Faulkner County ranked No. 16 and neighboring White County ranked No. 4 in the most recent poll of Fastest Growing Counties based on a methodical approach using three categories of data from the US Census.
NerdWallet, a consumer finance website, looked at three different sets of data for more than 750 counties to compile the top 20 counties experiencing the most growth.
Analysts measured growth in population, growth in employment rate and growth in median income using a composite score index to give each county an overall growth score.
Faulkner County saw steady population, job and median income growth. The county’s three colleges and an influx of corporations are contributing to the overall retention and growth.
Faulkner County experienced a 9.9 percent population growth rate from 2007 to 2011. The county’s labor force population increased by 6.7 percent and the median earnings for workers (adjusted for inflation) by 15.1 percent bringing the county’s overall growth score to 69.2.
White County saw marginal population and employment growth, but a nearly 30 percent increase in median income for workers during the same period. Retail trade, education and health services are the three major industries that are expected to continue to grow in the next decade.
White County’s population growth increased by 6 percent and the growth of employment by 3.8 percent, but median income experienced a 29.8 percent growth rate bringing the county’s overall growth score to 75.3.
Arkansas State University - Beebe has contributed to overall education and workforce development. According to US Census Bureau data, the percentage of White County residents age 25-plus with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased 18.4 percent from 2007 to 2011.
(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)