Location of Helena, Arkansas
|o Total||8.9 sq mi (23.0 km2)|
|o Land||8.9 sq mi (23.0 km2)|
|o Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||197 ft (60 m)|
|o Density||902/sq mi (290.89/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0077157|
Helena is the eastern portion of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, a city in Phillips County, Arkansas. As of the 2000 census, this portion of the city population was 6,323. Helena was the county seat of Phillips County until January 1, 2006, when it merged its government and city limits with neighboring West Helena.
From 1906 to 1946, Helena was a terminal point on the former Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad, which provided passenger and freight service to Joplin, Missouri. After, a loss of rail service in early 2015, a successful effort was launched by the Helena-West Helena/Phillips County Port Authority to have freight service restored. The service was restored on October 1, 2015 and two new freight customers have already been gained.
Helena is located at (34.526223, -90.601377).
According to the United States Census Bureau, Helena had a total area of 8.9 square miles (23 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,323 people, 2,312 households, and 1,542 families residing in Helena. The population density was 710.7 people per square mile (274.3/km²). There were 2,710 housing units at an average density of 304.6/sq mi (117.6/km²). The racial makeup of Helena is 67.93% Black or African American, 30.59% White, 0.13% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. 0.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,312 households out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.8% were married couples living together, 28.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.28.
In Helena, the age distribution included 32.5% of the population under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 22.1% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.5 males.
The median income for a household in Helena is $18,662, and the median income for a family was $21,534. Males had a median income of $27,203 versus $17,250 for females. The per capita income for Helena is $13,028. About 38.4% of families and 41.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 54.9% of those under age 18 and 24.1% of those age 65 or over.
Robert Palmer noted that in the mid-1930s Helena was "the blues capital of the Delta". Among the musicians who regularly visited and performed in the area at that time were Robert Johnson, Johnny Shines, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Robert Nighthawk, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Memphis Slim and Roosevelt Sykes.
Helena, Arkansas is home to a number of historic buildings such as the Sidney H. Horner House and the Centennial Baptist Church.
Helena-West Helena School District operates schools in what was Helena.
Helena previously had a Catholic grade school for black children, St. Cyprian School; it closed in 1963.