Wealth index has Benton County ranked first in Arkansas

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,515 views 

A county wealth index produced by New York City-based SmartAsset has the top Arkansas counties in the state’s metro areas, with the only non-metro counties in the top 10 being Crittenden and Union counties. Union County is home to El Dorado-based Murphy USA.

SmartAsset on Tuesday (July 26) published the county wealth index with Benton County ranked first in the state with a 38.42 wealth index. Pulaski County was second with an index of 17.5, Washington County third at 16.26, Sebastian County fourth at 15.22, and Union County rounding out the top five at 14.7.

To create the index of all U.S. counties, SmartAsset used data from the 2019 IRS Statistics of Income county report for investment income, the 2021 National Association of Realtors data for home values, and 2020 BEA personal income by county, all of which are the most recently available data.

Following are the top 10 Arkansas counties by wealth index, with per capita income in parenthesis.
Benton County: 38.42 ($94,289)
Pulaski County: 17.5 ($55,563)
Washington County: 16.26 ($43,817)
Sebastian County: 15.22 ($45,587)
Union County: 14.7 ($48,669)
Saline County: 14.06 ($45,692)
Garland County: 13.52 ($44,358)
Craighead County: 13.52 ($40,728)
Faulkner County: 13.42 ($41,943)
Crittenden County: 13.28 ($41,474)

The top counties for average weekly wages are somewhat less tied to the metro areas than the SmartAsset wealth index. The most recent weekly wage data was posted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on May 25 and measures the fourth quarter of 2021. That report showed that average weekly wages in Arkansas during the fourth quarter was $1,064, down 25% compared with the U.S. average of $1,418.

Mississippi County, which is home to high-paying steel mill jobs, has the highest weekly wage in Arkansas at $1,513. Following are the top 10 Arkansas counties in terms of average weekly wages.
Mississippi County: $1,513
Calhoun County: $1,286
Benton County: $1,238
Washington County: $1,234
Pulaski County: $1,196
Little River County: $1,086
Union County: $1,059
Arkansas County: $1,021
Sebastian County: $1,014
Pope County: $1,008

Among the 343 largest U.S. counties, 334 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. In the fourth quarter of 2021, average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,418, a 5.9% increase over the year.

SmartAsset is an online source for consumer-focused financial information and advice that supports SmartAdvisor, a national marketplace connecting consumers to financial advisors.