UAMS, State Agencies Announce 2020 Demographics Study

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – A legislative study of Arkansas’ changing population and its future effects on state services was announced today at a news conference at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

State Sen. Shane Broadway of Bryant, a leading state lawmaker, proposed the study so the state can prepare for the needs of its growing elderly and Hispanic populations and other changes in the population. He has solicited participation from the leaders of all Arkansas public universities and agencies.

The UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health will play a lead role with Ty Borders, Ph.D., associate professor of Health Policy and Management, as the study coordinator and contact for all participating state agencies.

“This is a progressive undertaking for the state of Arkansas and a perfect fit for the College of Public Health,” said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D. “As part of this effort, we will learn what proactive steps can be taken to adapt as the needs of Arkansans change.”

Broadway noted that 14 percent of Arkansans are 65 or older compared to 12.4 percent nationally, and that Arkansas has the country’s second-fastest growing Hispanic population, with many unable to speak English.

“We need to know what specific demands these and other changes in demographics will place on Arkansas, its government and its communities,” Broadway said.

The study, called Arkansas 2020, is modeled after one in New York called Project 2015.

“The planning that comes from Arkansas 2020 should help the state’s leaders avoid surprises due to some potentially dramatic population shifts over the next 15 years,” said University of Arkansas at Little Rock Chancellor Joel Anderson, Ph.D. “Like other state-funded agencies and universities, the study will help UALR adapt to the changing face of its own population of students and faculty.”


The Arkansas project stems from an interim study proposal that the Arkansas Legislative Council earlier today referred to numerous legislative subcommittees to provide oversight. As part of the study, state government agencies will review their major policies, programs and structure in light of the anticipated demographic changes.

The study is expected to be completed by December 2006.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.3 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute.