Shirley, Arkansas

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Shirley is a town in northeast Van Buren County, Arkansas, United States, along the Middle Fork of the Little Red River. A one-time railroad outpost, the community today is oriented toward agriculture, particularly its cultivation of shiitake mushrooms.

The population was 337 at the 2000 census, but can increase 500 more (at 840 people) during the summer months when migrant laborers (mostly Latin American) arrive into Van Buren County during the mushroom harvest.



Shirley is located at 35°39′21″N 92°19′0″W / 35.65583°N 92.316667°W / 35.65583; -92.316667 (35.655936, -92.316554)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.4 km² (2.5 mi²), of which 6.2 km² (2.4 mi²) is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) (2.85%) is water.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 337 people, 136 households, and 91 families residing in the town. The population density was 54.4/km² (140.9/mi²). There were 172 housing units at an average density of 27.8/km² (71.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.14% White, 0.89% Black or African American, 1.89% Native American, and 2.08% from two or more races. 1.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 136 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.8% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

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