Jul 18, 2022 - News

Arkansas' population attracted to the north

Change in population estimate in Arkansas, by county
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Note: Labeled counties have the largest change for those with population over 10k; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

Benton County had the state's largest population increase — 2.6% — between July 2020 and July 2021.

  • More than 293,000 people lived in Benton County this time last year.

Driving the news: New U.S. Census Bureau population estimates were recently released, providing county-by-county information.

Why it matters: Recruiting and retaining people is an important factor in an area's economic success.

  • Fewer people have been living in eastern and southeastern Arkansas for several decades. This results in a trend of fewer jobs, lower tax collections and reduced educational opportunities, all of which can be challenging for a rural area to reverse.

By the numbers: Both Madison and Izard counties grew by 2.5%.

  • Washington County's population was up only 1.4% during the one-year period to about 250,000 residents.
  • Phillips County, in east-central Arkansas, had the sharpest decline of 3.3%, but its northern neighbor Lee County grew by 1.1%

Go deeper: See an interactive version of the map.

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