Arkansas’ population is growing, aging, and becoming slightly more diverse in terms of race and ethnic background.
Arkansas’ population increased by 12% from 2000 to 2016, in comparison to 15% growth for the nation as a whole. Arkansas’ main years of population growth were from 2005 to 2008, with recent years having less growth. This growth has been unevenly distributed across counties within the state, with the majority of counties losing population over this time period.
Though still majority white, Arkansas is becoming slightly more diverse in terms of race and ethnicity. In 2016, Arkansans identified as 79% white, 16% black, 7% Hispanic, 2% Asian, 2% two or more races, 1% Native American, and 0.3% (9,000 individuals) Pacific Islander. Pacific Islanders and Hispanics were the groups that saw the largest percent growth in their populations from 2000 to 2016. Counties vary widely in their racial and ethnic diversity, ranging from Phillips County, which is majority minority, and has only 36% of residents identifying as white, to Baxter County (among others) which has 97% of residents identifying as white.
Arkansas is getting older, with increases in both its 60-84 and its 85+ age categories from 2000 to 2016. In 2016, 22% of its population was over age 60 (in contrast to 18% in 2000). Within the state, only 25% of counties saw their numbers of children and young adults (those under age 20) increase.
|INDICATORS||TREND | STATE|
|Grade 3 Reading||Increasing|
|Grade 8 Math||Increasing|
|Adults with a High School Degree||Increasing|
|Adults with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher||Increasing|
|Early Prenatal Care||Increasing|
|Overweight or Obese Students||Increasing|
|Student Drug Usage||Decreasing|
|Overweight or Obese Adults||Increasing|
|Physically Inactive Adults||Increasing|
|Insurance Coverage Rates||Increasing|
|Births to Teens||Decreasing|
|Children Living in Poverty||Increasing|
|People Living in Poverty||Increasing|
|Elderly Living in Poverty||Decreasing|
|Median Household Income||Maintaining|
|Child Abuse and Neglect||Decreasing|
|Access to Financial Services||Not Applicable|
|Change in Total Jobs||Increasing|
|Housing Affordability - Owning||Maintaining|
|Housing Affordability - Renting||Increasing|
|Voter Participation Rate||Increasing|
|Connection to Neighbors||Decreasing|
|Change in Population||Increasing|
|Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity||Not Applicable|
|Change in Population by Age||Not Applicable|