Economy of Arkansas

By | March 4, 2023

Arkansas is a state located in the Southern region of the United States. It has a population of over 3 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $126 billion. Arkansas is known for its diverse economy, which includes agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.

Agriculture is an important part of the state’s economy. Arkansas is the leading producer of rice in the U.S., with over 1 million acres devoted to production. In addition, it produces cotton, soybeans, poultry, and other crops. The state also has a large number of cattle farms and is one of the top producers of timber in the country.

Manufacturing has been an important component of Arkansas’ economy for decades. It employs more than 200,000 people in industries such as food processing, automotive parts production, aerospace engineering, and pharmaceuticals manufacturing. The state has also become a hub for technology companies such as Apple and Microsoft who are investing in new facilities there.

Tourism is another major contributor to Arkansas’ economy. It draws millions of visitors each year to attractions such as Hot Springs National Park and its many lakes and rivers. Other popular destinations include Ozark Mountains National Forest and Buffalo National River Park. The tourism industry generates more than $3 billion annually for the state’s economy through taxes on lodging facilities as well as sales taxes on souvenirs purchased by visitors during their stay in Arkansas.

The unemployment rate in Arkansas was 4% in 2020 which was lower than that year’s national average unemployment rate (6%). The median household income was $43,873 which was slightly below the national median household income ($61,937). However despite this difference there were still some positive signs with regards to job growth mainly due to increased investment from businesses like Apple and Microsoft as previously mentioned above along with new start-ups establishing themselves in various cities throughout Arkansas such as Little Rock which saw job growth exceeding 8% from 2019-2020 according to data from Glassdoor .

Overall despite some economic challenges faced by Arkansas due to factors such as its low median household income it still remains an attractive destination for investors looking for business opportunities or tourists looking for interesting places to visit . With continued investment from both private businesses and government initiatives it looks likely that this trend will continue going forward bringing further economic prosperity to all Arkansans.

Top 3 Counties in Arkansas

According to, main counties in Arkansas include:

1. Pulaski County: Pulaski County is located in Central Arkansas and is home to Little Rock, the state capital. It is the most populous county in Arkansas with a population of 382,748 people and an area of 808 square miles. Little Rock is the cultural, economic, and governmental center of Arkansas and is home to many government offices, educational institutions, museums, and other attractions. The county has a diverse economy that includes retail trade, finance, services, manufacturing, healthcare, education and government. It also has access to major interstates for easy transportation throughout the state.

2. Benton County: Benton County is located in Northwest Arkansas and has a population of 253,878 people spread out over 848 square miles. It is home to two major cities – Bentonville and Rogers – as well as many smaller towns. Bentonville is best known for being the headquarters of Walmart while Rogers houses many corporate offices such as Tyson Foods and JB Hunt Transport Services Incorporated. The county’s economy relies heavily on retail trade but also includes finance services and manufacturing industries like electronics production and aerospace engineering.

3. Washington County: Washington County is located in Northwest Arkansas with a population of 213,518 people spread out over 731 square miles. Fayetteville serves as the county seat while Springdale serves as its largest city with a population of just under 70 thousand people. Agriculture plays an important role in Washington County’s economy with crops like soybeans being some of its most profitable exports while poultry processing also contributes significantly to its GDP growth rate. The University of Arkansas can be found here which helps contribute to the local knowledge-based economy through research initiatives and industry partnerships with private companies like Walmart.

Economy of Arkansas