Introduction to Van Buren, Arkansas

Van Buren, Arkansas, in Crawford county, is 4 miles NE of Fort Smith, Arkansas (center to center) and 104 miles SE of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The city is included in the Fort Smith metropolitan area. As of the year 2000 census, 18,986 people lived in Van Buren.

Van Buren History

Van Buren was first settled by Thomas Martin and David Boyd in 1818. The first post office was constructed in 1831. At that time, the area was known as Phillips Landing. Later, it was renamed after Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the United States. It is the county seat of Crawford County, which was founded on October 18, 1820, and named in honor of William H. Crawford. Van Buren was incorporated on December 24, 1842.

Van Buren and nearby Attractions

  • River Valley Museum
  • Crawford County Art Center
  • Fort Smith National Historic Site
  • Bob Burns Museum
  • Spiro Mounds
  • Devil's Den State Park

Things To Do In Van Buren

While in Van Buren you can visit the Doll Museum, River Valley Museum, and the Fort Smith National Historic Site. The Arkansas and Missouri Railroad's route allows you to enjoy the scenic views of Arkansas. The Van Buren Historic District is also worth visiting. Shopping can be enjoyed at the Cloverleaf Plaza Shopping Center and North Hills Plaza Shopping Center.

Van Buren Transportation

Fort Smith Regional Airport is nearby.

Van Buren Higher Education

Facilities for higher education are offered at Westark College, Northeastern State University, University of Arkansas-Main Campus, and several other colleges and universities.


Total Population 22,992
Male Share of the Population 46.3%
Female Share of the Population 53.7%
Senior Citizens 12.3%
Employed Population 16+ 9,185
Age of the Population 34


% of people married 54.5%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 18.2%
Median Earnings25+ $30,193
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $23,051
Median Earnings With High School Degree $22,888


Median Family Income $45,309
% Above Poverty Level 77.1%
% Below Poverty Level 22.9%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 1.3%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.1%
% Using Public Transportation 0.3%


People Living Alone 24%
Median Gross Rent $638
Median House Value $113,000


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 42.9%
US/American 0%
English 15.5%
Irish 11.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Van Buren Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 4 miles NE of Fort Smith, Arkansas (center to center)
Nearest Large City 104 miles SE of Tulsa, Oklahoma
County Crawford
Metro Area Fort Smith
Standard Zip Codes 72956
P.O. Box Zip Codes 72957
Phone Area Codes 479
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 35.436
Longitude -94.348

Van Buren Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 7.2 miles
Jan Temp 28 to 48 F
Apr Temp 49 to 73 F
Jul Temp 71 to 93 F
Oct Temp 51 to 75 F
Annual Precip 43.8 inches
Distance 25.5 miles
Jan Temp 25 to 48 F
Apr Temp 47 to 72 F
Jul Temp 70 to 93 F
Oct Temp 50 to 75 F
Annual Precip 46.7 inches
Station OZARK
Distance 30.1 miles
Jan Temp 25 to 48 F
Apr Temp 46 to 72 F
Jul Temp 69 to 92 F
Oct Temp 48 to 75 F
Annual Precip 45.3 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Alma 5,537 $52,204
Barling 4,738 $46,186
Cedarville 1,723 $53,547
Fort Smith 87,603 $46,031
Lavaca 2,562 $59,191

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Van Buren Public Libraries

Crawford County Library System
Van Buren, Arkansas
(479) 471-3226
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Van Buren Hospitals

(479) 474-3401
Emergency Service: Yes

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Van Buren High Schools

Serves 1,173 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.8

Study Online in Van Buren

Career and College Resources

Real-World Career Reports
Career References and Original Articles
College Directories and Lists
Additional Resources
Info for Van Buren Government Officials

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