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Five-year Trends for Arkansas and Its Counties

Press Release | December 6, 2018

The 2013-2017 American Community Survey five-year estimates released today by the Census Bureau feature more than 40 social, economic, housing and demographic topics, including homeowner rates and costs, health insurance and educational attainment.

The following highlights compare the state of Arkansas and its counties in the five-year estimates complied in the 2013-2017 American Community Survey with the 2008-2013 American Community Survey. Only counties that experienced statistically significant changes are mentioned.

Household (all people who occupy a housing unit regardless of relationship)

Median Household Income (the middle value in the list of numbers)

The American Community Survey calculated the median household income in Arkansas at $43,813 for the period covering 2013-2017. This is a 1.1 percent increase over the income estimate for 2008-2012.

Forty-two of the seventy-five counties in Arkansas (56%) had an increase in median household income in 2013-2017 when compared with 2008-1212, but only 13 counties (17.3%) experienced statistically significant increases. Four counties, Ashley, Jefferson, Phillips, and Pope, saw a statistically significant decline.

Mean Household Income (the average of a list of numbers)

Between 2013 and 2017, the mean household income for Arkansas increased (4%) from $58,999 to $61,330. Although the state as a whole saw a significant increase, only twelve counties experienced an actual increase in mean household income and only one (Scott County) suffered a decline.

Family (consists of two or more people, one of whom is the householder, related by birth, marriage, or adoption residing in the same housing unit)

Median Family Income

The estimated median family income in Arkansas from 2013 to 2017 was $54,923, an increase of $1,018 (1.9%) from the prior period. Fourteen (18.7%) Arkansas counties experienced an increase in median family income while Arkansas, Boone, and Sebastian Counties saw a decline.

Mean Family Income

Between 2013 and 2017, Arkansas’ mean family income increased from $69,478 to $72,907 over the prior period, an increase of $3,429 (4.9%) compared with 2008-2013. Again, only 14 (18.7%) Arkansas counties actually experienced an increase in mean family income and two counties, Desha and Johnson, lost income.

Per Capital Income

The per capita income in Arkansas for 2013 through 2017 was estimated at $24,426, a statistically significant increase of $886 (3.8%) over the earlier survey. Sixteen (21.3%) counties saw an increase in per capital income while only Lincoln County experienced a decrease.


Arkansas experienced decreases in four measures of poverty from 2008-2012 to 2013-2017: all families below poverty threshold (6.4%), all people below the poverty threshold (3.2%), percent of children and young people under 18 below poverty threshold (5.2%), and the percent of people 65 and over below poverty threshold (6.3%).

Percent of all Families below Poverty Threshold – ten (13.3%) counties saw a decrease in this measure and five counties (Calhoun, Arkansas, Polk, and Grant) saw an increase in the number of families falling below this threshold.

Percent of all People below Poverty Threshold – ten (13.3%) counties saw a decrease in this measure while seven counties (Calhoun, Arkansas, Polk, Grant, Ouachita, Ashley, and Logan) had more people fall into this classification.

Percent of Children and Young People under 18 below Poverty Threshold – eight (10.7%) counties had fewer residents in this category but six counties (Calhoun, Grant, Ouachita, Ashley, Jefferson, and Perry) had increases.

Percent of People 65 and Over below Poverty Threshold – twelve (16.0%) counties had fewer residents who fit this grouping although four counties (Benton, Polk, Hempstead, and Columbia) experienced an increase in the number of senior citizens who slipped under the threshold. 3

About the American Community Survey

For more information on the American Community Survey please visit www.census.gov. To access state, county, or city data profiles visit our website https://arstatedatacenter.youraedi.com/american-community-survey/. For more detailed tables visit the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder. If you have questions or need assistance finding data please contact Pam Willrodt, Senior Demographer, at the Arkansas Economic Development Institute at 501-569-8221 or pswillrodt@ualr.edu.

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