Benton is a city in and the county seat of Saline County, Arkansas, United States. It was established in 1837. According to a 2006 Special Census conducted at the request of the city government, the population of the city is 27,717, ranking it as the state's 16th largest city, behind Texarkana. It is part of the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city of Benton, first settled in 1833 and named after a Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, was formally chartered in 1836 when Arkansas became a state. According to the 2007 US Census, Benton has a population of 28,352.