Milken: Northwest Arkansas Remains Among Nation's Best-Performing Cities

Northwest Arkansas remains among the nation’s top metropolitan areas, according to a new report released today by The Milken Institute.

The Best-Performing Cities report, which has been published annually since 1999, places Northwest Arkansas at No. 27 among the nation’s 200 large metropolitan areas.Metrics that are the basis for the report include growth in jobs, wages and salaries, and technology output. The ranking is important because it helps policymakers, investors, and companies understand which of the nation’s metropolitan economies are thriving.

The nation's Top 3 large metros were Provo-Orem, Utah; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; and Austin-Round Rock, Texas The full 2018 report provides insight into what’s happening in all of the nation’s metropolitan areas.

The Milken evaluation is based on eight economic categories, and Northwest Arkansas is in the Top 10 in two of those areas. It ranked No. 8 in its job growth and was No. 8 in wage growth.

It’s also worth noting that Northwest Arkansas ranked higher than almost every metropolitan area in a 19-state region being called the nation’s Heartland. It trailed only No. 25 Nashville, Tenn.

The Milken report shows Northwest Arkansas leaders picked excellent peer regions that are utilized by the Northwest Arkansas Council and other organizations as benchmarks for comparison. No. 1 Provo is among Northwest Arkansas’ peers, and other peers that performed well according to Milken’s metrics were No. 3 Austin and No. 6 Raleigh.

The Milken Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., is a nonprofit, nonpartisan economic think tank that advances innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital, and enhance health.