Region Ranks 38th Among Fastest Growers

Northwest Arkansas was the 38th fastest growing region in the U.S. during the most recent year, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Fayetteville-Springdale Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area added 8,267 residents between July 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012, the Census Bureau estimates.

The new population estimate – 482, 200 – means the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area that includes four counties remains the nation’s 107th largest metropolitan statistical area. The counties included in the MSA are Benton, Madison and Washington counties in Arkansas and McDonald County, Mo.

The region’s growth rate was 1.74 percent during the year, keeping the region on pace to hit 500,000 residents by mid-2014.

The four-county area grew faster than any MSA in Arkansas. The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway MSA grew at a 0.94 percent rate, adding 6,716 residents. Its population is now 717,666, making in the largest MSA in the state.

In information released to the media by the Census Bureau, the agency noted that 40 of the 50 fastest growing regions in the U.S. are in the South or West. Those 40 didn’t include the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA, saying the region “straddles the South and the Midwest.”

Northwest Arkansas’ growth, by all accounts, has remained remarkable over the past 25 years. The most recent population estimates provided new information to illustrate the point.

It’s noteworthy that Northwest Arkansas’ addition of 8,267 residents means the region added more residents than some MSAs with more than 1 million residents. That list included Louisville, St. Louis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Providence, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Birmingham.

if the Northwest Arkansas region's growth rate were to continue at 1.74 percent, the MSA will reach 500,000 residents in August 2014.

The Census Bureau’s press release about MSA growth is available at this link.