The 2003 United States 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 .72 percent population gain. 
Arkansas had an estimated 2,725,714 residents in 2003. Benton county was the state's fastest-growing county, at 4.8 percent growth. Lee county led the state in population decline with a -3.7 percent population loss. 
Among the state's larger cities, bryant recorded the highest population growth between 2002 and 2003 at 15.83 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.