FSA COLLECTION: Ben Shahn – “Boone County, Arkansas”

Boone County, Arkansas. The family of a Resettlement Administration client in the doorway of their home. Ben Shahn, October, 1935.

Boone County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2000 census, the population was 33,948. The county seat is Harrison.[1] Boone County is Arkansas’s 62nd county, formed on April 9, 1869. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 33,948 people, 13,851 households, and 9,861 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 15,426 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.60% White, 0.11% Black or African American (according to the encyclopediaofarkansas.net,the Harrison Race Riots of 1905 and 1909 drove all but one African American from Harrison (Boone County), creating by violence an all-white community similar to other such “sundown towns” in northern and western Arkansas. With the headquarters of the Arkansas Faction of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) located nearby, Harrison has retained the legacy of its ethnic cleansing through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.), 0.71% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 1.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 13,851 households out of which 30.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.50% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.80% were non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.90% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 24.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,988, and the median income for a family was $34,974. Males had a median income of $27,114 versus $19,229 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,175. About 10.70% of families and 14.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.00% of those under age 18 and 12.90% of those age 65 or over.

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