MORE THAN HALF OF ARKANSAS' COUNTIES HAVE

LOST POPULATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY

 

(January 2015) Forty (40)1 Arkansas counties--more than half of the state's 75 counties--have lost population since the 2000 Census, U.S. Census Bureau data2 show.  The population losses illustrate the state's uneven economic development3, with counties in rural east and south Arkansas losing population in the 21st century, while urban, suburban and exurban counties in the state's north, central and west regions gain new residents.4

 

Arkansas' population growth (10.7%) trails the U.S. (12.3%) since 20005 as the national economy creates new jobs, in the 21st century, at a higher rate (6.7% versus 3.5%) than the state once known as the Land of Opportunity.6

 

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1 The 40 Arkansas counties recording 21st century population losses are: Arkansas (2000 Census), 20,749 to 18,777 (July 1, 2013 population estimate); Ashley, 24,209 to 21,283; Bradley, 12,600 to 11,249; Calhoun, 5,744 to 5,241; Chicot, 14,117 to 11,335; Clark, 23,546 to 22,743; Clay, 17,609 to 15,402; Columbia, 25,603 to 24,164; Crittenden, 50,866 to 49,746; Cross, 19,526 to 17,548; Dallas, 9,210 to 7,933; Desha, 15,341 to 12,505; Hempstead, 23,587 to 22,474; Howard, 14,300 to 13,581; Jackson, 18,418 to 17,615; Jefferson, 84,278 to 73,191; Lafayette, 8,559 to 7,252; Lawrence, 17,774 to 17,011; Lee, 12,580 to 10,015; Little River, 13,628 to 12,730; Lincoln, 14,492 to 14,031; Logan, 22,486 to 22,082; Mississippi, 51,979 to 44,765; Monroe, 10,254 to 7,682; Montgomery, 9,245 to 9,226; Nevada, 9,955 to 8,799; Newton, 8,608 to 8,064; Ouachita, 28,790 to 25,002; Phillips, 26,445 to 20,399; Pike, 11,303              to11,177; Poinsett, 25,614   to 24,145; Prairie                , 9,539 to 8,374; Randolph, 18,195 to 17,692; St. Francis, 29,329 to 27,260; Scott, 10,996 to 10,950; Searcy, 8,261 to 8,023; Sebastian, 115,071 to 127,342; Sharp, 17,119 to 17,049; Union, 45,629 to 40,694; and Woodruff, 8,741 to 7,072.

2  U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census and population estimates as of July 1, 2013

3  U.S. President Bill Clinton (1993-2001), an Arkansan, spoke of a 'Bridge to the 21st Century' during his tenure but it has failed, in economic metrics such population and employment growth to span the state.

4 The 35 Arkansas counties recording 21st century population gains are: Baxter (2000 Census), 38,386 to 40,957 (July 1, 2013 population estimate); Benton, 153,406 to 237,297; Boone, 33,948 to 37,396; Carroll, 25,357 to 27,808; Cleburne, 24,046 to 25,686; Cleveland, 8,571 to 8,593; Conway, 20,336 to 21,245; Craighead, 82,148 to 101,488; Crawford, 53,247 to 61,640; Drew, 18,723 to 18,785; Faulkner, 86,014 to 119,580; Franklin, 17,771 to 18,034;Fulton, 11,642 to 12,304; Garland, 88,068 to 97,173; Grant, 16,464 to 18,019; Greene, 37,331 to 43,097; Hot Spring, 30,353 to 33,500; Independence, 34,233 to 36,997; Izard, 13,249 to 13,368; Johnson, 22,781 to 25,846; Lonoke, 52,828 to 70,753; Madison, 14,243 to 15,701; Marion, 16,140 to 16,430; Miller, 40,443 to 43,402; Perry, 10,209 to 10,345; Polk, 20,229 to 20,406; Pope, 54,469 to 62,547; Pulaski, 361,474 to 391,284; Saline, 83,529 to 114,404; Sevier, 15,757 to 17,366; Stone, 11,499 to 12,581; Van Buren, 16,192 to 16,932; Washington,157,715 to 216,410; White, 67,165 to 78,483; and Yell, 21,139 to 21,893.

5  Arkansas (2000), 2,673,400 to 2,959,373 (2013); U.S. (2000) 281,421,906 to 316,128,839 (2013).

6  Arkansas payroll employment (January 2000), 1,155,000 to 1,195,300 (October 2014); U.S. (January 2000), 131,008,000 to 139,724,000 (October 2014).  Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics