The city of Conway was recently rated sixth among the top 10 least expensive cities for living in the country on kiplinger.com. The list represents metropolitan areas with populations of at least 75,000.
The editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine compiled the list of cities based on the ACCRA Cost of Living Index by the Council for Community and Economic Research.
To be ranked, the cities are compared and measured in the areas of available utility costs, transportation, living expenses, housing and health care.
According to the Kiplinger article, a composite score of 100 represents the national average. Conway’s score is 86.8.
Fort Smith earned the No. 1 spot with a composite score of 85.2.
According to ACCRA data, the city of Conway’s median household income is $45,554, and the average home price is $246,782.
Fort Smith’s median household income is almost $10,000 lower than Conway’s, and the average home price is about $23,000 lower.
While the area home market claims the highest average on the list, Kiplinger said Conway’s costs for utilities and health care are “extraordinarily low.”
Jack Bell, assistant to Mayor Tab Townsell, said “I think it’s great that two of our valued partners, Conway Corp. and Conway Regional, are helping to achieve this rank for us. I think we’ve concentrated on the quality of life here and it’s encouraging that we do have that quality and it is still reasonably priced.”
Bell said that Arkansas is a reasonable state to live in because state taxes are low, and “our sales tax here is the lowest in the county.”
“It’s great to get on that list,” Bell said.
A congressional record statement sent by Sen. Blanche Lincoln on Monday said “Today, I recognize two Arkansas communities that were recently recognized for their low-cost of living and quality of life.”
Lincoln went on to say, “I congratulate the residents of both communities for this significant recognition. I also commend Fort Smith and Conway community leaders for their tireless efforts to build and maintain a safe, economical, and desirable place to live for local citizens.”
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)