May 17, 2022 - Business

Northwest Arkansas drops to No. 7 on Best Places to Live list

A photo of people at the Fayetteville farmers market.

Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

The NWA metro fell three spots to No. 7 in the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Places to Live list.

  • The 2022-23 list released Tuesday morning, places Huntsville, Alabama, as the No. 1 place to live, up from No. 3 last year.
  • NWA follows Colorado Springs, Colorado; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Boulder, Colorado.; San Jose, California; and Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina.

Why it matters: The list is frequently cited in publicity materials that help drive tourism and recruitment to our region.

Details: U.S. News uses a mix of job market data, housing affordability, quality of life, desirability and net migration to rank metropolitan statistical areas.

The intrigue: Though the U.S. News list only uses "Fayetteville" in its rankings, all locations are ranked by metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs.

  • The official name of Northwest Arkansas is the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA, which astonishingly omits Bentonville.
  • To avoid confusion and be inclusive, Axios uses the term Northwest Arkansas metro or NWA metro for our MSA.
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