Arkansas

The Natural State
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State Highlights
  • Total Latino Population

    208,821

  • Median Age of Latinos

    24.0

  • Median Income of Latinos 16+

    $35,348

  • # of Latino Registered Voters

    20,000

  • Latinos Without Health Insurance

    31.1%

  • Latino Homeownership

    43.9%

  • Latinos as % of All Under 18

    11.3%

Untitled-1

From 2000 to 2014, the Latino population in Arkansas increased by 137.8% and accounted for 42.1% of the state’s total population growth. 1

In 2014, Arkansas’s Latino population totaled 208,821 and constituted 7.0% of the state’s total population 2

Much of the Latino population is concentrated in Fort Smith, Rogers, and Springdale. 3 The two counties with the largest Latino populations were Benton and Washington. 4

In 2014, Arkansas’s Latino citizen voting age population numbered 55,000. 5

Furthermore, Latino registered voters totaled 20,000 and constituted 1.5% of all registered voters in the state. 6

Approximately 70.0% of Latino registered voters cast ballots during the November 2014 elections. 7

2015

Arkansas was one of the states that passed legislation related to human trafficking. AR S1012 redefined the state’s definition of “child placement agency” to include organizations that are involved with the placement of child human trafficking victims. 8

2014

Arkansas was one of twenty-six states that filed a lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that President Obama’s suspension of immigration laws was unconstitutional. 9

2013

Arkansas’s AR S1019 was responsible for creating the Medicaid Eligibility Verification System, which checks on an individual’s immigration status. 10

AR H1203 also established additional penalties related to human trafficking. 11

65.9% of Latinos were citizens of the United States (57.8% were native born and 8.2% were naturalized). 12

42.2% of Latinos were foreign born. 13

67.7% of Latinos 5-years of age and older spoke Spanish. 14

Of Latino Spanish-speakers 5-years of age and older, 46.3% spoke English “very well”, 26.6% spoke English “well”, 17.7% spoke English “not well”, and 9.4% spoke English “not at all.” 15

The median age of Latinos was 24.6 years compared to 40.1 years for Whites. 16

39.0% of Latinos were under 18 years of age compared to 22.0% of Whites. 17

Latinos comprise 3% of all persons under the age of 18. 18

Of Latinos 25-years of age and older, 48.3% had less than a high school diploma (compared to 13.6% of Whites), 27.2% had a high school diploma, GED, or alternative credential (compared to 35.0% of Whites), 16.1% had some college or an Associate’s degree (compared to 34.9% of Whites), 5.2% had a Bachelor’s degree (compared to 18.2% of Whites), and 3.3% had a Graduate degree (compared to 10.7% of Whites). 19

Median household incomes totaled $35,348 for Latinos and $44,780 for Whites (in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars). 20

31.1% of Latinos lacked health insurance compared to 9.8% of Whites. 21

43.9% of Latino households were owner occupied (compared to 70.6% of White households) and 56.1% were renter occupied (compared to 29.4% of White households). 22

4.9% of Latinos were unemployed compared to 5.6% of Whites. 23

The number of Latino-owned businesses grew 284.6% over a 10-year period, going from 2,094 in 2002 to 8,054 in 2012. 24 25

In 2012, receipts for Latino-owned businesses totaled $2.5 million, representing an increase of 208.5% from 2007. 26 27

In 2012, Latino-owned businesses employed 9,995 people with an annual payroll of $343.1 million. 28

In 2015, the Latino purchasing power in Arkansas totaled $4.2 billion. 29

139,997 in 2014 (immigrant share of 4.7% in 2014). 30

In 2014, 28.2% of immigrants living in Arkansas entered the U.S. before 1990, 25.5% entered between 1990 and 1999, 33.7% entered between 2000 and 2009, and 12.7% entered after 2010. 31

According to a U.S. Census Bureau 2014 estimate, 65.7% of immigrants living in Arkansas were born in Latin America, 21.0% were born in Asia, 7.6% were born in Europe, 1.2% were born in Africa, and 4.5% were born in other regions. 32

30.2% of all immigrants in Arkansas were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2014. 33

In 2012, 27,526 people (or 2.0% of all registered voters in Arkansas) were newly naturalized citizens or U.S. born children of immigrants. 34

In 2014, foreign-born workers totaled 91,051 and made-up 5.7% of Arkansas’s workforce. 35

Between 2009 and 2013, 32,000 undocumented immigrants held permanent jobs in Arkansas, representing 66% of the undocumented civilian population. 36 In 2008, The Perryman Group found that removing undocumented immigrants from Arkansas would result in a $797.7 million loss in economic activity and a $354.3 million loss in gross state product, as well as a loss of 6,660 jobs. 37

Undocumented immigrants in Arkansas paid $58.9 million in state and local taxes in 2012. 38

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