Fayetteville is the county seat of Washington County and the third-largest city in Arkansas. The city is centrally located within the county and is home to the University of Arkansas. Fayetteville is on the outskirts of the Boston Mountains, deep within The Ozarks. Known as Washington until 1829, the city was named after General Lafayette, a French general who helped the colonies gain freedom in the American Revolutionary War. 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 and 75,102 at the 2011 estimate.
Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas, which is the flagship university in the state. Fall and spring bring thousands of students to campus which dramatically change the complexion of Fayetteville. As it is a Southeastern Conference institution, thousands of Arkansas Razorbacks fans go to Fayetteville for home football, basketball and baseball games. The University's track and field program has won 42 national championships to date.Forbes ranked Fayetteville in 2010 as the 7th-best College Sports Town and 8th for Business and Careers.Kiplinger's 2008 "Best Cities to Work, Live and Play" list featured Fayetteville as #7. 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 Bud Walton Arena and is home to several of Walmart's corporate partners.