The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
Census data shows that Metro Nashville added nearly 100 new residents every day in 2022.
The census numbers, compiled by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Research Center, shows that 2022 brought an increase of around 35,624 people, approximately 98 each day.
The city has experienced major growth over the last 30 years, with population growth of 81% since 1990. The current population of the Nashville metropolitan area comes in at just over 2 million people.
The entertainment industry brings many new residents to Music City, but a good deal of those moving in do so for economic reasons. Some are looking for new job opportunities, while others appreciate a lower cost of living and the fact that there is no state income tax in Tennessee.
Jobs in the music business are a draw, but Nashville is also home to a number of other desirable employers in the areas of health care, manufacturing, and technology.
According to Jeff Hite, chief economic development officer of the Nashville Area Chamber, “We see people moving from the same areas that we see companies having interest to relocate from – areas that are dense, expensive, and highly regulated.”
A recent report from Redfin listed Nashville in the top 10 “homebuyer migration destinations.” Search data from August 2023 to October 2023 showed that most of those looking to move in were located in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, and New York.
Tom Turner, president and CEO of the Nashville Downtown Partnership, says the downtown area has also experienced a spike in population over the last 20 years.
In 2003, the 2.4 square mile area of downtown Nashville was home to approximately 1900 residents. Over the next couple of years, Turner anticipates that number to reach 23,000.
Not every aspect of this growth is positive, however. While those moving in from higher-cost areas consider Nashville to be “very affordable,” many existing residents worry that the quality of life in the city and that affordability are at risk with the continued growth.
A Vanderbilt poll done in April 2023 showed that almost 80% of the respondents felt that the city was “growing too quickly.” About 47% of those also said the increased population is “making their day-to-day life worse.”
Turner noted that “affordability has been a problem across the country” but also said that the Chamber was continuing to push for companies to expand or relocate “high skill, high wage jobs” into the area to help offset that increased cost of living.