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mcheiss

When will Benton County Surpass Pulaski County?

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When do you guys think Benton County will surpass Pulaski County in terms of population to become the most populated county in Arkansas?

Currently, Benton County has around 186,000 people and Pulaski has around 360,000 people (correct me if I'm wrong).

I've heard 20 years, 15 years, or even never from some speculators. If the population continues to grow like it has, than I say possibly 20 years.

What do you guys think?

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When do you guys think Benton County will surpass Pulaski County in terms of population to become the most populated county in Arkansas?

Currently, Benton County has around 186,000 people and Pulaski has around 360,000 people (correct me if I'm wrong).

I've heard 20 years, 15 years, or even never from some speculators. If the population continues to grow like it has, than I say possibly 20 years.

What do you guys think?

Probably never, I think, but you never can tell. I read 30 years somewhere once but that was assuming steady percentage growth as opposed to steady growth in terms of total numbers. Too much depends on what job availability is like in 20 years and what the market is like for continued importation of Hispanics in the area.

I don't think Benton Co will continue to grow at current rates indefinitely but I certainly think it will grow. Still, Benton Co is one bad turn at Wal-Mart away from losing population. It's just hard to predict what will happen in a market that dependent on one employer.

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I would say never.

Pulaski is still growing slowly but steadily, and the rate at which Benton County grows will slow as it becomes more populated. And, as Aporkalypse said, if Wal-Mart hits the bricks (which is certainly possible, stranger things have happened), Benton County would turn into a ghost town.

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It is hard to predict things that could happen that far into the future. Pulaski could start growing more strongly if the condo craze catches on in Little Rock. Benton County could certainly take a bigger hit if they lost Wal-mart but I think Little Rock isn't big enough that losing Alltel and/or Axciom couldn't really hurt Little Rock either.

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I don't see it happening. Despite the high rate of growth, there is still a huge gap. For that margin to be overcome, there would have to be growth at a rate which the infrastructure couldn't handle. For example, Benton County only has I-540, which is already in need of expansion. Pulaski County has the major interstates of I-30 and I-40, as well as smaller ones such as I-430, I-440, I-530, and I-630. Another factor to consider is that Pulaski County has a much more stable and diversified economy. If something happens to Wal-Mart, the growth stops up there.

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I don't see it happening. Despite the high rate of growth, there is still a huge gap. For that margin to be overcome, there would have to be growth at a rate which the infrastructure couldn't handle. For example, Benton County only has I-540, which is already in need of expansion. Pulaski County has the major interstates of I-30 and I-40, as well as smaller ones such as I-430, I-440, I-530, and I-630. Another factor to consider is that Pulaski County has a much more stable and diversified economy. If something happens to Wal-Mart, the growth stops up there.

It is true, even if Wal-mart doesn't pull out that is a huge amount of growth that has to keep happening. Especially in a rather poor state where infrasructure money isn't going to come easy. It's a possibility but there's also a lot that could go wrong or happen in the next 2 or 3 decades.

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It is true, even if Wal-mart doesn't pull out that is a huge amount of growth that has to keep happening. Especially in a rather poor state where infrasructure money isn't going to come easy. It's a possibility but there's also a lot that could go wrong or happen in the next 2 or 3 decades.

Without Wal-Mart's emergence I think it is indisputable that Washington Co would still dwarf Benton Co in population. An interesting question to ask is whether we think Wash Co or Benton Co will be larger in 25 years but again, so much depends on Wal-Mart.

I think Fayetteville will buck any trend, though. A "cool" university town like that will always continue to grow. If it weren't for Wal-Mart and Benton Co's emergence I bet Fayetteville would already have 25k more people than it does now.

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Without Wal-Mart's emergence I think it is indisputable that Washington Co would still dwarf Benton Co in population. An interesting question to ask is whether we think Wash Co or Benton Co will be larger in 25 years but again, so much depends on Wal-Mart.

I think Fayetteville will buck any trend, though. A "cool" university town like that will always continue to grow. If it weren't for Wal-Mart and Benton Co's emergence I bet Fayetteville would already have 25k more people than it does now.

I also agree that I think Fayetteville could hold it's own even if for some reason Wal-mart pulled out of the area. It would certainly hurt the metro as a whole but I don't think it would hurt the city as much. Even if you had people move out in other areas of the metro and you had cheaper housing I don't think too many people would leave. I think in a number of ways college towns tend to be immune to certain things like that.

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I don't see it happening. Despite the high rate of growth, there is still a huge gap. For that margin to be overcome, there would have to be growth at a rate which the infrastructure couldn't handle. For example, Benton County only has I-540, which is already in need of expansion. Pulaski County has the major interstates of I-30 and I-40, as well as smaller ones such as I-430, I-440, I-530, and I-630. Another factor to consider is that Pulaski County has a much more stable and diversified economy. If something happens to Wal-Mart, the growth stops up there.

I agree. It's easy to take today's growth numbers and make predictions from it, but they would in no way be reliable. Too many factors are involved.

I do, however, like the idea of having more than one metro area in the state that folks outside of AR have heard of.

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It is true, even if Wal-mart doesn't pull out that is a huge amount of growth that has to keep happening. Especially in a rather poor state where infrasructure money isn't going to come easy. It's a possibility but there's also a lot that could go wrong or happen in the next 2 or 3 decades.

I don't think a Wal-Mart pullout is all you have to worry about, you also have to worry about them hitting hard times. You may call me crazy, but no company is immune to having financial problems, not even Wal-Mart. There was a time that no one thought GM would ever be in trouble, and look at them. With the target Wal-Mart has on it and the ever changing world of retail there is no telling what could happen in the next 10-15 years.

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I don't think a Wal-Mart pullout is all you have to worry about, you also have to worry about them hitting hard times. You may call me crazy, but no company is immune to having financial problems, not even Wal-Mart. There was a time that no one thought GM would ever be in trouble, and look at them. With the target Wal-Mart has on it and the ever changing world of retail there is no telling what could happen in the next 10-15 years.

Enron was a rock a couple of years ago, as was MCI Worldcom. You would hope Wal-Mart would be an icon of fiscal responsibility but you never know. I think there's a chance of spinning off some of their international stores or Sam's to make Wal-Mart itself more profitable.

Again, though, I think competition with surrounding counties, including Missouri, and Benton Co's exurban lifestyle which will push people to less populated areas will keep Benton Co's population from growing exponentially.

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It's not too hard to see Wal-mart having some hard times in the future. As was stated before other companies have fallen on hard times also. As Wal-mart grows even larger it will simply become a bigger target too. There's already a lot of anti Wal-mart sentiment, it wouldn't be hard to see even more develop in the future. That and you never know when a company will Target will make a big run. A little like what Wal-mart did to K-mart, although K-mart certainly brought a lot of it on themselves. But I also agree with Arkansas_buff, it would be nice to have more than one serious metro in the state.

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It's not too hard to see Wal-mart having some hard times in the future. As was stated before other companies have fallen on hard times also. As Wal-mart grows even larger it will simply become a bigger target too. There's already a lot of anti Wal-mart sentiment, it wouldn't be hard to see even more develop in the future. That and you never know when a company will Target will make a big run. A little like what Wal-mart did to K-mart, although K-mart certainly brought a lot of it on themselves. But I also agree with Arkansas_buff, it would be nice to have more than one serious metro in the state.

There is a ton of anti-Wal-Mart sentiment nationally and I don't completely understand it. It's a higher profile target, I guess, but it's not as if Target, K-Mart/Sears, Costco, etc are more community-friendly or treat their employees that much better, they don't. Furthermore, nobody is forcing anyone to shop anywhere, people choose Wal-Mart because in most cases it is cheaper.

In my neighborhood of Lake Highlands in northeast Dallas, which is a mix of $175k-400k homes and largely 20 year old, rundown apartments with a total population of 90,000, there is huge controversy over building a Wal-Mart. The area is defined by its school district which is part of the Richardson School District, though it's all within Dallas city limits. The neighborhood's biggest problems are an excess of aging apartments (learn, NWA, learn) that are becoming focuses for crime and a lack of retail diversity because it's not the "glam" part of Dallas. Wal-Mart plans to knock down 4 "problem" apt complexes and put in a 210k SF store facing the interstate. There is no Wal-Mart nearby but several Targets. I think of this as a positive for the community but there is massive, organized opposition. Why? Because it's Wal-Mart. Any other company could build there and everyone will be thrilled. Nobody opposed a Super Target, Kohl's, etc.

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^I think I get what your saying.

Wal-Mart gets so much negative publicity because it's such a big target and the number 1 company by Fortune several years running. I have seen this for many years, and I think Target will also be getting a lot of negative publicity in the future.

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There is a ton of anti-Wal-Mart sentiment nationally and I don't completely understand it. It's a higher profile target, I guess, but it's not as if Target, K-Mart/Sears, Costco, etc are more community-friendly or treat their employees that much better, they don't. Furthermore, nobody is forcing anyone to shop anywhere, people choose Wal-Mart because in most cases it is cheaper.

In my neighborhood of Lake Highlands in northeast Dallas, which is a mix of $175k-400k homes and largely 20 year old, rundown apartments with a total population of 90,000, there is huge controversy over building a Wal-Mart. The area is defined by its school district which is part of the Richardson School District, though it's all within Dallas city limits. The neighborhood's biggest problems are an excess of aging apartments (learn, NWA, learn) that are becoming focuses for crime and a lack of retail diversity because it's not the "glam" part of Dallas. Wal-Mart plans to knock down 4 "problem" apt complexes and put in a 210k SF store facing the interstate. There is no Wal-Mart nearby but several Targets. I think of this as a positive for the community but there is massive, organized opposition. Why? Because it's Wal-Mart. Any other company could build there and everyone will be thrilled. Nobody opposed a Super Target, Kohl's, etc.

I certainly agree with you there. I realize I may be partly biased because I live in the area, but I just don't see Wal-mart as the great 'evil empire' that so many others seem to. I'm certainly not going to say they are a great wonderful company with no faults either. But as you said are they really any worse than any of the other stores mentioned? Or do they get all the blame because they are the biggest and most successful. I think there's a bit of a tendency to want to 'tear down' companies that are 'too successful'. A little bit like the 'tall poppy syndrome' in Australia.

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^I think I get what your saying.

Wal-Mart gets so much negative publicity because it's such a big target and the number 1 company by Fortune several years running. I have seen this for many years, and I think Target will also be getting a lot of negative publicity in the future.

For whatever reason, Target comes into an area and most people have a positive connotation, like "Cheesecake Factory". Wal-Mart comes in and most people think "Discount Tobacco". As I said, I think a lot of this prejudice originates from Wal-Mart's place on top of the retail universe. However, some of it is no doubt Wal-Mart's fault. Wal-Mart has allowed Target to market itself as hip and urban/suburban and Wal-Mart has done nothing to change its image of being small-town and a little trashy. Wal-Mart's needed an advertising overhaul for a very long time.

There's a thread somewhere on one of these forums with some very cool pictures of "urban" Targets that look very much in place in large cities. Wal-Mart doesn't have the same style, though they did propose a two-story Wal-Mart for the Park Cities in Dallas but this was shot down. Highland Park's way too upscale for any type of Wal-Mart.

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I certainly agree with you there. I realize I may be partly biased because I live in the area, but I just don't see Wal-mart as the great 'evil empire' that so many others seem to. I'm certainly not going to say they are a great wonderful company with no faults either. But as you said are they really any worse than any of the other stores mentioned? Or do they get all the blame because they are the biggest and most successful. I think there's a bit of a tendency to want to 'tear down' companies that are 'too successful'. A little bit like the 'tall poppy syndrome' in Australia.

"tall poppy syndrome"?

Aren't you quite the economist? That's a rare reference.

I agree, totally. That's a big part of the problem. FWIW, I also think there's an anti-Southern bias in many parts of the country that factors in somewhat. There are a couple of anti-Wal-Mart threads elsewhere that make that apparent.

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"tall poppy syndrome"?

Aren't you quite the economist? That's a rare reference.

I agree, totally. That's a big part of the problem. FWIW, I also think there's an anti-Southern bias in many parts of the country that factors in somewhat. There are a couple of anti-Wal-Mart threads elsewhere that make that apparent.

Yeah I have an odd collection of info stored in my head. :D I hadn't even considered the anti-southern bias. Yeah I could just see perhaps a little less negativity it were based in a more 'fashionable' 'trendy' part of the country.

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Peronally I don't see Benton County reaching Pulaski county any time soon....I think there is a chance that it may happen one day, but Benton County has way too much riding on Wal-Mart. I don't think Wal-Mart is going anywhere soon, but the growth is going to slow down at some point. I think washington county will take a back seat to Benton, and although fayetteville will always have the mall and a lot of retail, its not going to be the economic center of NWA much longer. If Benton county can become the economic center of NWA and the growth does continue it will be the largest county in 30-35 years...we'll just have to sit back and watch.

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Since it was already addressed on this thread earlier, there's a new poll just released by Zogby that says 58% have a favorable opinion of Wal-Mart vs 38% unfavorable. For Target, those numbers are 73% vs 13%.

55% have a less favorable opinion of Wal-Mart based on what they have recently seen, heard or read.

Wal-Mart recently released a study showing that Wal-Mart saves the average household $2300 a year to counter some recent attacks.

There is a new anti-Wal-Mart documentary in the mold of "Supersize Me" coming out soon as well.

I think the media and activist attacks on Wal-Mart are having an impact on public opinion.

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The Media is having a profound effect on Wal-Mart.

Just last year, Wal-Mart had it's first press conference that was made to try and clean up it's image. I'm sure another one will be coming.

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The Media is having a profound effect on Wal-Mart.

Just last year, Wal-Mart had it's first press conference that was made to try and clean up it's image. I'm sure another one will be coming.

I think Wal-Mart's latest advertising is much better and more progressive and doesn't portray the company in such a "cheap" way. I don't know if that's had an impact.

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I think Wal-Mart's latest advertising is much better and more progressive and doesn't portray the company in such a "cheap" way. I don't know if that's had an impact.

I think that's also helped. I think they also know better than to just sit on their laurels like K-mart and let someone else gain ground on them. Target is an obvious example and they are now trying to use some of Target's style to help keep them from gaining more ground on them. In my opinion at least. Maybe they also have saturated much of their current market and need another way to increase sales.

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I don't forsee anything taking a toll on Walmart anytime in the next ten years at least.

Wal-Mart is incredibly ahead of the curve with many things, particularly its distribution system and inventory tracking that makes it the most efficiently run business, perhaps in the world.

Regardless of changes in tastes, etc, Wal-Mart has built itself the most sophisisticated national and even global inventory system. People will always shop where prices are lower.

Wal mart has a great track record of staying ahead of the trends and of recognizing and adapting to new challenges and threats.

In my opinion, particularly with Wal-Mart Supercenters now popping up in smaller and smaller towns, I'd say that barring some type of government anti-trust intervention, WalMart has the momentum to grow at an amazing pace for at least another 15-20 years. I think they are just getting started. I think the same thing about Benton County. Its only begun to grow.

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I'd say that barring some type of government anti-trust intervention, WalMart has the momentum to grow at an amazing pace for at least another 15-20 years.

Interesting you say that, because antitrust suits are the thing I'm most worried about in the long run. I think we could feasibly see Wal-Mart split at some point if it becomes too dominant. In that way, a nice surge by Target may be a good thing.

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