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Northwest Arkansas, economics, economics performance


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 that outlines the peer regions and a strategic action agenda for 2018-2021. In this plan, the performance of Northwest Arkansas is benchmarked with other contemporary, high-performing regions, namely Austin, Des Moines, Madison, Durham-Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Provo-Orem. The 2018 State of the Region Report compares Northwest Arkansas with these geographies in the areas of 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 table below provides a summary of the performance of the Northwest Arkansas region on these measures. Important indicators such as gross domestic product, business establishment growth, average annual wages, and university R&D expenditures showed strong increases from the previous year, while improvements in metrics such as poverty rate and higher education attainment were more limited.