Most rural counties in Arkansas

Written by:
July 25, 2022
Valis55 // Wikimedia Commons

Most rural counties in Arkansas

A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Arkansas using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2020 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn't an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

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#50. Sharp County

- Rural area: 98.9% (598 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.1% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 604 square miles
--- #55 largest county in state, #1,611 nationwide

- Population density: 28.5 people / square mile (17,217 residents)
--- #40 lowest density county in state, #1,170 nationwide

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Cid.williams // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Conway County

- Rural area: 99.0% (547 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 552 square miles
--- #71 largest county in state, #1,890 nationwide

- Population density: 37.8 people / square mile (20,895 residents)
--- #50 lowest density county in state, #1,418 nationwide

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#48. Johnson County

- Rural area: 99.0% (653 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 660 square miles
--- #34 largest county in state, #1,423 nationwide

- Population density: 40.1 people / square mile (26,475 residents)
--- #51 lowest density county in state, #1,470 nationwide

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#47. Hempstead County

- Rural area: 99.0% (720 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 728 square miles
--- #25 largest county in state, #1,219 nationwide

- Population density: 29.8 people / square mile (21,695 residents)
--- #43 lowest density county in state, #1,207 nationwide

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#46. Columbia County

- Rural area: 99.0% (759 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (8 square miles)
- Total land area: 766 square miles
--- #20 largest county in state, #1,135 nationwide

- Population density: 30.8 people / square mile (23,620 residents)
--- #46 lowest density county in state, #1,231 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Bradley County

- Rural area: 99.1% (643 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 649 square miles
--- #36 largest county in state, #1,450 nationwide

- Population density: 16.6 people / square mile (10,805 residents)
--- #16 lowest density county in state, #790 nationwide

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doug_wertman // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Carroll County

- Rural area: 99.1% (624 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.9% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 630 square miles
--- #44 largest county in state, #1,524 nationwide

- Population density: 44.5 people / square mile (28,062 residents)
--- #53 lowest density county in state, #1,562 nationwide

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#43. St. Francis County

- Rural area: 99.1% (629 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.9% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 635 square miles
--- #41 largest county in state, #1,506 nationwide

- Population density: 40.1 people / square mile (25,477 residents)
--- #52 lowest density county in state, #1,471 nationwide

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#42. Phillips County

- Rural area: 99.1% (690 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.9% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 696 square miles
--- #30 largest county in state, #1,339 nationwide

- Population density: 26.1 people / square mile (18,151 residents)
--- #34 lowest density county in state, #1,101 nationwide

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#41. Cleburne County

- Rural area: 99.1% (549 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.9% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 554 square miles
--- #70 largest county in state, #1,879 nationwide

- Population density: 45.3 people / square mile (25,063 residents)
--- #54 lowest density county in state, #1,584 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Cross County

- Rural area: 99.2% (612 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.8% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 616 square miles
--- #49 largest county in state, #1,572 nationwide

- Population density: 26.9 people / square mile (16,576 residents)
--- #36 lowest density county in state, #1,122 nationwide

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Jeffrey Beall // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Desha County

- Rural area: 99.3% (762 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.8% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 768 square miles
--- #19 largest county in state, #1,130 nationwide

- Population density: 15.0 people / square mile (11,538 residents)
--- #14 lowest density county in state, #741 nationwide

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Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Sevier County

- Rural area: 99.3% (561 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 565 square miles
--- #67 largest county in state, #1,818 nationwide

- Population density: 30.0 people / square mile (16,947 residents)
--- #44 lowest density county in state, #1,214 nationwide

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StuttgartChamber // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Arkansas County

- Rural area: 99.3% (981 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 989 square miles
--- #3 largest county in state, #695 nationwide

- Population density: 18.0 people / square mile (17,761 residents)
--- #18 lowest density county in state, #827 nationwide

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Jma661 // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Jackson County

- Rural area: 99.3% (629 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 634 square miles
--- #42 largest county in state, #1,508 nationwide

- Population density: 26.7 people / square mile (16,908 residents)
--- #35 lowest density county in state, #1,114 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Clark County

- Rural area: 99.3% (860 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 866 square miles
--- #10 largest county in state, #951 nationwide

- Population density: 25.8 people / square mile (22,341 residents)
--- #33 lowest density county in state, #1,092 nationwide

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Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Little River County

- Rural area: 99.3% (529 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 532 square miles
--- #73 largest county in state, #1,961 nationwide

- Population density: 23.2 people / square mile (12,345 residents)
--- #28 lowest density county in state, #1,013 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Logan County

- Rural area: 99.4% (704 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 708 square miles
--- #28 largest county in state, #1,302 nationwide

- Population density: 30.5 people / square mile (21,619 residents)
--- #45 lowest density county in state, #1,226 nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Clay County

- Rural area: 99.4% (635 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 639 square miles
--- #40 largest county in state, #1,487 nationwide

- Population density: 23.0 people / square mile (14,710 residents)
--- #26 lowest density county in state, #1,005 nationwide

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#31. Lawrence County

- Rural area: 99.4% (584 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 588 square miles
--- #63 largest county in state, #1,669 nationwide

- Population density: 28.1 people / square mile (16,511 residents)
--- #39 lowest density county in state, #1,157 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Dallas County

- Rural area: 99.4% (663 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 667 square miles
--- #32 largest county in state, #1,410 nationwide

- Population density: 10.7 people / square mile (7,114 residents)
--- #3 lowest density county in state, #596 nationwide

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#29. Chicot County

- Rural area: 99.4% (640 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 644 square miles
--- #39 largest county in state, #1,475 nationwide

- Population density: 16.2 people / square mile (10,433 residents)
--- #15 lowest density county in state, #776 nationwide

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#28. Howard County

- Rural area: 99.4% (585 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 589 square miles
--- #62 largest county in state, #1,665 nationwide

- Population density: 22.5 people / square mile (13,267 residents)
--- #25 lowest density county in state, #983 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Grant County

- Rural area: 99.5% (628 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 632 square miles
--- #43 largest county in state, #1,518 nationwide

- Population density: 28.9 people / square mile (18,229 residents)
--- #41 lowest density county in state, #1,180 nationwide

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Lauren Shufelberger // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Polk County

- Rural area: 99.5% (853 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 858 square miles
--- #11 largest county in state, #969 nationwide

- Population density: 23.3 people / square mile (19,999 residents)
--- #29 lowest density county in state, #1,015 nationwide

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Thomas R Machnitzki ([email protected]) // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Poinsett County

- Rural area: 99.5% (754 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 758 square miles
--- #23 largest county in state, #1,158 nationwide

- Population density: 31.3 people / square mile (23,747 residents)
--- #47 lowest density county in state, #1,252 nationwide

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NatalieMaynor // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Randolph County

- Rural area: 99.5% (649 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 652 square miles
--- #35 largest county in state, #1,446 nationwide

- Population density: 27.5 people / square mile (17,934 residents)
--- #37 lowest density county in state, #1,135 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Franklin County

- Rural area: 99.6% (606 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.4% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 609 square miles
--- #52 largest county in state, #1,593 nationwide

- Population density: 29.2 people / square mile (17,785 residents)
--- #42 lowest density county in state, #1,189 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Lee County

- Rural area: 99.7% (600 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.4% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 603 square miles
--- #56 largest county in state, #1,621 nationwide

- Population density: 14.9 people / square mile (8,963 residents)
--- #13 lowest density county in state, #735 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Monroe County

- Rural area: 99.7% (605 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 607 square miles
--- #53 largest county in state, #1,602 nationwide

- Population density: 11.3 people / square mile (6,879 residents)
--- #5 lowest density county in state, #616 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Nevada County

- Rural area: 99.7% (616 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 618 square miles
--- #48 largest county in state, #1,566 nationwide

- Population density: 13.4 people / square mile (8,249 residents)
--- #11 lowest density county in state, #683 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Scott County

- Rural area: 99.7% (890 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 892 square miles
--- #8 largest county in state, #884 nationwide

- Population density: 11.5 people / square mile (10,269 residents)
--- #7 lowest density county in state, #621 nationwide

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#18. Yell County

- Rural area: 99.7% (927 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 930 square miles
--- #5 largest county in state, #773 nationwide

- Population density: 23.0 people / square mile (21,425 residents)
--- #27 lowest density county in state, #1,009 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Fulton County

- Rural area: 99.9% (617 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.1% (1 square miles)
- Total land area: 618 square miles
--- #47 largest county in state, #1,563 nationwide

- Population density: 19.9 people / square mile (12,301 residents)
--- #21 lowest density county in state, #893 nationwide

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#16. Marion County

- Rural area: 100.0% (597 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 597 square miles
--- #59 largest county in state, #1,641 nationwide

- Population density: 27.8 people / square mile (16,586 residents)
--- #38 lowest density county in state, #1,149 nationwide

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#15. Lincoln County

- Rural area: 100.0% (562 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 562 square miles
--- #68 largest county in state, #1,845 nationwide

- Population density: 23.6 people / square mile (13,278 residents)
--- #32 lowest density county in state, #1,026 nationwide

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#14. Izard County

- Rural area: 100.0% (581 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 581 square miles
--- #65 largest county in state, #1,696 nationwide

- Population density: 23.4 people / square mile (13,596 residents)
--- #31 lowest density county in state, #1,020 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Van Buren County

- Rural area: 100.0% (708 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 708 square miles
--- #27 largest county in state, #1,301 nationwide

- Population density: 23.4 people / square mile (16,578 residents)
--- #30 lowest density county in state, #1,019 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Stone County

- Rural area: 100.0% (606 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 606 square miles
--- #54 largest county in state, #1,605 nationwide

- Population density: 20.7 people / square mile (12,582 residents)
--- #22 lowest density county in state, #915 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Madison County

- Rural area: 100.0% (834 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 834 square miles
--- #13 largest county in state, #1,008 nationwide

- Population density: 19.6 people / square mile (16,393 residents)
--- #20 lowest density county in state, #882 nationwide

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Valis55 // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Perry County

- Rural area: 100.0% (551 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 551 square miles
--- #72 largest county in state, #1,896 nationwide

- Population density: 18.8 people / square mile (10,342 residents)
--- #19 lowest density county in state, #852 nationwide

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Valis55 // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Pike County

- Rural area: 100.0% (601 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 601 square miles
--- #57 largest county in state, #1,627 nationwide

- Population density: 17.8 people / square mile (10,714 residents)
--- #17 lowest density county in state, #823 nationwide

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#8. Cleveland County

- Rural area: 100.0% (598 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 598 square miles
--- #58 largest county in state, #1,635 nationwide

- Population density: 13.5 people / square mile (8,063 residents)
--- #12 lowest density county in state, #690 nationwide

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#7. Lafayette County

- Rural area: 100.0% (528 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 528 square miles
--- #75 largest county in state, #1,981 nationwide

- Population density: 12.7 people / square mile (6,728 residents)
--- #10 lowest density county in state, #665 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Prairie County

- Rural area: 100.0% (648 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 648 square miles
--- #37 largest county in state, #1,457 nationwide

- Population density: 12.6 people / square mile (8,138 residents)
--- #9 lowest density county in state, #659 nationwide

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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Searcy County

- Rural area: 100.0% (666 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 666 square miles
--- #33 largest county in state, #1,412 nationwide

- Population density: 11.9 people / square mile (7,898 residents)
--- #8 lowest density county in state, #629 nationwide

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Fredlyfish4 // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Montgomery County

- Rural area: 100.0% (780 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 780 square miles
--- #17 largest county in state, #1,108 nationwide

- Population density: 11.5 people / square mile (8,964 residents)
--- #6 lowest density county in state, #620 nationwide

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Cyndy Sims Parr // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Woodruff County

- Rural area: 100.0% (587 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 587 square miles
--- #64 largest county in state, #1,673 nationwide

- Population density: 11.0 people / square mile (6,477 residents)
--- #4 lowest density county in state, #608 nationwide

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Newton County

- Rural area: 100.0% (821 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 821 square miles
--- #15 largest county in state, #1,032 nationwide

- Population density: 9.4 people / square mile (7,753 residents)
--- #2 lowest density county in state, #554 nationwide

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Valis55 // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Calhoun County

- Rural area: 100.0% (629 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 629 square miles
--- #45 largest county in state, #1,530 nationwide

- Population density: 8.2 people / square mile (5,160 residents)
--- #1 lowest density county in state, #504 nationwide

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