NWA Population On Target to Reach 500,000

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Northwest Arkansas grows by 24 people a day since the 2010 U.S. Census, according to the Northwest Arkansas Council. The region is expected to reach the 500,000th resident next week.

“Hitting our half million resident is a huge milestone and very few regions actually get to this point,” said Mike Malone, president and CEO of the NWA Council. “Hopefully they only get to the point once and you go over the threshold.”

Malone said this growth attracts businesses.

“It’s a big deal,” he said. “It shows that we’ve got a great quality of life, we’ve got great employment opportunities here, that people move here and they love it.”

The council points out several major construction projects since 2008. There’s the Arvest Ballpark in Sprindale, Crystal Bridges in Bridges in Bentonville, the AMP in Rogers and the Razorback Greenway, which is a 36-mile stretch of trail from Fayetteville to Bentonville.

The 500,000th resident was determined by calculating the change between the 2010 and 2013 U.S. Census.

The region has 17,000 jobs more than it did in 2000, according to the council.

“For nearly three decades now, Northwest Arkansas has been one of the fastest growing metros in the country so our cities and our state government agencies have all been running fast to try to keep up with the growth,” Malone said

“We know that continued growth will continue to put strains on infrastructure,” he said. “We continue to see demands for amenities and services that a larger population needs.”

The NWA Council will start a social media competition Wednesday May 28. People can tweet pictures of doing something they love in the region with the #NWA500K. The winner gets a $500 Walmart gift card and a basket with prizes. 

To participate, residents have to live in Bentonville, Madison and Washington Counties. The council is also including McDonald County in MO.