Location, Location, Little Rock: Central Hub to the Region's Business

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 9, 2015 12:00 am  

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas and the global brand of a 12-county region, home to more than 1 million people living within a 50-mile radius of downtown.

Little Rock, “La Petit Roche,” got its name from the 1682 Robert La Salle expedition, when the party led by the French explorer landed on the south bank of the Arkansas River.

Little Rock became the seat of Arkansas’ new territorial government in 1821 and was incorporated as a city in 1831. It was named capital of the newly admitted State of Arkansas in 1836.

Centrally located with four distinct seasons, Little Rock has a daily mean temperature of 62.7 degrees and annual precipitation of 49.6 inches. Downtown, where the Southeast meets the Southwest and the Delta becomes the mountains, is 286 feet above sea level with some residential areas rising 300 to 630 feet above.

Little Rock’s downtown is home to both a capitol and a presidential library and is linked on both sides of the Arkansas River by 24 miles of one of the best trail systems of parks and pedestrian bridges in the country.

PopUp in the Rock

A joint project of Create Little Rock, studioMAIN and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, PopUp in the Rock isn’t a street fair or a block party. It’s a temporary urban demonstration — a live rendering — of what is possible. It exhibits important elements of the city, such as multiple transportation options and an active street edge, and provides activities that create community. In 2014, PopUp expanded its reach to North Little Rock’s Park Hill neighborhood and, in fall of 2015, is planning “A PopUp West Ninth” proposed to span from the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at Ninth and Broadway to Dreamland Ballroom at Ninth and State and across the State Street bridge to the campus of Philander Smith College.

Metro Area By the Numbers

  • 22.26 Minutes in average commuting time. Sperling’s Best Places
  • Top 3 “Travel-worthy” capitals in America. USA Today
  • No. 10 “Best City for Recent College Graduates” The Daily Beast
  • $121,400 Median home cost. Sperling’s Best Places
  • 14.2 Public school students per teacher. Sperling’s Best Places
  • No. 6 “America’s Happiest Cities” Gallup
  • 5.5 Percent unemployment rate (national average: 6.3 percent). Sperling’s Best Places
  • No. 2 Most Diverse Economy in the Nation. Moody’s Investors Service
  • 220 Average sunny days per year. Sperling’s Best Places
  • No. 5 “Top 10 Downtowns of 2010” Livability.com
  • 86 Water quality on 1-100 scale (national average: 55). Sperling’s Best Places

For more metro numbers, see the Metro Little Rock Guide.



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