Abilene is a city in southeastern Arkansas located north of Covenant in the Greater Covenant metropolitan area. The city is bordered on the south and west by Covenant, on the east by the Mississippi River, and on the north by unincorporated Watershed County. Abilene had a population of 171,677 people as of the 2010 census.
Traditionally a blue-collar suburb of Covenant, Abilene became known for its vibrant multicultural River District in the 1950s and 1960s as a center for newly arrived African-Americans, Russian and Polish immigrants, and other generally poorer groups. Abilene was the scene of some of the worst violence during the 1983 Covenant riots, but recovered quickly and today has undergone a process of gentrification, in particular in the River District.