Fayetteville, Arkansas - Best Cities for Mid-Career Professionals, according to 2012 Kiplinger Report

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Population (metro area): 366,383
Unemployment rate:  5.7%
Cost-of-living index: 96.8
Median household  income: $45,757
Income growth (2006-11): 14.1%

Nestled  in the foothills of the Ozarks, Fayetteville is home to the University of  Arkansas and is 30 miles from Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters. Both the  university and feeder companies for the mega-retailer (Procter & Gamble,  PepsiCo and Tyson Foods) offer jobs, and Wal-Mart's move toward sustainability  has sparked the growth of green-industry start-ups.

The town is known  for beautiful weather, with four distinct seasons. Nature lovers can backpack in  the Ozarks, kayak on the Buffalo River or enjoy the city's parks and trails. In  April through November, the farmer's market provides fresh produce and baked  goods and the residents can take in live music and street performances. The  Walton Arts Center features performances from Broadway shows to symphony  concerts, as well as visual arts.

Homes are reasonably priced -- near  the town center and the university, a three-bedroom costs between $200,000 and  $300,000. Move west across Interstate 540 and you’ll find four-bedrooms near  golf courses for closer to $175,000.

Last modified onTuesday, 15 March 2016 13:25