Arab is a city in Marshall and Cullman counties in the northern part of the U.S. state of Alabama, located 10 miles (16 km) from Guntersville Lake and Guntersville Dam, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 8,050.
The name of the town was an unintentional misspelling by the U.S. Postal Service in 1882 of the city's intended name, taken from Arad Thompson, the son of the town founder and first postmaster Stephen Tuttle Thompson. Two other names for the town were sent to the Postal Service for consideration: "Ink" and "Bird". It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.1 square miles (34.0 km2), of which 14.0 square miles (36.3 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 1.02%, is water. The town's elevation is 1,124 feet (343 m) abovesea level.
Electricity service in Arab is provided through Arab Electric Cooperative, which buys power through Tennessee Valley Authority. Water service in Arab is provided through Arab Water Works, which gets water from Browns Creek in Guntersville Lake. Natural gas is also provided in Arab through Marshall County Gas District, which is based out of Guntersville.
Arab has a mayor-council form of city government consisting of five council members and a mayor. City elections occur every four years, coinciding with the presidential elections. Council seats are at-large and are not associated with districts.Arab City Schools is the public school district.
As of the censusof 2000, there were 7,174 people, 3,012 households, and 2,075 families residing in the city. The population density was 561.8 inhabitants per square mile (216.9/km2). There were 3,223 housing units at an average density of 252.4 square miles (654 km2) . The racial makeup of the city was 98.29% White, 0.18% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 0.49% from two or more races. 0.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 3,012 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.3% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,716, and the median income for a family was $45,761. Males had a median income of $32,425 versus $24,265 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,035. About 8.2% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.5% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.