Fayetteville is the third-largest city in Arkansas and county seat of Washington County. The city is centrally located within the county and has been home of the University of Arkansas since the institution's founding in 1871. Fayetteville is on the outskirts of the Boston Mountains, deep within the Ozarks. Known as Washington until 1829, the city was named after Fayetteville, Tennessee, where many of the settlers were from. It was incorporated on November 3, 1836 and was rechartered in 1867. The four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. The city had a population of 73,580 at the 2010 Census.
Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas, the state's largest university. When classes are in session, the thousands of students on campus dramatically change the demographics of Fayetteville. As it is a Southeastern Conference institution, thousands of Arkansas Razorbacks alumni and fans travel to Fayetteville to attend home football, basketball, and baseball games. The University's men's track and field program has won 41 national championships to date. Forbes ranked Fayetteville as the 8th-best city for Business and Careers in 2010. U.S. News ranked Fayetteville one of the best places to retire. Based in nearby Bentonville, the Walmart corporation has contributed to the economy of Fayetteville. The city hosts the Wal-Mart Shareholders Meetings each year at the Bud Walton Arena.
Forbes Magazine ranked the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers area as the second-best area in the United States for recovery from the current United States recession. Reasons cited were the presence of Walmart, one of the top Fortune 500 corporations, in the area, in addition to low unemployment (5.0%) compared to national averages.