The Citizen’s Guide to Understanding Arkansas Economic Data

Combing through tons and tons of data and statistics can be a daunting task as a citizen. It can be tough to decide what statistic to look up, where to look it up at, what years are important, and more. To make this easier for an Arkansan, we have done much of the heavy lifting. We have published a new book, The Citizen’s Guide to Understanding Arkansas Economic Data, which helps both citizens and policy makers alike better understand all the data that they see in the news, and what that data tells us about our state.

The purpose of this book is to help you better understand what Arkansas is doing well, where we may be trailing in some areas, and what we can do to improve. There are 12 main chapters in the book, each detailing and explaining and important part of the Arkansas economy. They are:

  • Median Household Income
  • Fortune 500 Companies
  • Economic Freedom
  • Personal Income
  • Wages
  • Poverty
  • Migration
  • Education Attainment
  • Government Revenue and Spending
  • Total Nonfarm Payroll Employment
  • Gross Domestic Product
  • Unemployment and Labor Force Participation

These 12 chapters were written by expert authors, including: Jeremy Horpedahl, an ACRE scholar and assistant professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas; Amy Fontinelle, author and editor of hundreds of public policy works; and Greg Kaza, Executive Director of the Arkansas Policy Foundation.

Special Feature on Tax Reform

The book also includes a special feature, written by Jeremy Horpedahl, UCA Assistant Professor and ACRE Scholar, and Nicole Kaeding, Director of Federal Projects at the Tax Foundation. This special feature takes an in-depth look at tax reform, specifically examples from other states. These examples give provide a framework to help Arkansas better reform our own tax code. This framework helps inform policymakers and citizens alike on what government should and should not do when it comes to taxes.

Getting in Touch

If you are interested in sharing your thoughts and questions about Arkansas’s economy, we would love to hear from you. You can email ACRE at, tweet Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl, at @jmhorp, or comment on ACRE’s Facebook page.

If you would like a printed copy for your own home or office, please email with the subject line Printed Citizen’s Guide, and include your name, your organization’s name, and your address.

Future editions of the guide will be even better as we hear what issues are most important to you, and address them with the best data and analysis available.