Each year, Site Selection Magazine ranks the top micropolitan communities in the U.S. based on number of projects announced that fall in the manufacturing, distribution, data center, or research and development categories.
Arkadelphia joins the ranking this year tying for 77th along with other Arkansas communities Batesville, Helena-West Helena, and Magnolia. Two other micros in Arkansas outpaced Arkadelphia – El Dorado and Blytheville. Arkadelphia made this year’s list due to the two projects that qualified in 2022 for eligibility. The last time Arkadelphia made the list was in 2016 when it tied for 78th.
Beginning in 2003, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has instructed the Census Bureau to track “micropolitan” areas as well as metropolitan areas. Micropolitan statistical areas must have an urban cluster of at least 10,000 people but fewer than 50,000 people. The designation includes the county where the urban cluster is plus adjacent counties linked by commuting ties. There are currently 543 micropolitan areas in the United States as of the last census.
As a state, Arkansas ranked in the Top 10 with 6 micropolitan communities represented joining a strong southern contingent of states including the Carolinas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
“Making this list is important because it shows our economic and community development leadership team is on a mission to drive growth and create a business-friendly community where existing and new companies can thrive,” said Shelley Short, chief executive officer of the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance.