Several Northwest Arkansas cities were ranked among the fastest growing small cities in the United States in a recent survey. WalletHub has examined the growth of 515 cities across the country and ranked them based on economic growth.
Fayetteville was ranked no. 30 for fastest economic growth among small U.S. cities. Overall, Fayetteville was no. 104 among U.S. cities for economic growth. The survey ranked Fayetteville at no. 81 for “sociodemographics” and at no. 231 for “jobs and economy.”
Arkansas’ second-highest ranked city was Springdale, which WalletHub named the 57th fastest-growing small city in the United States. Springdale received a ranking of 169 for “sociodemographics” and 228 for “jobs and economy,” earning it an overall ranking of no. 181 among all U.S. cities.
Fort Smith was the last Arkansas city to be named to the fastest-growing small cities list, taking the no. 162 spot. It was ranked no. 390 for “sociodemographics” and no. 470 for “jobs and economy,” getting the no. 450 overall ranking for fastest-growing cities.
Little Rock also made the list of fastest-growing cities in the United States on the midsize cities list. Among midsize cities, Little Rock was no. 209 for economic growth but was no. 407 overall for economic growth among U.S. cities. Arkansas’ capital city was ranked no. 323 for sociodemographics and no. 452 for jobs and economy.
In this survey, WalletHub looked at cities of different populations, roughly sorted into large, midsize and small cities categories. The 515 cities were evaluated based on each city’s sociodemographics and its “jobs and economy” situation. In total, the sociodemographics and jobs and economy categories consisted of 17 metrics.
For sociodemgraphics, the survey looked at population growth, working age population growth and growth in share of college-educated population. For jobs and economy, the survey looked at job growth, increase in ration of full-time to part-time jobs, median household income growth, unemployment rate decrease, poverty rate decrease, growth in regional GDP per capita, increase in number of businesses, increase in number of startups, increase in venture capital investment amount, growth in number of technology companies, media house price growth, building permit activity growth, and foreclosure rate decrease.
Each of the 17 metrics were graded on a 100-point scale, and each city’s weighted average across all of the metrics was used to determine its overall score.
WalletHub defined small cities as those with fewer than 100,000 individuals. Midsize cities had 100,000 to 300,000 individuals, while large cities had more than 300,000 individuals.