GROWTH: Smaller cities in the region lead the way in population growth. This, along with commercial development that follows, is undoubtedly part of the explanation for Little Rock's stagnant revenue growth.
Metroplan has issued its annual democgraphic study and outlook
. Key finding from the Little Rock metropolitan area from the planning agency:
Population growth has slowed over the past five years in the Central Arkansas region, but has continued to slightly exceed U.S. population growth from 2010-2015 [1 percent locally versus .8 percent nationally]. However, state-wide growth has slowed considerably, now growing at about half the U.S. average
Growth in Faulkner, Saline and Lonoke counties continues to exceed that in Pulaski County.
Other items of note:
* Last year, 2014, housing starts were at their lowest number since 1992.
* The pace of ethnic change has slowed dramatically. From 2000 to 2009, the Latino population grew 10.3 percent. Growth from 2010-13 was 1.9 percent.
Here's a link to the publication
Of interest is the growing poverty rate — everywhere, but particularly in suburban cities. This has been written about quite a bit recently. Suburban growth has often been seen as a movement to leave decaying cities. Some would argue that race plays a role. But there's little doubt that economic considerations are at work.