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Arkansas' towns fade as suburbs flourish; census data show metro-area growth

By Emily Walkenhorst

This article was published May 25, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

Population change in Arkansas’ cities, 2010-17

Arkansas' fastest-growing cities are largely suburbs, and smaller cities that aren't near an urban center are mostly shrinking, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Population change in Arkansas’ cities, 2010-17

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RBear says... May 25, 2018 at 6:29 a.m.

"The story really of this decade is the metropolitan areas are growing at the expense of the more rural, non-metropolitan areas." This should be a wake-up call to Hutchinson's points about the economic growth of Arkansas. The bottom line is the state is not experiencing balanced growth and will continue to degrade as more and more residents locate in the urban and suburban centers. That should also be a troubling sign for Republicans, but I doubt most of the old timers will get the message.
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As the article states, more of the younger set are preferring the urban/suburban areas because of amenities such as culture, recreation, and social atmosphere. Yep, for all the attacks by drs of downtown Little Rock, that's probably what's saving this city from further decline, especially the River Market District.
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With regards to political dynamics, that also means an increase in more progressive voters as the trend has been across the South. In TX for example, the urban centers of Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and even Fort Worth have been flipping to blue as more young professionals flock there for jobs, including many from the right and left coasts.
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With regards to Little Rock, the next administration needs to recognize the trend and look at the numbers. Little Rock shows up in the bottom half of the top ten and will continue to slide unless new leadership enters the picture. That doesn't mean a retired attornery/formerly school superintendent. That means young ideas, preferrably from Warwick Sabin. It also means some directors need to bow out and let some new blood enter the BOD, who's average tenure is almost 20 years. No director should serve more than 10 years at MOST and we have some in the at-large pool at 23 and 24 years.

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GeneralMac says... May 25, 2018 at 9:43 a.m.

RBear says........"the state is not experiencing balanced growth"

Most states don't have " balanced growth"

RBear will jump on anything to bash Republicans.

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RBear says... May 25, 2018 at 10:08 a.m.

Fake but if you listen to Asa, it is. He takes credit for growth ACROSS the state and ignores the declining rural regions.

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GeneralMac says... May 25, 2018 at 10:25 a.m.

Is it bad that the cities with sky high crime rates have populations that are declining the fastest?

I say we should be thankful as given enough years and the same rate of declining population they will disappear.

Start over fresh then .

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hurricane46 says... May 25, 2018 at 10:34 a.m.

It's obvious that Fort Smith is getting left behind because of NWA, soon they won't be the second biggest city in the state. If Walmart would put more distribution centers and Tyson would put more chicken plants in the eastern part of the state the job situation would improve. Except for farming there just aren't many jobs left in that part of the state.

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RBear says... May 25, 2018 at 11:21 a.m.

It's funny reading fake's scattershot comments on this issue. Pretty evident the old troll doesn't have a clue and is just fishing all around the edges of this pond trying to stay relevant. But let's go there a little bit. People are leaving those areas, not because of crime but because of lack of job opportunities. Rex Nelson has talked about this and the era of farm efficiency. As a result of farm methods that are less labor intensive, the job opportunities in these areas declines.
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When an area experiences high unemployment, crime almost always increases. But people are not moving because of the crime. They are moving to find a job and the economic infrastructure associated with it. What is needed for eastern Arkansas is greater industrial diversification that can exist along side agribusiness. The challenge is infrastructure, especially since what was there has degraded due to lack of attention.
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Should these communities dry up, as fake suggests? Heck no, but they need attention from a governor and legislature who have essentially ignored them over the past four years. The state can't grow off just a few economic epicenters. In fact, it will start to drag the state down economically at some point.
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The upside which fake ignores is that those growth areas tend to swing progressive and embrace diversity. They matter in three areas: the statewide races, the US Senate, and the electoral college. You can talk about the rural voter all you want, but when that person moves to urban and suburban centers they typically will start to swing progressive as they are exposed to more cultures and ideas. It's happening across the country and right wingers are just ignoring it.

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GeneralMac says... May 25, 2018 at 11:44 a.m.

RBear..........in the south the best indicator of whether a city/area is red or blue can be found in the city's detailed profile.

The higher percent of Blacks, the more likely that area is blue.

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GeneralMac says... May 25, 2018 at 11:59 a.m.

RBear.....plenty of "diversity" in NWA.

Plenty of educated people also in that fast growing area.

Check out colored maps ( red and blue) to see which way they voted in the 2016 presidential election.

The only few Blue areas of Arkansas are in the high crime, high Black populated areas of Arkansas.

Nearly all the delta area with high Black population and poverty voted Blue.

Kinda debunks your false theory that the higher educated people are, the more they vote Democrat.

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RBear says... May 25, 2018 at 12:42 p.m.

ROTFLMAO @ your ignorance. Doesn’t even merit a
rational response it’s so wrong. Your indicators of correlation are just random thoughts. The dumba$$ in the trailer is pontificating nonsense again.

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Packman says... May 25, 2018 at 2:05 p.m.

"Your indicators of correlation are just random thoughts." Says the abject hypocrite RBear who says the ban on sporting rifles "worked" because of some silly numbers trend, as if correlation automatically equals causation.

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