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Clay County, Arkansas

Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of 2000, the population is 17,609. Its name is in honor of John Clayton, a member of the Arkansas State Senate. The county has two county seats, Piggott and Corning.


When Clay County was created in 1873, it was named Clayton County. Though the name was shortened two years later by the Arkansas State legislature, the designation of John M. Clayton as the person for whom the county was named was not changed.

The first county seat was at Boydsville, and in 1881 it was moved to Corning. Upon the arrival of the railroad, the county seat was moved to Piggott, but it was subsequently returned to Corning.


Clay County is in the northeastern corner of the State of Arkansas.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,661 km² (641 mi²). 1,656 km² (639 mi²) of it is land and 5 km² (2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.33% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 17,609 people, 7,417 households, and 5,073 families residing in the county. The population density is 11/km² (28/mi²). There are 8,498 housing units at an average density of 5/km² (13/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 98.08% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. 0.80% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 7,417 households out of which 28.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% are married couples living together, 8.60% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.60% are non-families. 28.40% of all households are made up of individuals and 16.70% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.35 and the average family size is 2.87.

In the county the population is spread out with 23.10% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 19.40% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $25,345, and the median income for a family is $32,558. Males have a median income of $24,375 versus $17,146 for females. The per capita income for the county is $14,512. 17.50% of the population and 13.40% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 21.20% are under the age of 18 and 22.70% are 65 or older.

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