal daily mean temperature in Central Arkansas is 62.1 degrees Fahrenheit, and the annual average relative humidity is 71 percent. The hottest month of the year in Little Rock is July, with an average high temperature of 92.8 degrees. The coldest month is January, with an average low of 30.8 degrees. Highest ever recorded temperature in Little Rock was 112 degrees, set on July 31, 1986. Lowest recorded temperature is -12 degrees, set on Feb. 12, 1899. Average annual rainfall is 50.93 inches, and average snowfall is 4.3 inches per year. The wettest month of the year is November, with an average rainfall total of 5.73 inches.

Population

The total population of Pulaski County was 381,904 when the Community Survey was taken. An estimated 182,684 were male and 199,220 were female. The median age was 35.8 years old. There were 29,385 residents under 5 years old and 47,738 citizens age 65 or older. Residents listing their race as white were 232,052; black, 132,498; Hispanic or Latino, 17,710; Asian, 7,454. Residents who speak only English at home numbered 326,685, followed by Spanish (16,078), Indo-European languages (4,331) and Asian and Pacific Islander languages (4,162).

Social

The number of adults in Pulaski County who have never been married was 92,394; married, 141,406; divorced, 39,132 (14,208 males, 24,924 females). The number of grandparents responsible for their own grandchildren was 2,368. A total of 34,429 residents were military veterans. Disabled citizens numbered 50,389.

Education

The population 3 years and over enrolled in school in Pulaski County is 102,527. A total of 9,363 were enrolled in nursery school or preschool; kindergarten, 5,797; grades 1-8, 40,131; grades 9-12, 20,256; college or grad school, 26,980. An estimated 87.7 percent of Pulaski County residents hold at least a high school diploma, while 28.8 percent hold a bachelor's degree or higher.

Jobs and income

There were 177,190 Pulaski County citizens employed in 2009, with 16,849 unemployed. The biggest civilian employers were management or professional occupations (68,647), service jobs (28,862), and sales and office occupations (46,820). The median household income in Pulaski County was $41,594. The number of families earning less than $15,000 a year was 10,458, while the number of families earning $100,000 or more was 21,739. The number of individuals with health insurance coverage was 86.2 percent of the population, with 13.8 percent having no health insurance.

Housing

There were 176,919 total housing units in Pulaski County, with 157,284 occupied. Houses built prior to 1939 numbered 9,180, while those built in 2005 or later numbered 9,175. Houses with three bedrooms were the largest group, at 43.6 percent of houses; 18.4 percent were two bedroom houses; 2.6 percent had 5 bedrooms or more. Home-owners occupied 58.4 percent of houses, while renters occupied 41.6 percent. Most houses in Pulaski County were heated with natural gas (57.8 percent), followed by electricity (39.5 percent) and bottled, tank or LP gas (1.7 percent). The number of houses with no telephone service was 1.9 percent, or 3,056 houses. The median cost of a house in Pulaski County in 2009 was $131,900. Houses costing $50,000 or less stood at 9,772, while those costing $1 million or more was 1,258. Sixty-seven percent of Pulaski County homeowners owe on a mortgage. There were 62,398 occupied units collecting rent in 2009, with the largest group (38.7 percent) paying between $500 and $749 per month. The median rent in Pulaski County was $698.

Poverty

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16.9 percent of individuals in Pulaski County live in poverty, and 13 percent of families.

Commuting

The great majority of Little Rock business commuters — 82.4 percent — travel alone to work. Carpoolers represented 10.2 percent, 1.4 percent took public transport, 1.4 percent walked to work, and 3.3 percent worked from home. It took commuters an average of 20 minutes to get to work. A total of 38.1 percent of the households in Little Rock have one vehicle available to them, while 7 percent have no vehicles. A total of 15.6 percent have three cars or more.

Distances by highway from Little Rock to major nearby cities

Dallas 307 miles

Houston 443 miles

Oklahoma City 348 miles

Tulsa 288 miles

Kansas City 405 miles

St. Louis 360 miles

Louisville 522 miles

Nashville 360 miles

Atlanta 523 miles

Memphis 139 miles

Baton Rouge 480 miles

New Orleans 444 miles

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