Making the list: NWA ranks among the best places to live, work and play

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21 November, 2019 By Karen Rice


Not only is Northwest Arkansas one of the most vibrant, successful, beautiful and fun regions of the country in which to live, it’s also one of the most highly ranked. Good economy, job opportunities, recreation, arts, thriving businesses, quality of life. It all adds up to an area that’s ranked at or near the top of many lists by national media and other publications. Here are some of them:


Northwest Arkansas 

Metropolitan Statistical Area (more commonly referred to as Northwest Arkansas and includes Benton, Madison and Washington counties)

“Best Place to Live”

    U.S. News & World Report

    (Northwest Arkansas has been in the Top 5 for three years in a row)

“10 best cities to launch a career”

“Best affordable places to live”

    U.S. News and World Report, April 2018

“Best in the U.S.”

    Lonely Planet

“Best Cities for White-Collar Job Growth”

    Forbes and

“Best Midsize Cities for Jobs”


“Best Cities for Jobs”

“Best Places for Minority-owned Businesses”

“Best Place to Retire” & Money Magazine

“Best Suburb to Purchase a Home”

“Most Family Friendly”

“Fastest-Growing Economy through 2022”


Bella Vista

“25 Best Places to Retire”


“Top 10 Best Healthy Places to Retire”

    U.S. News & World Report

“Top 25 best places for affordable homes” and Money Magazine



“Best Small Cities for Families”


“America’s Coolest Southern Towns”

“America’s 20 Best Mountain Bike Towns”

    National Geographic

“25 Best Small U.S. Cities to spend the weekend”


“28 Best Trips of 2016”

    Outside Magazine

“10 Newest Hipster Neighborhoods”

    Yahoo travel



#1, “Best Places for Singles Right Now

    Money Magazine

“The South’s Best College Towns”

    Southern Living

“Six Amazing Small Cities for a Family Vacation”


“Fittest Places to Live in America”

    Men’s Journal


University of Arkansas

“Top 100 utility patent producing Universities”

    National Academy of Inventors

“Best Value in Legal Education”

    The National Jurist

“Best Schools for Public Service”

    The National Jurist



“Best Minor League Baseball Towns”


“Fastest-Growing Cities in America”


“50 Best Cities to Live”

    24/7 Wall St.


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