Household Incomes Declining for Many Arkansas Households as Depicted in the 2019 Rural Profile of Arkansas
Many Arkansas households have not benefited from the growth of the state economy. This is especially true for households in rural areas¹ of the state. Median Household income² in Arkansas declined slightly between 2010 and 2016, a period when the Arkansas and United States' economies were growing.
During this six-year period, median household income in Arkansas declined approximately two percent, from $43,235 in 2010 to $42,336.³
During this same period, the median household income of households in rural areas of the state declined approximately three percent. This amplified the difference between rural and urban households. In 2016, the median household income of rural households was 78 percent of urban households, $35,727 versus $45,975, and only 65 percent of national median household income (Figure 1).
Median household income declined in nearly two-thirds of Arkansas’ rural counties and a little over one-half of urban counties from 2010 to 2016 (Figure 2). Ten of 12 counties in the Coastal Plains experienced declining median household incomes during this period.
Some counties, especially in the highlands and urban areas of the state, defied this
trend. During this six-year period, the median household income increased in 23 rural
and six urban counties in the state.
For more information about household income trends in Arkansas, see the 2019 Rural Profile of Arkansas at www.uaex.edu/ruralprofile. For assistance in identifying opportunities and implementing strategies to grow your regional economy, contact your county extension agent or our Community & Economic Development program.
¹ To see definition and map of rural, urban, coastal plains, delta and highlands counties, see the 2019 Rural Profile of Arkansas at www.uaex.edu/ruralprofile.
² Median household income is the household income separating the higher half of household incomes from the lower half.
³ All dollar values are reported in 2016 constant dollars.