The 6 Fast-Growing Counties in Arkansas Are Exploding in Growth

Written by Shanti Ryle
Updated: October 5, 2023
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Arkansas’s charm, reasonable cost of living, and growing economic opportunities attracted many people to its borders within the last several years. Per the latest U.S. Census data, Arkansas’ fastest-growing counties welcomed over 34,000 new residents from the previous year. In 2017, the state surpassed a population of 3 million residents for the first time and has seen net population growth yearly.

Partially due to migratory patterns away from coastal cities and towards the central states, helped along by the pandemic, many Arkansas counties are experiencing rapid growth, with some leading the charge. Check out our list to learn more about Arkansas’s top ten fastest-growing counties and the reasons behind their allure.

How to Measure Arkansas Population Growth

Little Rock, Arkansas, State Capitol

The State Capitol of Little Rock saw a population change of positive 5.6% from 2010-2022.

©Real Window Creative/

When calculating population growth in a given area, the standard formula incorporates two population measurements and their change over a given period. This equation is presented as follows:

Percentage increase = ((Final Value – Initial Value) / Initial Value) x 100

To use Arkansas’ state capital, Little Rock, as an example, the city’s population was 204,405 in 2022, up from 193,524 in 2010. After doing the math, we can calculate that Little Rock, AR, grew by 5.6%. To calculate this change:

5.6% = ((204,405 – 193,524) / 193,524) x 100

However, a blanket percentage measurement doesn’t account for peaks and declines in the years within that time window. Population changes may have varied wildly from year to year but yielded practically little change when using the above math. This is why this report includes both annual and period-based growth amounts for each county to give a clearer picture.

The data in this article comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, based on their measurements of population counts in 2010-2020 and 2020-2022. While the decennial census data represents the most accurate information, counts outside this report (which occur once every ten years) are estimates.

Additionally, the population growth in these counties isn’t necessarily representative of a given area’s size and total population density.

Madison County, AR, is rather small compared to other areas in the state, but its population has experienced impressive growth in the last several years.

Benton County

Shopper Pushes a Cart with Grocery Products in Supermarket Aisle - Image Has a Shallow Depth of Field

Benton County is the birthplace of Walmart.

©1000 Words/

The number of people flocking to Benton County, AR, jumped radically in the last several years with no signs of slowing. The population of the Northwest Arkansas area grew a radical 28.6% in the 2010-2020 period and jumped another 6.5% in the following two years. 

  • 2010 Population: 222,601
  • 2020 Population: 286,353
  • 2022 Population: 302,863
  • Population Change from 2010: +80,262
  • Average Annual Growth Percentage: 3%
  • Total Growth Percentage: 36.05%
  • 2nd Largest County by Population in Arkansas
  • Largest City: Springdale (87,672)
  • Smallest City (Incorporated): Springtown (89)
  • Fun Fact: Bentonville, a city in Benton County, is Walmart’s birthplace and world headquarters.

Washington County

Tranquil summer scene along Sugar Creek at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in Northwest Arkansas accentuates why Arkansas is known as the natural state.

The Ozarks represent a beautiful natural area, with much of its territory within Washington County’s borders.


New residents flooded Washington County’s borders in the last several years, with the county posting an impressive 20.9% jump in residents between 2010-2020. In 2022, the county gained another 4.1% rise in citizens, making it one of the fastest-growing counties in Arkansas.

  • 2010 Population: 204,021
  • 2020 Population: 246,662
  • 2022 Population: 256,054
  • Population Change from 2010: +52,033
  • Average Annual Growth Percentage: 2.13%
  • Total Growth Percentage: 25.5%
  • 3rd Largest County by Population in Arkansas
  • Largest City: Fayetteville (99,285)
  • Smallest City (Incorporated): Winslow (362)
  • Fun Fact: Washington County contains three segments of the Ozark National Forest and lies nestled in the Ozark Mountains.

Saline County

Saline County Arkansas Tull Bridge

Tull Bridge crosses the Saline River and is in Grant County.


In Saline County, AR, the popular area became even more populated thanks to a surge in new resident arrivals. The region grew by 14.9% in the decade between the 2010 and 2020 U.S. census and up another 3.2% in the two full years following. 

  • 2010 Population: 107,651
  • 2020 Population: 123,681
  • 2022 Population: 127,357
  • Population Change from 2010: +19,706
  • Average Annual Growth Percentage: 1.53%
  • Total Growth Percentage: 18.31%
  • 6th Largest County by Population in Arkansas
  • Largest City: Benton (36,593)
  • Smallest City (Incorporated): Traskwood (507)
  • Fun Fact: Saline County was named for the early salt works in the region, even though Saline is pronounced differently for the two words.

Faulkner County

Old flag of Faulkner, county of the state of Arkansas, United States

Faulkner County, established in 1873, is one of the youngest counties in Arkansas.

©Ianm35/iStock via Getty Images

The folks of Faulker County have seen an uptick in new neighbors over the last twelve years, with an impressive 8.4% in population count between 2010-2020. Nearly 4,000 more people arrived in the next two years, making Faulker one of the fastest-growing counties in the state.

  • 2010 Population: 114,035
  • 2020 Population: 123,666
  • 2022 Population: 127,665
  • Population Change from 2010: +13,630
  • Average Annual Growth Percentage: 1%
  • Total Growth Percentage: 11.95%
  • 5th Largest County by Population in Arkansas
  • Largest City: Conway (67,617)
  • Smallest City (Incorporated): Twin Groves (319)
  • Fun Fact: Faulkner County is one of the youngest counties in Arkansas, formed in 1873.

Madison County

Location map of the Madison county of Arkansas, USA

The region of Madison County lies in the northwestern corner of the state.

©Roki Rodic/iStock via Getty Images

Madison County, AR, is rather small compared to other areas in the state, but its population has experienced impressive growth in the last several years. Its citizenship jumped 5.5% between the 2010 and 2020 decennial censuses, with further growth in the following two years.

  • 2010 Population: 15,686
  • 2020 Population: 16,551
  • 2022 Population: 17,486
  • Population Change from 2010-2022: +1800
  • Average Annual Growth Percentage: 0.96%
  • Total Growth Percentage: 11.48%
  • 40th Largest County by Population in Arkansas
  • Largest City: Huntsville (2879)
  • Smallest City (Incorporated): Hindsville (90)
  • Fun Fact: The county (Madison) and county seat (Huntsville) are named after the corresponding county and city in Alabama.

Boone County

Daniel Boone, American Pioneer, an Illustrated Scene

Contrary to popular belief, Daniel Boone is not the namesake of Boone County, Arkansas.

©Christine_Kohler/iStock via Getty Images

Boone County has experienced a more minor population boom than other counties on this list, but its consistency still deserves a place among Arkansas’ fastest-growing areas. The region attracted 2.4% more residents between 2020-2022 and was up 1.2% over the previous decade.

  • 2010 Population: 36,893
  • 2020 Population: 37,352
  • 2022 Population: 38,284
  • Population Change from 2010: +1,391
  • Average Annual Growth Percentage: 0.31%
  • Total Growth Percentage: 3.77%
  • 19th Largest County by Population in Arkansas
  • Largest City: Harrison (13,338)
  • Smallest City (Incorporated): South Lead Hill (87)
  • Fun Fact: The region was initially called “Boon County” because its residents thought it would be a boon to all who moved there. The “e” was added later, making some believe the region was named for the adventurer Daniel Boone.

Summary of Fastest-Growing Counties in Arkansas

RankCountyAnnual % Growth 2001-2022
1Benton County3%
2Washington County2.13%
3Saline County1.53%
5Madison County0.96%
6Boone County0.31%
Summary Table of the Fastest-Growing Counties in Arkansas

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Real Window Creative/

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About the Author

Shanti Ryle is a content marketer with nearly a decade's experience writing about science, real estate, business, and culture. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Global Finance and Banking, Weedmaps News/, and other publications. Her favorite animal (by far) is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi!

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