NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- The U.S. Census Bureau released a new population estimate that ranks the Northwest Arkansas metro area as the 22nd fastest growing metro area in the nation.
They also said the population increased more than 11,000 people from 2015 to 2016.
“We continually are consistent as some of the top job producing counties in the United States metro areas as well. We are growing a lot of jobs, we have low unemployment,” Steve Cox said.
Steve Cox with the Rogers- Lowell Chamber of Commerce said these jobs are not only from our major corporations, but also supplier and manufacturing jobs.
He said quality of life amenities and staying affordable are key to continuing this growth.
“Our cost of living index is actually 14 percent below the national average. So your dollar actually goes further here and so that's a good thing. So you are able to make good money, a good salary but then you are still able to spend your money and live reasonably,” Cox said.
Rick Shaffer with Springdale School District said they have built 15 new schools in the last 18 years, including two schools that opened this school year.
“Springdale School District is the fastest growing district in the state of Arkansas. In fact, I don't remember where we started 10 years ago, but we are now the second largest district in Arkansas," Shaffer said.
Shaffer said at this point the district is in good shape.
“You don't know when the growth is going to stop. It has slowed down to where this year our growth is about 250 kids, we've had years with growth as much as a thousand which is astronomical in a district like this,” he said.
Northwest Arkansas has the 10th highest concentration of millennials in the workforce in the US.