Northwest Arkansas, one of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan areas, is ranked as one of the nation’s 10 most affordable urban areas to live. That new ranking, compiled by The Council for Community and Economic Research, includes 257 urban areas for the first quarter of 2019.
Springdale’s metro posted a composite index of 81.9, 19.1 percent below the national average and good enough for the eighth-lowest cost of living in the country. Two Texas metros, Harlingen (74.7) and McAllen (75.9) lead the nation in most affordable cost of living through the first three months of the year. Manhattan, NY (238.4) and San Francisco (200.1) have the dubious distinction of the nation’s highest cost of living.
Northwest Arkansas’ composite index includes individual indices for grocery items (90.1), housing (67.4), utilities (90.2), transportation (84.3), health care (84.3) and miscellaneous goods and services (87.8). A 100 index reflects the national average.