Northwest Arkansas' population growth outpaces state
Counties in Northwest Arkansas saw their populations grow three to five times more than the state overall between 2020 and 2022, per new U.S. Census Bureau data.
By the numbers: While Arkansas' population grew 1.04%, Washington County's rose 3.77%. Benton and Madison counties each grew by 5.68%.
The big picture: The past few years have been especially turbulent for population trends, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting birth and death rates, as well as interstate and international migration.
Zoom out: Idaho, Montana and Florida saw the highest population growth among U.S. states from 2020 to 2022, while New York, Illinois and Louisiana suffered the most shrinkage.
The intrigue: Some of the fastest-growing areas — here's looking at you, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico — are also among the most vulnerable to the ongoing effects of climate change, like drought and a dwindling water supply.
The bottom line: It'll take a few more years for the effects of the pandemic to fully shake out.
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