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Economics, Employment, Arkansas, Education, Commuting


The State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report is an annual publication, commissioned by the Northwest Arkansas Council, that serves as a tool for evaluating economic performance. In July 2018, the Northwest Arkansas Council created a new blueprint for development in which Northwest Arkansas is benchmarked with other contemporary, high-performing regions, namely Austin, Des Moines, Madison, Durham-Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Provo-Orem.

The 2022 report compares Northwest Arkansas with these geographies in gross domestic product, employment, unemployment, establishment growth, median household income, average annual wages, poverty, educational attainment, research and development, homeownership costs, commuting time, and average domestic airfares. The following table provides a summary of the performance of the Northwest Arkansas region (Benton, Madison and Washington counties) on these measures. Important indicators such as population growth, household income and wages showed strong increases from 2019, while improvements in metrics such as higher educational attainment were more limited. The data in this report covers a time period that includes the COVID-19 pandemic, and metrics such as gross domestic product, unemployment rate and airfares reflect the impacts of the pandemic.