What's it like to live in Fayetteville, AR?

Profile written by local expert:

Rachel Gerner

Located in a region that's experiencing drastic growth, Fayetteville – together with Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale – has transformed from a small town to a center of higher education, culture, commerce and entrepreneurialism. The area known as Northwest Arkansas is the birthplace of Walmart, the headquarters of Tyson Foods and the home of the University of Arkansas, the flagship campus of the U of A system. 

People from all over the world call Fayetteville home. Newcomers often comment on the friendliness of Fayetteville residents. People wave and smile at each other in the street, and community events are well-attended. With dozens of volunteer organizations and nonprofits, there's an abundance of ways to get involved in the community.

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Fayetteville attracts outdoorsy types with its abundance of state parks, acres of community green space, playgrounds, parks and walking trails. The metro area also boasts a first-class performing arts center, an active local food movement, live music venues and a dynamic festival scene.


U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Fayetteville, Arkansas is ranked:

#8 in Best Places to Live

#106 in Best Places to Retire

#4 in Cheapest Places to Live

#22 in Fastest-Growing Places

#23 in Best Places to Live for Quality of Life




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Fayetteville, AR Quick Stats

  • 526,412

    Metro Population

  • $46,470

    Average Annual Salary

  • 68.0° / 45.0°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 34.0

    Median Age

  • $192,708

    Median Home Price

  • 47.9 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 2.6%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $803

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 21.1 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Fayetteville, AR?

Fayetteville residents take college football very seriously. When the University of Arkansas' Razorback football team plays home games, the community floods the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium to "call the hogs." The local stores stock T-shirts, toothbrushes, lamps and even bedding emblazoned with Razorback logos.

Fayetteville residents are also very keen on the arts. Walton Arts Center on Dickson Street boasts a full Broadway theater season while TheatreSquared, located just off of Dickson Street, welcomes more than 30,000 patrons per year.

The city of Fayetteville has 36 parks and 16 natural areas. Altogether, these spaces cover more than 4,200 acres and feature 79 miles of trails, three lakes, a swimming pool, a skate park and much more.

What's the cost of living in Fayetteville, AR?

Drawn to jobs at Tyson, Walmart and Walmart's vendor community, newcomers have flooded the area over the past several years, pushing housing prices up and enticing real estate developers to build. While real estate in Fayetteville is some of the most expensive in Arkansas, Fayetteville's median home sale price is lower than in other real estate markets in the U.S. 

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Value Index

Index Score: 8.3 /10

How we calculate this.

Fayetteville offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2019



Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Fayetteville, AR.

What's the weather like in Fayetteville, AR?

Although residents experience all four seasons, the overall mild climate in Fayetteville means that any snow that falls usually doesn't last more than a few days.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

3.2 in


5.8 in


5.1 in


4.8 in


Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Fayetteville, AR?

Although you don't necessarily need a car if you live in the Fayetteville area, having one will come in handy, especially if you're commuting between multiple cities in the Northwest Arkansas area. Traffic is manageable, and it takes residents less than 22 minutes on average to get to work.

For Fayetteville commuters, the Razorback Transit bus service throughout downtown Fayetteville and the immediate suburbs is free. Ozark Regional Transit provides public bus service in Northwest Arkansas for single-ride or monthly fares.

Fayetteville organizes an annual 30-mile Square to Square bicycle ride that connects Fayetteville's downtown square to Bentonville's square. Parts of the metro area are bike-friendly; however, many people (especially university students) prefer scooters over bikes to navigate the hills on a daily basis.

The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, located just over 10 miles southwest of downtown Bentonville, has direct flights to many cities across the U.S., including New York City, Atlanta and Chicago. The airport is serviced by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Allegiant Air. The area isn't accessible by train, but charter bus companies like Greyhound do run routes through Fayetteville.

Commuting in Fayetteville, AR

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

21.1 minutes

5.5 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Fayetteville, AR?

Because of its economic stability, access to quality public schools, well-maintained public spaces and relatively low cost of living, Fayetteville is attracting families. But due to the metro area's large student population, its median age skews young.

Fayetteville is located in the Bible Belt, and more than half the population has a religious affiliation, with Baptist as the majority. 

Fayetteville is a white-collar area, with a significant portion of the workforce employed in professional jobs; many work for the University of Arkansas. Naturally, university life has a major influence on local Fayetteville culture; when students return from break, the area feels dramatically more energetic.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

Fewer single people in Fayetteville than
national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.