Leader Blues

Sunday, July 01, 2007

TOP STORY >>Cabot closing in on Sherwood as population soars

IN SHORT: Census and UALR data show area cities have seen an increase in their populations over the past six years, although some have grown more than others.

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

Cabot, one of the fastest growing cities in Arkansas, is slightly more than a 1,000 residents away from overtaking Sherwood. Following population trends, Cabot could overtake Sherwood within two years and Jacksonville within 10 years.

However, Sherwood’s recent annexation of 1,951 acres of undeveloped land opens the door for an explosion of growth and may allow that city to have a greater population than Cabot for a longer period of time.

According to figures provided by the U.S. Census and UALR’s Institute for Economic Advancement, Cabot’s population, as of July 1, 2006, was 22,186 people, up from 15,466 people six years ago, while Sherwood was 23, 422 in 2006 and at 21,553 in 2000.

Jacksonville has remained relatively stagnant, gaining just 405 people in six years, going from 30,101 in 2000 to 30,506 in 2006.

Lonoke and England have also remained pretty stagnant, but Austin’s population has almost doubled in the past six years.

Based on growth statistics over the past six years, Cabot is growing at a rate of 1,120 people a year, Sherwood is adding just 311 people per year, while Jacksonville lags with just 67.5 new residents a year.

Jacksonville is the 12th largest city in the state, behind Bentonville’s population of 32,049.

Sherwood is the 18th largest city, while Cabot is 19th on the list. Sherwood is just behind Paragould at 24,248 residents, while Cabot is ahead of Van Buren, which has 21,818 residents.

Overall, the latest statistics show that Arkansas has added about 150,000 residents to the state since July 2000.

Pulaski County has seen a rise of about 5,500 people in the past six years, going from 361, 707 in 2000 to 367,319.

This despite little growth in Little Rock and a loss of residents in North Little Rock.

Lonoke County has gained almost twice as many people during the same time period, going from 53,162 residents in 2000 to 62,902 in 2006.

White County has seen about a 5,000 person increase in its population, going from 67,416 in 2000 to 72,560 in 2006.
Searcy picked up about 2,000 new residents, going from 18,943 in 2000 to 20,993 in 2006.

Beebe and Ward both gained about 900 residents from 2000 to 2006.

Beebe went from 5,058 in 2000 to 5,926 in 2006, while Ward increased from 2,617 to 3,508.

Austin has gone from 608 residents in July 2000 to 1,037 in July 2006.

Lonoke has gained slightly more than 200 people over the past six years, going from 4,294 to 4,605, while England has gained just 25 people, going from 3,020 to 3,045.