Census Bureau: County’s population holds steady

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Carroll County’s numbers are holding steady according to data released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 2010 Census found the population to be 27,446, and the 2017 Population Estimate indicates that the county’s numbers have risen to about 27,944 residents as of July 1, 2017, showing an increase of about 500.

Meanwhile, Carroll County’s neighbors in Northwest Arkansas continue to experience booming growth. The Census Bureau reported that the four-county Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metropolitan statistical area saw an increase of about 12,000 people from mid-2016 to mid-2017, making it the 14th fastest-growing metro area in the United States in 2017.

Benton County jumped from a reported population of 221,339 in the 2010 Census to a population of 266,300 in the 2017 Population Estimate, and Washington County jumped from a reported population of 203,065 in the 2010 Census to about 231,996 in the 2017 Population Estimate.

Madison County saw an increase of about 600 residents since the previous census, growing from a population of 15,717 in the 2010 Census to 16,339 in the 2017 Population Estimate.

Officials expect Carroll County to experience its own surge in population thanks to the expansion of Tyson Foods’ Green Forest plant and other businesses investing in the area.

“We’ve seen a little growth,” said Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney, “and we’ve got potential for a lot of growth for both cities with what’s going on in Green Forest.”

Tyson recently completed construction on a 200,000-square-foot facility across the street from its existing plant in Green Forest, which is expected to add about 120 positions.

“With what’s going on with Tyson and all the housing that’s being built, I expect we’ll probably see close to a 5 to 7 percent increase in population,” said Green Forest Mayor Charles Reece.

He said the city is expecting an increase of about 250 to 300 residents within the next few years.

“We’ve got a lot of new residences in the planning stage right now,” he said. “We’ve got one gentleman who wants to put in 50 houses and another who wants to put in 50. If you put two per house, that’s already 200.”

He said the Green Forest School District is also planning on substantial growth over the next five to 10 years.

“It’s looking really positive with regards to where we’re going on this,” Reece said. “We’ve got to have housing. That’s the big thing.”

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