Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. touted the capital city’s growth in population and diversity, according to the 2020 U.S. Census figures released last week.
Scott said Little Rock saw growth that was both positive and different from similar-sized regional cities, such as Jackson, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Birmingham, Alabama – all of which saw population declines. Little Rock’s overall population grew over the last decade by 9,067 residents to 202,591.
“Today I’m happy, I’m excited, and I’m proud to announce that Little Rock has finally cleared 200,000 in population,” Scott said in a press conference at City Hall on Thursday (Aug. 19). “Our growth shows that people find Little Rock attractive. Yes, this is something we already know, but it proves just how attractive we are. Our growth shows that people find Little Rock a great place to be in, no matter the shape, form, or size of their family.”
Little Rock’s population according to the 2010 Census was 193,524. The new count represents an increase of 9,067 new residents in the past 10 years, or a growth rate of 4.69%. According to the American Community Survey estimate in 2019, the city’s population was 197,958, meaning the city outpaced estimated size based on annual sampling data, particularly leading up to 2020.
The Census data also show a diversifying city, with a large gain among the population identifying as “two or more races” from 3,374 to 11,626, up 244.58%.
Those identifying as “white alone” make up 44% of the population, while all other single and multiracial categories comprise 56% of the city’s residents.
The Hispanic and Latino population grew from 13,076 to 20,285, a growth rate of 55.13%.
“By looking closely at this data, we see that Little Rock is beautifully diverse and that diversity has grown since 2010,” Scott said. “Those new residents mean new customers and new businesses, which in turn means an increase in tax revenues, with which we can invest more in what makes Little Rock great and continue to improve our quality of lives and place.”
The initial data release from the U.S. Census Bureau on Aug. 12 consisted of redistricting data released to states and the public. The Bureau will deliver final, more comprehensive data on Sept. 30.