Northwest Arkansas Ranks 26th in GDP Growth

New data published Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows Northwest Arkansas ranked No. 26 out of 381 metropolitan areas in its rate of economic growth last year.

The bureau said the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.6 percent last year to reach $23.83 billion. The GDP is the dollar value of all goods and services within an area, and it’s considered a primary indicator of an economy’s health.

The Northwest Arkansas GDP has increased consistently since 2009 when the region’s GDP was $18.36 billion.

The bureau’s report showed real GDP increased in 292 of the nation's 381 metropolitan areas in 2013. Real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas increased 1.7 percent overall last year after increasing 2.6 percent in 2012.

The report showed the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago metropolitan areas had the nation’s largest gross domestic product. The New York GDP was $1.47 trillion.

Some of the nation’s smaller MSAs had the highest percentage increases in GDP. No. 1 Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Wash., with a GDP of $4.5 billion and 10.6 percent growth last year, was followed by No. 2 Greenley, Colo., which had an $8.6 billion GDP and 10.1 percent growth last year.

The bureau's findings regarding Northwest Arkansas and its No. 26 ranking is dramatically different than in September 2013. That report, based on 2012 growth in GDP, showed the Northwest Arkansas GDP grew 0.5 percent, ranking No. 277 in the nation.