NWA Rankings

National publications, economists and university researchers recognize Northwest Arkansas as one of the nation’s most successful regions. They are consistent with their praise of Northwest Arkansas, its counties and cities, its economy and businesses, and its quality of life. It’s worth saying many publications and researchers’ lists show the city of Fayetteville as the place that’s being ranked, but the statistics used to determine the rankings make clear that the ranking is based on the success of the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan statistical area (the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA) rather than any one city. Here are some examples of the praise that’s been heaped on Northwest Arkansas, its individual cities and its schools.

REGIONAL RANKINGS

BEST CITIES TO LAUNCH A CAREER

Realtor.com in mid-2017 created a list of the 10 Best Cities to Launch a Career. Northwest Arkansas  joined far larger middle America regions on the list, including Dallas, Kansas City and Nashville. Among the places listed, only Kansas City had a lower median home price.

BEST AFFORDABLE PLACES TO LIVE

U.S. News & World Report put Northwest Arkansas at No. 8 on its April 2018 ranking of the 25 Best Affordable Places to Live in the U.S.

BEST IN THE U.S.

Lonely Planet, the world’s largest publisher of travel-related books and guides, in February 2016 ranked Northwest Arkansas at No. 7 in its list of “Best in the U.S.”

BEST CITIES FOR WHITE-COLLAR JOB GROWTH

Forbes and NewGeography.com ranked Northwest Arkansas at No. 3 among the nation’s medium-sized cities for white-collar job growth in July 2016. The region ranked 16th among all U.S. metropolitan statistical areas.

BEST MIDSIZE CITIES FOR JOBS

Forbes put the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA at No. 2 on its list of Best Midsize Cities for Jobs. The ranking was published in May 2018. The publication noted the region’s job count is up 20 percent since 2012.

BEST CITIES FOR JOBS

Northwest Arkansas in 2017 sat at No. 6 in a ranking of the nation’s Best Cities for Jobs, according to NewGeography.com. The publication put Northwest Arkansas at No. 2 on its list of Best Medium-Sized Cities for Jobs. All the midsize cities had 150,000 to 450,000 nonfarm jobs in their metropolitan area.

BEST-PERFORMING CITIES

The Milken Institute, which published a new report in January 2018, put the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area’s economy at No. 25 among large metropolitan areas. The region was especially strong in job growth.

BEST PLACES TO LIVE

U.S. News & World Report put the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers (Northwest Arkansas) Metropolitan Statistical Area at No. 5 on its 2018 list of Best Places to Live. Northwest Arkansas has stayed in the Top 5 for three years in a row.

BEST PLACES FOR MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES IN 2016

Only San Jose in California ranked ahead of Northwest Arkansas when it came to creating a climate for minority-owned businesses. Northwest Arkansas was No. 2 nationally, according to Fast Company and Nerdwallet.

BEST PLACES TO RETIRE

Magazine publisher Where To Retire in December 2018 included Northwest Arkansas on its list of America’s 100 Best Places to Retire.

Money Magazine in 2015 lists Northwest Arkansas as one of 25 Best Places to Retire. Northwest Arkansas offers a wealth of year-round outdoor outlets.

BEST SUBURB TO PURCHASE A HOME

According to Realtor Magazine’s June 2015 issue, Centerton in Northwest Arkansas was ranked by online publication Niche at No. 3 for best places in the nation to purchase a home with an average home price of $133,400. Niche recently ranked America’s suburbs, factoring in home values, property taxes, housing costs, and age of new homebuyers.

FAMILY FRIENDLINESS

Researchers at Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy in California determined in a report that Northwest Arkansas ranked No. 1 in the nation in family friendliness. The report, called Building Cities for People and made public in January 2016, measured metropolitan areas in such categories as commute times, housing costs, income and migration.

FASTEST-GROWING ECONOMY THROUGH 2022

The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area (Northwest Arkansas) economy will continue to advance in big ways, according to a report by IHS Markit for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and The Council on Metro Economies and the New American City. The report made public in mid-2018 show the region’s economic growth rate will remain solid through 2022. Northwest Arkansas and just nine other metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. will maintain economic growth above 3 percent annually from 2019-22. The report predicts a 3.7 percent annual growth rate in the region’s gross metropolitan product.

MOST ECONOMIC GROWTH IN 2016

Northwest Arkansas is No. 7 among 18 regions that will see the most economic growth in 2016, according to research by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in June 2015.