Just four larger metropolitan areas in the U.S. are growing at a faster rate than Northwest Arkansas.
The region’s 18.6 percent growth since the 2010 Census is one of the most telling statistics about the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area (Northwest Arkansas) and its rise toward becoming one of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.
The U.S. Census Bureau made statistics public this week that show Northwest Arkansas ranked No. 102 in population as of July 1, 2018 among the nation’s more than 380 MSAs. It ranked No. 104 in 2017; it sat at No. 109 in 2010.
The bureau showed an average of 28.5 additional residents were added to the region’s population between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2018, pushing the region’s population to 549,128. In the most recent year, the region’s core counties — Benton and Washington — were the fastest-growing counties in the state.
Per usual, the Census estimates show how remarkable Northwest Arkansas’ growth is compared to other regions across the U.S. Among the notable statistics gleaned from the data were these:
Northwest Arkansas is among 12 of the nation’s 200 largest MSAs with a growth rate of 18 percent or more between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2018. Most of 12 places, including Austin, Provo, Raleigh and Northwest Arkansas, are recognized as some of the nation’s best places to live and work.
Northwest Arkansas added 10,716 residents between July 2017 and July 2018, far more than larger MSAs such as Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, San Jose and Louisville.
The 85,926 people added to the region’s population between April 2010 and July 2018 exceeded the number of people added in the metro areas of Tulsa (56,265), Little Rock (41,308), Memphis (25,791) and St. Louis (17,713).
The MSA’s 18.6 percent growth from April 2010 to July 2018 ranks 13th nationally among all MSAs. The four larger MSAs that grew faster were Austin (26.3 percent), Orlando (20.5 percent), Raleigh (20.5 percent) and Provo (20.3 percent).
The metro ranked 27th in the nation in its growth rate between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018.
The Census data make it possible to size up how the 28.5 additional residents a day have arrived in Northwest Arkansas since 2010.
Most of the growth is from migrants who move to Northwest Arkansas from other states and countries. The 18.3 migrants a day include 14.6 people from other states and 3.7 a day from other countries. The region has about 19.8 births a day and about 9.8 deaths, amounting to what the Census calls a “natural” increase of 10 people a day.
Pictured at the top: The map shows the 12 metropolitan areas in the U.S. that had growth rates of 18 percent or more between April 2010 and July 2018.