Conway Moves into Elite 50K-Plus Population Category

JANUARY 13, 2006 - Posted at 3:52 p.m. CST

CONWAY, AR - Conway has become the third Arkansas city in the past ten years to move into an elite group, communities with an official population greater than 50,000.  According to a news release from the office of Mayor Tom Townsell, preliminary results from a special census show the city's current population 52,262.

The new number is an increase of 21 percent over the population shown in the regular ten-year census of 2000, which put the number of people living in the city at 43,167.

The mayor's office said the special census carried out in November and December puts the city in line for approximately $2.8 million in additional state turnback funds.  That's the amount of additional money expected between now and the next census in 2010.  The release said the special census cost the city about $600,000.

Townsell says the city has the infrastructure needs of a city of over 50,000 people and should get the funding it deserves.

Until the mid-1990s, only four cities in Arkansas could claim the distinction of populations greater than 50,000...Little Rock, North Little Rock, Fort Smith and Pine Bluff.  But in 1996 and 1997, Fayetteville and Jonesboro both paid for special censuses that put their populations beyond that mark.  The new numbers for Conway bring the total of 50,000-plus cities in Arkansas to seven.

Jonesboro's current population is now estimated to be approximately 56,000.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)