Arkansas is located in the southern region of the United States. As of 2006, Arkansas has an estimated population of 2,810,872. The population density of the state is 51.3 people per square mile.Of that number, over three-fourths are white with most of the remaining being black or African American. Hispanics make up the third largest group at around 6% of the total population. The five largest ancestry groups, in order, are African America, Irish, German, American, and English. Arkansas is part of the region known as the Bible Belt and, consequently, over 80% of the population identifies themselves as Christian, with over three-fourths being Protestant. Ironically, non-religious people make up the second largest religious group in Arkansas about 15% of the total population. All others, including Judaism and Islam, make up less than 1% of the population each.
Arkansas is known for extreme weather. A typical year will see thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, snow and ice storms. Between both the Great Plains and the Gulf States, Arkansas receives around 60 days of thunderstorms. A few of the most destructive tornadoes in U.S. history have struck the state. While being sufficiently away from the coast to be safe from a direct hit from a hurricane, Arkansas can often get the remnants of a tropical system which dumps tremendous amounts of rain in a short time and often spawns smaller tornadoes. Arkansas generally has a humid subtropical climate, which borders on humid continental in some northern highland areas. While not bordering the Gulf of Mexico, Arkansas is still close enough to this warm, large body of water for it to influence the weather in the state. Generally, Arkansas has hot, humid summers and cold, slightly drier winters.