What the U.S. Census Found About the Arkansas Population, Representation

The River Valley responded to the U.S. census at lower rates than the rest of the country.

Nationally, people responded to the census at a rate of 67%. All counties in the river valley responded to the census at percentages below 67%, according to the 2020 State Census Self-Response Map available from the Agricultural Research and Extension Division of the United States. University of Arkansas.

Residents of all counties in the River Valley except Sebastian County completed the census fewer times in 2020 than in 2010.

Residents of Logan County responded 53.9% in 2020 and 63.6% in 2010. Residents of Franklin County responded 61.4% in 2020 and 62.8% in 2010. Residents of the county of Crawford responded 60.3% in 2020 and 65.4% in 2010.

Changes:Arkansas population grows by more than 87,000 in decade

Sebastian County, the only outlier in the trend, responded with a higher rate in 2020 than its residents in 2010. County residents responded to the census at 66.2% in 2020 and 65.6% in 2010 .

Northeast of the river valley, Baxter County also responded with a slightly higher rate in 2020 than in 2010. The percentages were 65.8% in 2020 and 65.5% in 2010.

The state of Arkansas responded to the census at a rate of 60.6%.

The evolution of the population, here and abroad

According to census results, the total population of Arkansas, including residents and those living abroad, increased by 87,527. The residential population of Arkansas increased by 95,606 and the population of the Arkans living abroad fell by 8,079.

At the last census, the total population of the United States, including residential and foreign citizens, stood at 331,108,434. The nation grew by 21,924,971.

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States like California, New York and Texas have increased their populations. States like West Virginia and Mississippi have shrunk their populations.

Why numbers matter

Fort Smith Mayor George McGill stressed the importance of these numbers.

“To a large extent, the federal dollars that are allocated to states, the calculation of how much to go into a state is determined by census data,” McGill said.

He said the state was receiving thousands of dollars per person for the next 10 years based on census figures. The enumeration of the population determines a large part of the state budget.

“That’s why it’s very important that we get an accurate count and a full tally,” McGill said.

Enumerator Elizabeth Miller, right, helps Rhonda Nunley complete her family's 2020 census forms on Saturday, September 12, at a booth on the main street of Van Buren.

McGill also said it’s encouraging to see Arkansas having seen some growth.

“And we continue to be an attraction for families, industries and businesses looking for a great place to call home,” said McGill.

Impact on political representation

The total change in population of Arkansas was not large enough for the number of its representatives to Congress to change. The state will continue to have four representatives.

Of the rest of the states, Texas won the most two-man reps. Five other states, including Colorado, won a representative.

Seven states, including New York and California, lost a representative.

McGill said the census has yet to release data regarding counties and cities.

“We are all anxious to see what these numbers look like,” said McGill.

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