Monroe County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of 2000, the population is 10,254. The county seat is Clarendon, while its largest city is Brinkley. Monroe County is Arkansas's 20th county, formed on November 2, 1829 from portions of Arkansas and Phillips counties, and named for James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,254 people, 4,105 households, and 2,733 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 5,067 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 59.37% White, 38.79% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 1.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,105 households out of which 29.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.10% were married couples living together, 16.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% were non-families. 30.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the county the population was spread out with 27.90% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 23.70% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 88.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $22,632, and the median income for a family was $28,915. Males had a median income of $25,299 versus $17,117 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,096. About 21.00% of families and 27.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.40% of those under age 18 and 22.40% of those age 65 or over.