UACES Facebook Two-Thirds of Arkansas Counties Lost Population - It is Time for Action
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CED Blog

Two-Thirds of Arkansas Counties Lost Population - It is Time for Action

by Mark Peterson - May 16, 2019

Green and Red pie chart showing the decline in arkansas counties population  

The most recent Census reveals that not only did 2/3 of Arkansas counties lose population between 2012 and 2017, but 89% of Arkansas counties did not keep up with the national rate of growth. As you know, the loss of population is harmful to a community, as it reduces income to local businesses, non-profits, and local governments. It can also trigger a downward spiral as deteriorating infrastructure can accelerate the process.

The 21st century economy is global, it is digital, and it is fast. It is also disruptive, and what worked even four or five years ago may not be working as well today. But it is also loaded with opportunities for communities and regions that understand the key drivers of change and how to take advantage of those drivers, one of which is connectedness – within a community, a region, state, nation, and to the world.

These opportunities will be explored more fully in the 2019 Breakthrough Solutions Conference and Pre-Conference Workshop on June 24-25 in North Little Rock and Little Rock. Here are some topics at the conference that can help communities and regions become more connected and vibrant:

  • Creating Digital Ecosystems in Rural Areas
  • Creating Connected Communities: ARCO Pilot Community
  • Argenta – The New Dog Town and Argenta Plaza
  • Small Business Revolution - Main Street Comes to Searcy
  • Six Key Strategies for 21st Century Tourism
  • Creating a Digital Arts Technology Center
  • Northwest Arkansas Growing Communities Network
  • Marketing Your Community Through Virtual Reality in Tourism
  • Exemplary Workforce Development Models
  • Effectively Engaging Diverse Communities in a Diverse World
  • Tapping the Potentials of Opportunity Zones
  • Lighting the Fires of Revitalization
  • Creating a Hackathon to Address Community Issues
  • Johnny Cash Center - Building Tourism on Historical Assets
  • Developing Your Workforce by Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences and Poverty

As a special treat, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. will be speaking on “Cultivating Unity via Action Teams,” describing the many ways he has involved citizens in planning for and shaping his new tenure as mayor of Little Rock.

The forces of change are powerful, and it is critical for community leaders to learn how to harness them. The 2019 Breakthrough Solutions Conference and Pre-conference workshop can help you do that with new strategies and fresh insights. To learn more and register, go to

The deadline for early bird registration is June 11, so you will want to act now.