As I have said many times, Benton County, and Bentonville is the place to be...
From the Northwest Arkansas Council website:
Northwest Arkansas’ largest counties were among the five fastest growing places in the state, according to population estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau estimates that Benton County — the state’s second largest county and the home of companies such as Wal-Mart Stores, Arvest Bank and J.B. Hunt Transport Services — led Arkansas in growth in the 15-month period that ended in July 2011. Benton County’s population grew 2.8 percent to 227,556 residents.
Washington County — home of Tyson Foods and the University of Arkansas — ranked fourth statewide in growth rate. With 207,521 residents, the county is Arkansas’ third largest county.
If the overall 2.5 percent growth rate of the two counties were to continue, the combined population would reach 500,000 in 2018.
Benton and Washington counties are the core of the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which also includes Madison County and McDonald County, Mo. The Census Bureau reported in April that the four MSA counties’ combined population was 473,830 on July 1, 2011. Only 22 of the nation’s 366 MSAs grew at a faster rate between April 2010 and July 2011.
Other statistics gleaned from the Census Bureau’s information about the 15-month population change:
- Arkansas’ population increased by 22,064. The state’s population should top 3 million in 2015.
- About one in four new Arkansas residents lives in Benton County (28.2 percent).
- About half of the Arkansas population growth occurred in Benton and Washington counties (48.3 percent, 10,673 people).
- Benton and Washington counties’ addition of 10,673 residents is more than Central Arkansas’ four largest counties (Pulaski, Garland, Saline and Faulkner counties combined added 10,162 residents).
- In an area that includes Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, only three counties added more residents than Benton County, Ark.
- Benton County’s addition of 6,217 people exceeded every county in states such as Alabama, Missouri and Mississippi.
- 28 of the Arkansas’ 75 counties increased in population.