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Little Rock Growth


Sammy00

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8 hours ago, theman said:

I don’t know if enough people travel in from Jefferson County for it to be added to the MSA if it lost it’s own MSA designation. There are many people who live in Pulaski County that drive to Jefferson Country for work. We’ll have to see if the casino stabilizes the population in the county. That won’t affect what happens with this census.

If any county would be added to the MSA it would be White County. There seems to be a lot of commuting from there to Pulaski County. It will be interesting to see how the count comes out, especially with covid-19 surely affecting the count.

 

White County...hadn't even crossed my mind.  Interesting.  It is counted in the LR CSA (as is Jefferson County), and it's a large, growing county...87,000 people.  Searcy is more remote from Little Rock due to its geographical location at the northern end of the county, but when you look at a county map, it's sort of surprising that White County isn't in the MSA as it looks every bit as "adjacent" to Pulaski as Faulkner County.

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On 5/5/2020 at 10:26 AM, Architect said:

White County...hadn't even crossed my mind.  Interesting.  It is counted in the LR CSA (as is Jefferson County), and it's a large, growing county...87,000 people.  Searcy is more remote from Little Rock due to its geographical location at the northern end of the county, but when you look at a county map, it's sort of surprising that White County isn't in the MSA as it looks every bit as "adjacent" to Pulaski as Faulkner County.

Faulkner County actually borders Pulaski County, while White County does not.  Searcy is also 20 miles further away from Little Rock than Conway is.  There's also factors in determining metro area like economic ties and the amount of commuters.

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1 hour ago, MDC26 said:

Faulkner County actually borders Pulaski County, while White County does not.  Searcy is also 20 miles further away from Little Rock than Conway is.  There's also factors in determining metro area like economic ties and the amount of commuters.

Yes, I understand there are objective measures and variables which define whether or not a particular county is included in an MSA.  I was just surprised that I never noticed how close White County is to Pulaski County.  It doesn't physically connect, but geographically it's nestled right in.   Conway County, which has almost the exact same geographical reference as White, but on the west, has long been identified as a potential addition to the MSA, though it is small from a population standpoint (21,000)

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I don't know if it's the best measure of how close White and Pulaski counties are to each other, but the distance from Exit 28 in Beebe (near the White-Lonoke county line at Cypress Bayou) to the east end of Republican Road outside of Cabot (near the Lonoke-Pulaski line) is around 13 miles. For comparison, traveling up to the first Searcy exit (#42) from Exit 31 in eastern Beebe is around 12 miles.

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14 hours ago, MDC26 said:

Faulkner County actually borders Pulaski County, while White County does not.  Searcy is also 20 miles further away from Little Rock than Conway is.  There's also factors in determining metro area like economic ties and the amount of commuters.

White County doesn’t have to touch Pulaski County to be added to the MSA and you are right that there are other factors that will determine its potential inclusion like economic ties and the amount of commuters. The question is are those factors there for White Country to be included. Searcy may be 50 miles from Little Rock but Beebe is 34 miles from Little Rock, the same as Sheridan in Grant Country. I know Searcy is the larger city in White County and has good sized employers like Harding University and Mercy Health. But are there enough commuters coming in to Pulaski County for White County to be added?
Also people just have to commute into the Pulaski County. That means they could be coming into Jacksonville or Sherwood to work. That’s not as far a drive as Little Rock.

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It is very likely that Conway County will be added to the MSA because of the strong commute into Faulkner County.  The actual percentage of workers commuting from Faulkner into Pulaski has fallen over the last decade.  Some have speculated this might pull Faulkner away and into its own MSA  with Conway County.  Conway is a central city with over 50,000 people.  I doubt that happens.  I don't think White County has a large enough percentage of commuters to be added to the MSA.  Lots of interesting options.....time will tell.      

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On 5/17/2020 at 12:20 AM, SigmaGuy said:

It is very likely that Conway County will be added to the MSA because of the strong commute into Faulkner County.  The actual percentage of workers commuting from Faulkner into Pulaski has fallen over the last decade.  Some have speculated this might pull Faulkner away and into its own MSA  with Conway County.  Conway is a central city with over 50,000 people.  I doubt that happens.  I don't think White County has a large enough percentage of commuters to be added to the MSA.  Lots of interesting options.....time will tell.      

It would be instantly regrettable if Faulkner was turned into its own MSA - both objectively and practically.  This happened a decade (or more) ago with Raleigh/Durham...originally one metro, but then split, even though it's practically the same urban area.

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On 5/17/2020 at 12:20 AM, SigmaGuy said:

It is very likely that Conway County will be added to the MSA because of the strong commute into Faulkner County.  The actual percentage of workers commuting from Faulkner into Pulaski has fallen over the last decade.  Some have speculated this might pull Faulkner away and into its own MSA  with Conway County.  Conway is a central city with over 50,000 people.  I doubt that happens.  I don't think White County has a large enough percentage of commuters to be added to the MSA.  Lots of interesting options.....time will tell.      

I don't know if it's because I don't want it to happen or if I simply cannot fathom it, but I have a very difficult time seeing Faulkner County becoming its own MSA along with Conway County (at least not anytime in the near future). Anecdotally speaking, I think the city of Conway is too closely related to Little Rock and Pulaski County in terms of commuters, economy, distance, etc. to be considered a separate entity. The addition of Conway County into the LR-NLR-Conway MSA would be a welcome addition, and I could definitely see that happening. White County seems like a bit of a stretch at this point, but I would not complain if it happened. Adding Jefferson County would be a short-term population gain, but they are shrinking so quickly that I do not even want them because they would drag our numbers down.

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  • 2 months later...

Metroplan released their final population estimates before Census 2020 reveals final numbers (in March 2021):

  • Central Arkansas Metro (2010-2020)
    • Total MSA
      • grew from 699,757 to 749,432 (7.1%)
    • Pulaski County
      • grew from 382,748 to 396,688 (3.6%)
    • Saline County
      • grew from 107,118 to 122,802 (14.6%)
    • Faulkner County
      • grew from 113,237 to 126,455 (11.7%)
    • Lonoke County
      • grew from 68,356 to 74,744 (9.3%)
    • Little Rock (city)
      • grew from 193,524 to 200,918 (3.8%)
    • Conway (city)
      • grew from 58,908 to 66,284 (12.5%)
    • North Little Rock (city)
      • grew from 62,304 to 64,421 (3.4%)
    • Benton (city)
      • grew from 30,681 to 36,680 (19.6%)
    • Cabot (city)
      • grew from 23,776 to 26,142 (10.0%)
    • Bryant (city)
      • grew from 16,688 to 20,992 (25.8%)

Interesting notes/observations from the report:

  • Total MSA will likely hit right at 750,000
  • Metro continues to grow, but at a slower rate this decade than previous decades
  • Conway will have passed North Little Rock to become the 2nd largest in the metro, and this will likely change the official name of the MSA to "Little Rock-Conway-North Little Rock"
  • The region's fastest growing area is now Saline County
  • The most dramatic story is the slow-down in growth rates of both Faulkner and Lonoke Counties
  • Pulaski County appears to have grown faster in the 2010-2020 decade than it did from 1990-2000, though not as fast as from 2000-2010
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