Then & Now... A snapshot look at the growth of Northwest Arkansas

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If you are familiar with Northwest Arkansas at all, you have probably heard it said that this area has grown... a LOT.  But you may not know why or how exactly.  Our team decided to take a deeper look at this growth over the past two decades, and wanted to share a few of our findings.  It's easy to see that this little corner of the state has really bloomed into a national hub for economic growth and development.
Ethnic Trends from 1990-2010:

2010 Census
Population
White
Latino
Asian
African American
Other
MSA
463,204
353,302
69,087
10,884
8,629
21,302
Rogers
55,964
34,718
17,619
1,400
716
1,511
Lowell
7,327
5,035
1,808
193
59
212
Springdale
69,797
36,798
24,692
1,336
1,160
5,811
Fayetteville
73,580
59,398
4,725
2,255
4,301
2,901
Bentonville
35,301
27,193
3,074
2,919
850
1,265
Bella Vista
26,461
24,881
688
122
169
601
2000 Census
Population
White
Latino
Asian
African American
Other
MSA
311121
266462
26401
4094
4168
9,996
Rogers
38829
33296
3660
556
184
1,133
Lowell
5013
4445
205
136
39
188
Springdale
45798
37380
5079
772
377
2,190
Fayetteville
58047
50212
2639
1484
2969
743
Bentonville
19730
17939
528
473
174
616
Bella Vista
16441
16050
168
45
30
148
1990 Census
Population
White
Latino
Asian
African American
Other
MSA
113409
107724
1526
1027
1656
1476
Rogers
24692
23811
460
190
15
216
Lowell
1224
1164
37
6
0
17
Springdale
29941
28853
446
277
28
337
Fayetteville
42099
38798
603
651
1566
481
Bentonville
11257
10872
161
98
27
99
Bella Vista
9083
9009
25
8
7
34

One of the most important trends that we see with ethnic growth is the increase of the Latino population over the past twenty years, growing from just 460 in Rogers in 1990 to over 17,000 in Rogers today.  35.3% of all Latino residents in Arkansas live in Benton or Washington County. 
This growth is remarkable, and has opened up our area to become a diverse marketplace in both small and large scale businesses for minority business leaders.  It has also allowed the rest of the growth to become international hub as we continue to grow our diverse population.
Household & Gender Trends from 1990-2010: 

2010 Census
Male
Female
Households
MSA
230,152
233052
173054
Rogers
27,437
28,527
19,675
Lowell
3,622
3,705
2,677
Springdale
34693
35104
22805
Fayetteville
36,993
36,587
30726
Bentonville
17282
18,019
13253
Bella Vista
12,706
13,755
11729
2000 Census
Male
Female
Households
MSA
154697
156424
118363
Rogers
18,947
19,882
14,061
Lowell
2,404
2,444
1,790
Springdale
22635
23425
16287
Fayetteville
29,376
28,407
23691
Bentonville
9533
10219
7468
Bella Vista
7,934
8,507
7854
1990 Census
Male
Female
Households
MSA
56060
57349
43372
Rogers
11,872
12,865
9,705
Lowell
614
610
477
Springdale
14353
15588
11432
Fayetteville
21,029
21,070
16894
Bentonville
5368
5889
4266
Bella Vista
4,332
4,751
4369

From 2000-2010, the U.S. census shows that we had rapid growth in the amount of individuals and families moving to Northwest Arkansas averaging 944 new residents per month transplanting here to live.  Benton County alone grew 44.3% with an increase of 67,933 people since 2000.
The population for Benton and Washington Counties has more than doubled since 1990.  The growth rate for the two county area was 101.2% for a total population growth of 213,496 since 1990.  Northwest Arkansas has four of the top ten largest cities in Arkansas. 
Nearly half of the entire growth of the state of Arkansas since 2000 has occurred in Benton and Washington County.
There is no question that corporations such as Walmart, Tyson, and JB Hunt that are headquartered in Northwest Arkansas have had a major impact. 
People from all over the United States and worldwide are moving to Northwest Arkansas to engage in business which is fostering a creative and economic movement that has propelled the Northwest Arkansas region to be one of the nation's best.
The quality of life found in Northwest Arkansas is what one expects from a major metropolis, to have things like world-class health care, fine dining, boutique shops, sports complexes, parks and trails, and the upcoming Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  Not only do new residents find this to be a capitol for business, but there are several things to do for leisure as well.
I-540 & Pleasant Grove Road in 1990
I-540 & Pleasant Grove in 2010
The Nation Has Noticed:
Northwest Arkansas and its cities have recently been recognized by national organizations:
- In 2010 & 2011 CNN-MONEY ranked Rogers 10th on its "Best Places to Live" for Small Cities
- In 2011, Forbes ranked Northwest Arkansas 5th in the Nation for Mid-Sized Cities for Job-Growth
- The Milken Institute ranked Northwest Arkansas 43rd on its "Best Performing Cities" List for Large-Metros
- U.S. News and World Report ranked the Sam M. Walton College of Business 25th among public institutions on its annual "America's Best Graduate Schools List."  The part-time program was ranked 29th in the nation, and the UA Law School was listed in the Top 50.
- 2010 CNN-MONEY listed the top 25 counties in the United States that have experienced the most job growth since 2000.  Benton County ranked 15th, and Washington County came in at 22nd.
- Forbes.com ranked Northwest Arkansas #2 for its list "Best Place in the United States for Recession Recovery"
What Next: 
This is a vibrant economic area that is still growing.  Improvements such as the near opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the recent expansion of XNA Airport, the groundwork beginning for the Bella Vista Bypass, the announcement of Cabela's, and the continuing expansion of St. Mary's/Mercy Hospital show that we're not done.
This area will continue to be a driving force for the nation and great things will continue to come to Northwest Arkansas in the next few years and beyond.
Last modified onTuesday, 15 March 2016 13:25