Arkansas’ richest city is Goshen, a little city located in Washington County. With a median income of $141,389, Goshen residents earn 105.8% more than the average American.
Plus, household earnings exceed $200,000, making this city’s residents the wealthiest and most affluent in the Southern state.
The residents’ high level of education is likely one of the main reasons Goshen is wealthy. With 48% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher (compared to 20% nationally), Goshen is easily one of the most educated cities in Arkansas.
In addition, 21% of Goshen’s population hold a master’s degree or higher. It’s no wonder that Business Insider recognized Goshen as the “Most Educated” city in all of Arkansas.
As you can see, Goshen is far from being an ordinary Southern city. Yes, like many cities in the region, it’s known for its Southern charm and hospitality, but few cities can lay claim to having a highly educated, sophisticated, wealthy population like Goshen’s.
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Interestingly, the cost of living in Goshen is quite low, but this is also true for most of Arkansas.
This is less than the statewide cost of living ($32,443), as well as the national cost of living ($38,433), making Goshen a relatively affordable place to live.
This means that Goshen residents, whose incomes are well above the state and national average, can enjoy a reasonably comfortable way of life.
In this city, the median value of a home is $348,100, which is higher than the national average of $204,900.
Renting in Goshen, however, is much more affordable – even by national standards. In fact, the typical renter in this city spends only $670 per month, compared to the average national monthly rent of $1,023.
All in all, when you take into account the cost of things like food, transportation, health care, and rent, it’s easy to see that Goshen is a very affordable city to call home.
Goshen is best known for its affluence, small-town vibe, and Southern charm.
Despite being a small city, Goshen has a myriad of things to see and do. From indulging in wine at Sassafras Springs Vineyard to taking in stunning views of nature while riding horses to experiencing the adrenaline rush of laser tag, visitors and residents alike never run out of things to do in this Arkansas city.
Popular restaurants include Saddlebock Brewery, Feed and Folly, Panchos Mexican Restaurant, Nomads, and Apple Blossom Brewing Company, where people can enjoy foods ranging from local Southern fare to Latin American cuisines to homemade breads.
White settlers first arrived in what’s today known as Goshen during the 19th century. The area was prized for its game, farmland, and timber.
Two men named James Caldwell and John Neill owned land in the area before the Civil War. Although some sources say that settlers first came to Goshen in the 1820s, Caldwell’s land grant wasn’t approved until 1843.
Neill’s was approved in 1854.
Since then, many events took place before Goshen’s incorporation in 1982. From serving as a Methodist campground to experiencing the atrocities of the Civil War to being a center for grain, tobacco, and cotton crops to being hit by severe economic hardship during the Great Depression, Goshen went through an array of significant events over the years – both good and bad – that would forever shape this unique city.
Today, Goshen is mostly residential, its primary landmarks being the Goshen cemetery and the Methodist church, and the city has established a reputation throughout the state of Arkansas for being wealthy, affluent, and rich in history and culture.
As of 2022, Goshen has a population of 2,169 and is growing at a rate of 3.63% per year. Its population has grown by 105.01% since its 2010 census, which recorded a population of about half its current size.
93.79% of the population is white. The rest identify as “two or more races,” Asian, and Black or African American.
The median age is 34 years, meaning that Goshen has quite a young population. Of the 1,599 adults in Goshen, only 191 of them are seniors.
The poverty rate is exceptionally low, at 0.89%. This, too, can be attributed to Goshen’s highly educated population.
As you may well know, there’s a strong relationship between education and income, and this connection can be easily seen in Goshen.
According to a 2020 report (using 2019 data) by Phoenix Marketing International, Arkansas ranks 34th out of 51, including the District of Columbia, for states with the most millionaire households.
Arkansas’ total number is 51,532, compared to 1,147,251 in California, which ranks first, and 650,216 in Texas, which ranks second.
Although Arkansas isn’t brimming with millionaires compared to other states, it does enjoy a comparatively low cost of living.
This is true not only for Goshen, however; it applies to the state as a whole. Therefore, residents in the state, especially those with above-average incomes, can live extraordinarily comfortable lives.
Currently, there are 5 billionaires in Arkansas, according to Forbes. Their names are Warren Stephens, John Tyson, Johnelle Hunt, Rob Walton, and Jim Walton.
Brothers Rob and Jim Walton are sons of Sam Walton, best known for founding the retail companies Walmart and Sam’s Club, both multi-billion dollar corporations.
Rob and Jim are among the top 20 wealthiest people in the world, alongside famous billionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg.
Tyson, who founded Tyson Foods, is also a household name. His company is currently the second-largest meat processor in the world, after JBS S.A.
It’s also the largest American exporter of beef, feeding billions of people around the world annually.
Stephens made his fortune through investment banking and Hunt through trucking.
Arkansas’ largest industry is agriculture, which contributes $16 billion to the state’s economy every year.
The state’s diverse climate and landscape create a great variety of agricultural products, such as soybeans, rice, poultry, cotton, and feed grains.
Two of the biggest crops in the state are rice and cotton. In fact, Arkansas is the largest producer of rice in the US, as well as the third-largest producer of cotton.
Of the 49,346 farms that can be found across the state, 97% are family-owned. And an extremely small percentage of Arkansas’ farms – a mere 16% – produce 92% of the state’s agricultural products.
The state’s ability to produce such enormous amounts of crops is also due to the fact that it’s home to 14.5 million acres of workable farmland.
It also boasts 18.8 million acres of forest land, making Arkansas one of the country’s largest lumber producers.
Arkansas ranks 48th out of 50 states when it comes to wealth per capita. That means that Arkansas cities that rank low in terms of wealth compared to other cities in the state are really at the bottom of the barrel in terms of per capita income.
Based on data obtained from the 2000-2010 Census, the least wealthy cities in the state include Reed (per capita income of $8,727), Fargo ($8,634), Zinc ($8,512), Vandervoort ($8,135), Sunset ($7,766), Wickes ($7,572), and Jennette ($7,571).
Jennette, where nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line (like in many other cities/towns listed above), is considered Arkansas’ poorest town.
Located in Crittenden County, this town west of Memphis had a population of 115 in 2010.