Fayetteville Fourth on Kiplinger List - Innovate Arkansas
Fayetteville Fourth on Kiplinger List
By Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Editors, 7/23/2012 12:00:00 AMWe missed one in June.
That's when Kiplinger, the Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts and personal financial advice, released its annual list of the "10 Cheapest U.S. Cities to Live In."
The list is based on the Council for Community and Economic Research's calculations of living expenses in numerous metropolitan areas. Kiplinger, for the record, "weeded out" cities with populations of less than 50,000.
The CCER's Cost of Living Index measures relative price levels for housing, utilities, transportation, grocery items, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. A Cost of Living Index score of 100 reflects the national average.
Little Rock and Cleveland scored 99.9 and 100.1, respectively, making them average in terms of living costs. The further a score falls below 100, the lower the cost of living.
Population and median household income data are from the U.S. Census Bureau. Average home prices were provided by the CCER.
Fayetteville, we were interested to learn, is ranked fourth.
Here's Fayetteville by the numbers, according to Kiplinger:
Cost of Living Index: 84.6
City Population: 71,770
Median Household Income: $37,113
Average Home Price: $228,200
Kiplinger also had this to say: "This low-cost city lies in the northwest corner of Arkansas near the borders of Missouri and Oklahoma. The Ozark National Forest is a short car ride away. But Fayetteville is best known for being home to the University of Arkansas, a big draw as an employer and an even bigger draw during football season. Unemployment in the Fayetteville area is below the national average thanks to the strong local economy. It doesn't hurt that Wal-Mart [Stores Inc.] is based in nearby Bentonville."
Conway, meanwhile, ranks No. 6, while Harlingen, Texas, holds down the top spot.
CNBC also released its sixth annual list of "America's Top States for Business" recently, via cnbc.com, and Arkansas made a significant jump from last year's standing.
Arkansas ranked 20th this year, up 13 spots from last year.
To determine its rankings for the list, CNBC scored each state - using publicly available data - on 51 different measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups including The National Association of Manufacturers and The Council on Competitiveness, as well as the states themselves. States received points based on their rankings in each metric, which were then separated into 10 broad categories: cost of doing business, work force, quality of life, infrastructure and transportation, economy, education, technology and innovation, business friendliness, access to capital and cost of living.
Arkansas ranked second in the cost of doing business category and fifth in cost of living. Its lowest mark - 43rd - is in the quality of living category.
Some native Arkansans no doubt will be rankled to learn Texas ranked No. 1 overall.
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