Dumas, Arkansas

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Dumas, Arkansas
City of Dumas
Entering Dumas from the north on U.S. 65.
Entering Dumas from the north on U.S. 65.
Location of Dumas in Desha County, Arkansas.
Location of Dumas in Desha County, Arkansas.
Coordinates: 33°53′12″N 91°29′19″W / 33.88667°N 91.48861°W / 33.88667; -91.48861Coordinates: 33°53′12″N 91°29′19″W / 33.88667°N 91.48861°W / 33.88667; -91.48861
Country United States
State Arkansas
TownshipsRandolph, Walnut Lake
 • Total3.21 sq mi (8.32 km2)
 • Land3.21 sq mi (8.32 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
164 ft (50 m)
 • Total4,706
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,259.26/sq mi (486.18/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code(s)
71639, 71662
Area code(s)870
FIPS code05-19990
GNIS feature ID0048697

Dumas is a city in Desha County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 4,706 at the 2010 census.[3]


Dumas is located in northwestern Desha County at 33°53′12″N 91°29′19″W / 33.88667°N 91.48861°W / 33.88667; -91.48861 (33.886626, -91.488544).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.4 km2), all land.[5] The city is located in the Delta Lowlands sub-region of the Arkansas Delta, producing a topography which is largely flat.


The climate in the area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dumas has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)4,046[2]−14.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2014 Estimate[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 5,238 people, 1,977 households, and 1,399 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,768.0 people per square mile (683.2/km2). There were 2,177 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (284.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 26.62% White, 70.02% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 2.00% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 3.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,977 households, out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 23.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 30.1% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,754, and the median income for a family was $32,255. Males had a median income of $28,396 versus $19,363 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,727. About 22.6% of families and 28.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.9% of those under age 18 and 23.4% of those age 65 or over.


In 1870, a planter, merchant and surveyor of French descent, William B. Dumas, bought acres of farmland from the Abercrombie Holmes family.[10] The area was named Watson District and the town continued to develop. Then, the District was renamed Dumas and was incorporated in 1904.[11]

Dumas proudly proclaims itself as "Home of the Ding Dong Daddy", a reference to the vaudeville song "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas" by Phil Baxter.[12] However, this is up for debate, as the city of Dumas, Texas, also lays claim, with some documentation, to the song being about them.[13]

On February 24, 2007, Dumas was struck by a tornado at around 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET). More than 40 people were injured and many homes and business were damaged or destroyed. The local Dumas police stated on CNN that "the feed mill was the local employer and now it is gone". [14] Following the storm, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response to the recovery and cleanup efforts.[15]


Dumas is served by the Dumas School District.


U.S. Route 65 passes through the city, leading northwest 41 miles (66 km) to Pine Bluff and south (with U.S. Route 165) 19 miles (31 km) to McGehee. US 165 leads northeast from Dumas 34 miles (55 km) to DeWitt.

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In September 2011 the feature film Mud, written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey, was filmed in and around Dumas. Several townspeople served as extras in the film, with a few having acquired small speaking roles.

The Comedy Central docu-reality series Nathan For You filmed portions of its Season 4 finale, "Finding Frances," in Dumas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Dumas city, Arkansas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Dumas city, Arkansas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved October 13, 2015.[dead link]
  6. ^ Climate Summary for Dumas, Arkansas
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ .Dumas (Desha County), Retrieved September 24, 2017, Sally Wolff, Encyclopedia of Arkansas.
  11. ^ Cities & Towns - Dumas, Retrieved September 24, 2017, on "Arkansas.com".
  12. ^ Griffin, Pete (May 26, 2011). "What's in a Name? Slogans Can Make or Break a City, Experts Say". Fox News. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  13. ^ Legend of the Ding Dong Daddy
  14. ^ USA Today: Acting governor: Tornado acted like 'high explosives.' Retrieved February 26, 2007.
  15. ^ USA Today: Ark. pols blast FEMA for tornado response

External links[edit]