Arkansas population growth continues in 2018 with 11,000 new residents

Arkansas’ population is now well over 3 million after surpassing that historic milestone more than a year ago as more U.S. and foreign-born residents continue to trickle into southern urban centers, according to Census Bureau year-end estimates released Wednesday (December 19).

After officially jumping from 2,990,410 to 3,002,9997 between 2016 and 2017, the number of people living in the wild is now 3,013,997, up 0.4% or 10,828 from a year ago. one year old. The slight increase now ranks Arkansas 33rd among states in the nation, sandwiched between the fast-growing state of Nevada with 3,034,392 residents and the shrinking Mississippi with 2,986,530 residents.

According to annual population data compiled by the US Census, Arkansas first overtook Mississippi as the 32nd largest state in 2016, before eclipsing the 3 million level in 2017. In 2018, however, the Arkansas lost that position and was overtaken by Nevada, which was in 34th place the previous year.

Since 2010, when there were 2,915,918 people living in Arkansas, the state has seen a gradual 3.4% increase in population, primarily in the Northwest, North -eastern and central Arkansas. This rural-to-urban migration, along with an influx of out-of-state and foreign residents, increased the state’s post-recession population by 97,797, roughly the same number of people living in Garland County. .

Among Arkansas’ net population growth since 2010 was a “natural increase” of 63,000, which includes 314,960 new births minus 251,951 deaths. The remaining population growth of 34,163 residents comes from a continued influx of foreign (25,253) and out-of-state (8,910) residents moving to Arkansas for new jobs, affordable living, outdoor activities air and hunting, or other reasons.

Pamela Willrodt, senior demographer for the US Census State Data Center at the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) in Little Rock, said this year’s data offers a possible demographic shift in the state’s aging population base, which saw the median age increase in all but five counties in 2017.

“What I found ‘different’ this time around was that Arkansas had an increase in natural increase. Births were estimated to exceed deaths,” Willrodt said. “That’s a good sign, as is the increase in internal migration.”

As noted in other demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau, housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, northwest Arkansas is believed to be the driver of Arkansas’ most recent population spike, along with robust employment and income growth and record levels of unemployment.

Regarding the growing number of people moving to Arkansas, known as net immigration, University of Arkansas economist Mervin Jebaraj told Talk Business & Politics at the end of the third quarter that approximately 70% of this net growth is from new residents moving to Benton and Washington counties.

“It’s net immigration, people moving into northwest Arkansas from other parts of the state, other parts of the country, and other countries as well,” said Jebaraj, director from the Center for Business and Economic Research at Sam. Walton College of Business.

Nationally, year-end estimates from the US Census Bureau show there are 327,167,434 people living in the country as the nation enters 2019, a growth of 6% or a gain of 18,409. 329 from a base of 308,758,105 in 2010. On an annual basis, this represents an increase of 2,020,313, or 0.6%, from 2017, meaning the United States is expected to experience this year a birth every eight seconds and a death every 10 seconds.

As noted, Nevada and Idaho were the fastest growing states in the nation between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, with the populations of both states increasing by approximately 2.1% over the last year only. Close behind, the other states with the largest percentage increases in population were Utah (1.9%), Arizona (1.7%) and Florida and Washington (1.5% each).

Numerically, Texas easily ranked first with 379,128 new residents flocking to the state in 2018, followed by Florida (322,513) and California (157,696), respectively. North Carolina and Washington complete the top five with an influx of 112,820 and 110,159 and 116,730 new residents.

Population declines in 2018 were also common, with losses occurring in nine states and Puerto Rico. The nine states that lost population were New York (48,510), Illinois (45,116), West Virginia (11,216), Louisiana (10,840), Hawaii (3,712), Mississippi ( 3,133), Alaska (2,348), Connecticut (1,215) and Wyoming. (1197).

Nationally, Census Bureau officials said the natural increase in the US population was 1.04 million last year, reflecting 3,855,500 births and 2,814,013 deaths. With fewer births in recent years and the number of deaths on the rise, the natural increase count has steadily declined over the past decade – peaking at nearly 1.8 million in 2008.

“Many states have had fewer births and more deaths in recent years,” said Sandra Johnson, a demographer/statistician with the Census Bureau’s Population Division. “If these states do not benefit from national or international migration, they will experience either low population growth or outright decline.”

Among the surprises, Washington, D.C. reached a population of 702,455 in July 2018, surpassing 700,000 for the first time since 1975. The change is mainly due to an influx of people from other parts of the country who started at the beginning of the decade. While the increase began to slow, the DC area still grew nearly 1% last year, officials said.

The new population estimates also show that hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico continued to see a decline in population, with an estimated population loss of 3.9% or 129,848 people over the course of the year. past year. The island nation had a total population of 3,195,153 in 2018, a sharp drop of 14.3% from 3,726,157 in 2010. Census Bureau officials said the decline was mainly due to higher rates of people leaving the United States due to immigration and natural increase.

“Puerto Rico has seen a steady decline in population over the past decade,” Johnson said. “Hurricane Maria in September 2017 further impacted this loss, both before and during the recovery period.”

Meanwhile, the country’s southern growth trend continued in 2018, with the fast-growing southern region now having a total population of 124,753,948, an increase of 0.9% or 1,115,524. Western region, smaller and second fastest growing, matched this increase of 0.9% over the past year, adding 673,677 to the total population of 77,993,663, according to estimates from the Census Bureau.

Growth in the agriculture-dependent Midwest region was tepid at just 0.2% or 152,709, bringing the total population to 68,308,744. The Northeastern United States, which includes New York and other states with declining populations, experienced steady growth of just 0.1 percent or 38,403. This region, which includes the nation’s largest metropolitan area in New York, is now the smallest population center of the country with only 56,111,079 inhabitants, according to census estimates.

Other key highlights from the new Census Bureau population estimates show that Florida recorded the highest level of net inward migration in the past year, at 132,602. Since 2010, Florida has gained a total of 1 160,387 people through net internal migration. In addition, the voting age population, i.e. people aged 18 and over, increased by 0.9% to reach 253,768,092 people in 2018.

In the coming year, the Census Bureau will release 2018 population estimates for counties, cities and towns, and metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, as well as national, state, and county demographics by age. , sex, race and Hispanic origin. Population estimates for Puerto Rico will also be released, including counties and cities affected by the 2017 hurricane season.

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