Fort Smith is one of the most populous cities in Arkansas—the second biggest, in fact, with residents totaling over 86,000. The large population is contrasted by a quaint downtown area that evokes a small-town familiarity. This intersection of residential coziness and metropolitan sophisticate, in fact, is representative of Fort Smith’s appeal.
Economy and Employment
Fort Smith boasts an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, which is below that of the national average. Indeed, with future job growth projected at 21.7 percent, there’s much economic potential in the city. Some of the top employers include the following:
- Sparks Health System
- Baldor Electric Company
- OK Foods
- Fort Smith Public Schools
- 188th Fighter Wing
Indeed, Fort Smith has a diverse economy that’s supported by sectors such as education, utilities, food service, and the military. The range of employment opportunities makes for a strong economy and an attractive area for professionals in a range of industries.
The Fort Smith School District serves over 14,000 students across 26 schools. In addition to the city’s K-12 institutions, there are a number of colleges and universities in the city. The biggest and most notable is the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, where over 6,600 students are enrolled. Fort Smith also contains the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine and satellite campuses for John Brown University and Webster University.
Neighborhoods and Home Values
Neighborhoods in Fort Smith are almost as diverse as its economy. If you’re looking for historical luxury homes, you’ll find them in the Fort Chaffee Historic District. If you want a more suburban feel, with standard single family homes, subdivisions such as Stoneshire and Cisterna Villa are attractive options. The city’s average home value of $109,700, compared to a national average of $226,700, makes the potential for equity clear—further attracting prospective homeowners looking to settle into a city with the right opportunities and amenities.