Analysis finds NWA counties receive most investment money

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 466 views 

Benton and Washington counties experienced the highest growth in incoming investments in Arkansas from 2014 to 2017, according to a recent study.

The analysis comes from financial technology company SmartAsset, which recently ranked each U.S. county to show those with the most incoming investments in business, real estate, government and the economy. The rankings, over a three-year period, were based on business establishment growth, GDP growth, new building permits and federal funding.

Benton County was ranked No. 1 in the state, while Washington County was No. 2. Craighead County was No. 3; Pulaski County No. 5; and Sebastian County No. 15.

From 2014 to 2017, business growth rose the highest in the state in Benton County at 11.2%, and it rose 7.7% in Washington County. GDP growth rose $116 million and $101 million, respectively. Pulaski County’s GDP growth was the highest in the state at $231 million, or $14 million more than the combined value of the two Northwest Arkansas counties, the study showed.

At No. 1 in the state, Benton County had 31.6 new building permits per 1,000 homes, and Washington County had 14.8 new building permits per 1,000 homes. Craighead County was No. 2 in the state, with 17.8 new building permits per 1,000 homes.

At No. 4 in the state, Washington County received $543 per capita in federal funding, while Benton County was No. 7, with $303 per capita in federal funding. Monroe County in eastern Arkansas received the most federal funding per capita at $1,144.

Comal County, Texas, between Austin and San Antonio, received the most incoming investments in the United States, and was one of four Texas counties in the top 10, according to the study. The county had 12.4% business growth, $624 million in GDP growth, 57.4 new building permits per 1,000 homes and $422 per capita in federal funding. Los Angeles County, Calif., was No. 2 with 6.4% business growth, $77.9 billion in GDP growth, 6.1 new building permits per 1,000 homes and $1,254 per capita in federal funding.

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