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ridtinten

1st to 1,000,000

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Im fairly new to the forum and read the thread titled 2nd to 100,000.....well...i was looking at some numbers and was wondering which metro area of the state would reach 1,000,000 first?

Little Rock,North Little Rock 643,272

Fayetteville,Springdale,Rogers, AR/MO 405,101

Fort Smith, AR/OK 301,487

Texarkana, AR/Texarkana, TX 133,805

Jonesboro 112,084

Pine Bluff 104,865

Hot Springs 93,551

Is NWA growing fast enough to beat LR to it?

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NWA and Little Rock are the only real choices here. That being said I think that Little Rock will get to 1,000,000 first because it is growing at a consistant pace and because it has the possibility of adding more counties to its metro.

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I would agree. Little Rock is in much better shape to keep growth going. NWA is already seeing some infrastructure problems. I think NWA is going to slow down at some point. I think it needs a chance at some point to try to catch up.

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Definetly the LR/NLR Metro. Even though NWA currently has a MSA population of nearly a half million already and the cities within that metro are currently growing rapidly, because of the odd layout and geography of the region, it will experience major infrastructure problems in the near future that will strangle its growth. The Little Rock Metro is growing at a steady pace, and unlike most large MSA's, the core cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock are actually increasing in population. This added on to the fact that the LR/NLR MSA will likely add counties such as White County and eventually the counties in Pine Bluff's Metro, and Little Rock MSA will probably hit the 1,000,000 mark in the next 15 years.

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NWA and Little Rock are the only real choices here. That being said I think that Little Rock will get to 1,000,000 first because it is growing at a consistant pace and because it has the possibility of adding more counties to its metro.

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I agree. That said NWA's growth is so tied to Wal-Mart that if the company could find a way to move into other retail concepts and grow internationally it could really continue this kind of growth for quite a while. Some type of collapse at Wal-Mart or moving the corporate HQs could actually drop the population significantly. You can't predict NWA's growth without predicting what will happen to Wal-Mart, which I find pretty difficult.

There are already a million people living within a 50 mile radius of LR and a 2006 estimate had the MSA population at 660,000.

There are some large counties surrounding the LR MSA like White County (Searcy) - 73,000, Garland County (Hot Springs) - 95,000, Jefferson (Pine Bluff) - 82,000. A couple of smaller counties - Conway (Morrilton) - 21,000 and Hot Spring (Malvern) - 31,000 are very close to LR suburbs of Conway and Benton.

NWA will have difficulty bringing in surrounding counties and the ones with potential to be included are small and rural.

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Cool topic, and nice post....I don't recall this being discussed before!

Anyway, most all of the valid points have already been mentioned, but let me reitterate and/or add a couple of points:

1 - I hope NWA continues its growth, but I think the "estimates" (which don't appear to have much scientific merit) that call for the same rate of growth over the next 35 years is not realistic. Much of the reasons that people are now moving there will be lost with increased population (i.e. traffic, crime, difficulty in public schools, racial issues, etc.).

2 - I think the point about the extended density of population surrounding Little Rock is the most significant here. Even if NWA continues growing at a rapid pace, there is simply no substantial population base outside of Washington and Benton counties. If White and or Jefferson were added to the LR MSA, it would be huge statistically. But the truth is, this "assignment" is merely a paper exercise. The reality is that that population is already here (and growing).

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Im fairly new to the forum and read the thread titled 2nd to 100,000.....well...i was looking at some numbers and was wondering which metro area of the state would reach 1,000,000 first?

Little Rock,North Little Rock 643,272

Fayetteville,Springdale,Rogers, AR/MO 405,101

Fort Smith, AR/OK 301,487

Texarkana, AR/Texarkana, TX 133,805

Jonesboro 112,084

Pine Bluff 104,865<a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Springs%2C_Arkansas" target="_blank">

</a>Hot Springs 93,551

Is NWA growing fast enough to beat LR to it?

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I don't stay caught up with the general Arkansas forum, but I'd say none of the Arkansas metros will EVER reach a million population. There will continue to be decent growth for a while, but eventually there won't be enough job growth to keep the population growth in the green. High taxation and rising costs of living will eventually start shrinking the populations back to pre-90's levels.

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CSAs and MSAs mean different things but if you look at LR's CSA it's nearly 900,000. The MSA is 660,000. There are a million people within an hour drive of downtown LR.

I've said this elsewhere but despite the fact NWA is growing more briskly addition of fringe counties will probably put LR over a million first. White Co (75,000), Garland (95,000), Jefferson (81,000), Hot Spring (32,000), and Conway Co (21,000) will probably all eventually join LR's MSA though it may take a couple of decades to happen.

In addition, people often forget that 3 of the 5 fastest growing counties in Arkansas surround Pulaski and Faulkner is #2 on that list. Pulaski Co is fairly flat but the rest of the metro is growing a pretty brisk rate.

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Yeah, central Arkansas is much better positioned for it. Even if NWA keeps growing you'd think the infrastructure is eventually going to hamper some future growth. That and as you pointed out there are some populous counties surrounding Pulaski. While the counties surrounding Benton and Washington Counties are basically small rural counties.

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LR proper would be much larger at this point in time if it wasn't for problems in LR and pulaski county schools driving middle class growth to Faulkner and Saline counties.

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LR proper would be much larger at this point in time if it wasn't for problems in LR and pulaski county schools driving middle class growth to Faulkner and Saline counties.

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While this is true LR is one of the few core cities in the south in its population range that is gaining rather than losing population. It's far from the only one with this problem.

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This is true. Hopefully the growth will continue with all the urban infill and condo projects going in. However, the school system needs to be fixed if its as bad as I hear it is. That should be a priority because its the only way LR is going to attract middle class families to live in the city limits rather than in Conway, Benton, or some other suburb.

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I agree with what you are saying, I was just making the point that school systems in Shreveport, Jackson, Memphis, Birmingham, New Orleans etc suffer the same issues to an even greater degree. In all of these communities, like outs, it only seems to be getting worse.

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Why is it that inner-city school districts have so many problems? This seems to be the case no matter which city you go to, especially in the South. For instance, in the DFW area, suburbs like Plano are popular with families because of the problems with DISD. Its mostly young professionals that move into the city.

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Good example, I lived in Dallas for a couple of years and moved back to Arkansas. It's a very complex issue. A lot of people will tell you they are fleeing crime, a lot of people will say race, and others will tell you the real reason is the better schools a higher socioeconomic tier provides. Plano, the Park Cities, and Southlake had some outstanding schools but it's interesting that two to three decades ago Richardson was considered to have the best schools in the Metroplex. Now they're considered to be going through considerable decline. In large metros even suburbs go through the process. Irving, Mesquite and Garland schools are also thought to be spiraling.

LR is kind of anomalous in that it still has a sizable white middle class contingent in its public schools. At the same time, though, West LR has spawned a large number of private schools. To some degree this has allowed the city to grow and delayed the suburbanization that happened other places, though now Bryant, Cabot and Conway are really taking off. People still care about the public schools, though, and that's a good thing.

One thing that will be interesting to follow is how the PCSSD changes. With West Little Rock booming and representing nearly all of the city's growth and the LRSD boundaries fixed the area that now feeds to Pulaski Robinson will become increasingly populous and affluent. People don't consider those great schools right now but the potential because of the area is unlimited. I also think moving the NW Pulaski schools from Oak Grove to Maumelle and having a new campus will have a similar effect - I think those will be considered excellent schools and will boom and reinforce that area's growth. The result will be continued suburbanization but I do think it will help keep the population more concentrated in Pulaski rather than the booming surrounding counties.

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What Bryant, Cabot and Conway don't tell you is if you are white and in high school the best school in the area might be LR Central. Central has the highest graduation rate,one of the lowest college remediation rates and the highest ACT scores. On top of that it offers the largest variety of classes.

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What Bryant, Cabot and Conway don't tell you is if you are white and in high school the best school in the area might be LR Central. Central has the highest graduation rate,one of the lowest college remediation rates and the highest ACT scores. On top of that it offers the largest variety of classes.

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