Aug 20, 2021 - News

One-third of Northwest Arkansas is nonwhite

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Connor Rothschild and Naema Ahmed/Axios

The share of nonwhite populations in Benton and Washington counties jumped significantly in the past decade, now making up roughly a third of the region.

By the numbers: As of 2020, Benton and Washington counties were 32.6% and 34.7% nonwhite respectively, according to census data released last week.

  • Those figures are up from 23.4% (Benton) and nearly 26% (Washington) a decade ago.
  • Compare that to four decades ago, when only 2.4% of Benton County's population and 3.3% of Washington County's population were nonwhite.

Why it matters: America's identity is shifting with its population, writes Axios' Stef. W. Kight.

  • White, non-Hispanic Americans now account for less than six in 10 people in the U.S. — a more precipitous drop over the past decade than experts expected — and they're no longer the racial-ethnic majority in 13% of U.S. counties.

Of note: We pointed out yesterday that populations of all people declined in Arkansas' rural east and southeastern counties in the past decade. Those same counties — Phillips, Lee and St. Francis, for example — have the highest nonwhite populations in the state, according to census data.

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