Benton is a city in and the county seat of Saline County, Arkansas, United States and a suburb of Little Rock. It was established in 1837. However in the 2010 census, the city population increased to 30,681, making it the 12th largest city in the state of Arkansas. 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 Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, was formally chartered in 1836 when Arkansas became a state.