| United States|
5.2% (Feb 2015)
80.5 sq mi
| Arkansas State University, Arkansas State University System Office|
Jonesboro is a city in Craighead County, Arkansas, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city was 67,263. A college town, Jonesboro is the largest city in northeastern Arkansas and the fifth most populous city in the state. It is the principal city of and is included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2010, the Jonesboro metropolitan area had a population of 121,026 and a population of 163,116 in the Jonesboro-Paragould Combined Statistical Area.
Jonesboro is home to Arkansas State University and is a regional center for manufacturing, agriculture, medicine, education, and trade.
The history of Jonesboro begins with settlement of the region by indigenous peoples during the Paleo-Indian period beginning in about 12,000 BC. Subsequent periods of native life emerged until the 17th century. New France set up small settlements, and in 1803 Napoleonic France sold the area to the U.S. as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Statehood for Arkansas came following a compromise in 1820 that allowed slavery. Settlement was rapid after 1820, aided by a network of rivers navigable by steamboats, centered in the dominant city St. Louis. The Civil War saw numerous small battles and control by the Union. After the war, its economy became more diverse, and railroads, centered in Kansas City, opened up new farmlands in the west. In the early 20th century Progressive reforms sought to modernize state and local government and minimize political corruption. During the 20th century, Arkansas economy diversified further, and it developed a balanced agricultural and economic sector. By the 21st century manufacturing was fading, as service industries grew, especially in medicine, education and tourism. Agriculture remained profitable, as the farms grew larger and fewer people lived on them.
Jonesboro is located at 35°49?41?N 90°41?39?W (35.828067, -90.694048) atop Crowleys Ridge in northeastern Arkansas.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 80.5 square miles (208.4 km2), of which 79.9 square miles (206.9 km2) is land and 0.58 square miles (1.5 km2), or 0.72%, is water.
Jonesboro is the place of death of the fictional character Rooster Cogburn in Charles Portis novel True Grit, and in its 1969 and 2010 film adaptations.
Numerous references to the city are made in Jonesboro native John Grishams book A Painted House and in the 2003 movie of the same title. The story takes place in Craighead County, and the movie was filmed in the town of Lepanto in neighboring Poinsett County.
Elvis Presley, who frequently played the high school and college dance circuit in the Jonesboro area, became an honorary member of Tau Kappa Epsilon of Arkansas State University.
Nettleton, a community annexed to Jonesboro in the 1960s, made national headlines in 1939 when a local ministers teenaged daughter wore short pants in public.
In the 2012 bestseller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, the female lead buys a used car in Jonesboro, meeting the sellers in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart.