Accommodating an expanding population in Craighead C - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Accommodating an expanding population in Craighead Co.

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Census data released Thursday shows Craighead County's population is growing faster than others in Northeast Arkansas.

The Census Bureau estimates over 101,000 people lived in the county as of July 2013. That number is up from 2012 and is five percent higher than the 96,000 people counted in 2010.

As new data shows a hike in population in Craighead County, majority of that in Jonesboro, Mayor Perrin said adjusting to a growing community is a work in progress.

"We're constantly looking at our infrastructure, roads, highways and things of that nature," said Perrin.

As nearly 100 new residents make Craighead County home each month, safety is one of the city's priorities.

"We have to always look at police, fireman and all of our quality of life," he said.

Perrin said the county's popularity comes from the opportunities it provides.

"Depending on the age, whether you're young or a senior citizen, our medical community is top in the hub," said Perrin. "We're the hub for retail with the mall and all the shopping we have."

Ambassador of Arkansas After School Programs, Rennell Woods said the community has become what it is today through past leaders.

"If you look at the visionaries, we have had incredible visionaries," said Woods. "People could see today 30, 40 and 50 years ago."

Woods said as more people move in, housing will always be at the top of the cities list.

"There's a desperate need to really look into how we build our houses and apartments," said Woods.

As numbers continue to rise, Perrin anticipates the population reaching well over the nearly 72,000 that live here now.

"I think we'll be way in the six digits," said Perrin. "We'll be over 100,000 easy."    

For the full census report click here.

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