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by Wayne Miller - March 1, 2019
The Rural Profile of Arkansas - 2019 is the University of Arkansas System Division
of Agriculture’s ongoing contribution to greater understanding of the differences
in the social, demographic and economic conditions between rural and urban areas of
the state. The 2019 Rural Profile of Arkansas is available at www.uaex.uada.edu/ruralprofile.
Rural areas in the state continue to face challenges in part because of the changing
global economy, which has affected the economic base and livelihood of many rural
communities. This changing economic environment provides challenges and opportunities
for Arkansas’ rural communities.
The loss of jobs has resulted in the migration of people from rural to urban areas
of the state, higher poverty rates, more reliant on social services and deficient
infrastructure. At the same time, the global economy offers new opportunities to market
goods and services worldwide.
While the major focus of the profile remains on understanding the differences between
rural and urban areas of the state, conditions also vary within the rural areas.
Three distinct rural regions were studied, the Delta, the Coastal Plains and the Highlands,
to provide insight into how conditions differ among rural areas of the state. In addition,
some rural communities have taken advantage of the global marketplace, and are seeing
their communities grow and providing their residents with a great quality of life.
It is hoped that the information provided in the 2019 Rural Profile of Arkansas provides
an understanding of some of the important social, demographic and economic trends
that can be used by state and local leaders in developing strategies to build strong
communities, support entrepreneurship and provide a good quality of life for rural
and urban residents alike.
If you have any questions on how to interpret and use the information in this profile,
or if you want assistance in identifying opportunities and strategies to grow your
local economy, please contact your local University of Arkansas System Division of
Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service agent or the Community and Economic Development