Data Shows NW Arkansas 6th Least Expensive Area

Northwest Arkansas is the sixth least expensive region among 307 urban areas in the U.S., according to a report by the Council for Community and Economic Research shows.

The Northwest Arkansas composite Cost Of Living Index (COLI) of 86.0 is based on six components: housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services. Chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and universities collect the prices of 60 different items in each of the 307 urban communities.

The Northwest Arkansas score of 86 indicates the cost of living in the region that includes Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs and Springdale is 14 percent below the national average of 100.

The nation’s least expensive urban area — Harlingen, Texas — scored 81.8, meaning it’s about 18 percent less costly to live there than in the average urban area.

More information about urban area costs of living can be found at the Council for Community and Economic Research website.

The Council for Community and Economic Research, based in Arlington, Va., was established in 1961 to promote excellence in community and economic research by working to improve data availability, enhance data quality, and foster learning about regional economic analytic methods.