is a city in Crawford County
in the western part of the U.S. state
, along I-40
about 13 miles from the Oklahoma
border. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of Alma is 4,734, making it the sixth largest city in the Fort Smith Arkansas-Oklahoma Statistical Area
Alma is located at (35.488013, -94.220796).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.0 square miles (12.9 km²), of which 4.8 square miles (12.5 km²) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) is water.
Alma has no airport, and the train station, which fell into a state of dilapidation, was torn down in the early 1970s. Much of its commerce derives from interstate highway traffic, as Interstates 40 and 540, as well as U.S. Routes 64 and 71, pass through the city.
The city gets its water supply from Lake Alma, which is perched above the city on the northeast, held back by a tall earthen dam that blocks Little Frog Bayou. Lake Alma is the reservoir that supplies the city's tap water, which is often tainted by algae levels in the lake. There are many other manmade ponds along the many streams that cut through the area's rolling hills.
Alma sits along the border between the Boston Mountains and the Arkansas River Valley, so while most of the city lies on flat land, immediately to the north is scenic hill country. Alma is surrounded by several rural towns as well, including Rudy to the north, Dyer and Mulberry to the east, and Kibler to the southwest.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 4,160 people, 1,560 households, and 1,168 families residing in the city. The population density
was 865.4 people per square mile (333.9/km²). There were 1,688 housing units at an average density of 351.1/mi² (135.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.66% White
, 1.71% Black
or African American
, 1.56% Native American
, 0.10% Asian
, 0.12% Pacific Islander
, 0.75% from other races
, and 1.11% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 3.70% of the population.
There were 1,560 households out of which 42.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.1% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the city the population was spread out with 32.1% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,906, and the median income for a family was $34,068. Males had a median income of $33,235 versus $17,014 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,227. 11.9% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under the age of 18 and 25.4% of those ages 65 or older.
The Spinach Capital of the World
The city of Alma is "the spinach
capital of the world." This designation was adopted because Alma surrounds the spinach plant of the Allen Canning Company. The city has several landmarks and events to commemorate its connection with the green, leafy vegetable
- A statue of Popeye stands in the downtown area.
- The city's water towers, which stand prominently above Lake Alma, have been painted green, and one of them displays a Popeye Brand spinach can label. The towers are known as the "largest cans of spinach in the world."
- The city also hosts a Spinach Festival each April. Popeye himself has been known to make an appearance at this event.
- Allen's canning company cans and ships spinach.
- Due to the large export of spinach, and other canned goods, from The Allen Canning Co. Alma, AR is called the "Spinach Capital of the World".
- This title is also claimed by Crystal City, Texas - ,
Alma is served by Alma High School. Its mascot is the Airedale breed of dog. It has also added a new arena for which basketball and volleyball can be played in, the estimated cost of it was around 15 million dollars.