Benton County paces NW Arkansas growth

(June 24, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- The 2003 U-S Census released today shows Northwest Arkansas's population boomed between 2002 and 2003 as the Arkansas Delta continued to lose residents. Overall, the state saw a point-72 percent population gain. Arkansas had an estimated two million, 725-thousand, 714 residents in 2003. Benton County was the state's fastest-growing county, at four-point-08 percent growth. Lee County led the state in population decline with a minus-three-point-07 percent population loss. Among the state's larger cities, Bryant recorded the highest population growth between 2002 and 2003 at 15-point-83 percent. Census estimates showed Bryant had more than 12-thousand residents in 2003. Little Rock, the state's largest city, had point-22 percent growth from 2002 to 2003.