Arkansas is the 17th fastest-growing and the 33rd largest state, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. The state grew by 0.6% to a population of 3.04 million in 2022, from 3.02 million in 2021.
The Census Bureau released Thursday (Dec. 22) estimates that show Arkansas added 17,515 people between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. The release included state and national population estimates along with components of change, including natural change and net migration.
In Arkansas, the natural change was -3,936, or more deaths (40,187) than births (36,251). Total net migration was 21,523, with international migration of 3,314 and domestic migration of 18,209. The migration numbers show more people moved into the state than out, whether from other states or internationally.
According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. population rose by 0.4% to 333.28 million in 2022, from 2021. Net international migration, or the number of people moving in and out of the country, was the primary driver for the growth. The migration rose by 168.8% to 1.01 million people in 2022, from 376,029 in 2021. The rise indicated that migration patterns are returning to pre-pandemic levels as all 50 states and the District of Columbia reported positive net international migration in 2022.
Positive natural change, or births minus deaths, increased the U.S. population by 245,080. Arkansas was one of the 24 states that experienced negative natural change, or natural decrease, in 2022.
“There was a sizable uptick in population growth last year compared to the prior year’s historically low increase,” said Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau. “A rebound in net international migration, coupled with the largest year-over-year increase in total births since 2007, is behind this increase.”
With a population increase of 1.9%, Florida was the fastest-growing state in 2022, rising to a population of 22.24 million. Texas had the largest population gain, adding 470,708 residents and reaching a total population of 30.02 million in 2022. It also became the second state with more than 30 million people. California is the largest with 39.02 million people.
Regionally, the South and West were the only U.S. regions to experience a population increase in 2022. The South, the most populous region, increased by 1.1% to 128.71 million people. The West rose by 0.2% to 78.74 million people. The population in the Northeast and Midwest fell by 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively, to 57.04 million and 68.78 million.
In 2023, the Census Bureau is expected to release 2022 population estimates for counties, cities and metro areas.