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Saline County is a county located in the state of Arkansas. Based on the 2010 census, the
population was 107,118. at the 2010 census. The county
seat and largest city is Benton. Saline County was
formed on November 2, 1835. The county is named for the salt water (brine) springs in the
area, however, it is pronounced "Suh-line" instead of the typical
Saline County is included in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Saline is named for the salt reserves found within its borders.
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Saline county was created on November 2, 1835, from parts of Pulaski and Hempstead counties, in which its name comes from early salt works in the area that supplied salt to all of Arkansas and shipped salt to Tennessee, Louisiana, and east Texas. The salt sold for $1.50 per bushel. The county seat is Benton. At one time Arkansas accounted for 97% of the country's production of bauxite, used to make aluminum and most of that came from Saline County. The ore was discovered in 1887. Ups and downs in the aluminum industry have caused more diversification in the recent years and small manufacturing and service companies have added to the economy of the county. Benton, the county seat, is geographically in the center of the state and within minutes of metropolitan amenities, enjoys the small town comfort along with national forest recreation and natural beauty. The Saline River runs through the county offering good fishing. The Gann Museum of Saline County is composed of large bauxite boulders and contains a collection of antiques and memorabilia on the county's history. The county courthouse, a stately southern building, has been the setting for several scenes from the 1972 movie "White Lightning" starring Burt Reynolds and using many local residents at extras in the film. Until November 2014, it was an alcohol prohibition or dry county.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 730 square miles (1,900 km2), of which 724 square miles (1,880 km2) is land and 6.9 square miles (18 km2) (0.9%) is water.
The landscape of Saline County is hilly terrain in the north and rolling hills in the south.
Bordering counties are as follows: