By Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square –
The U.S. population grew by 2.7% over the past five years, from about 327 million in 2016 to almost 332 million people in 2021. But in recent years, urban populations in much of the country have swelled even more rapidly.
Nearly two hundred U.S. metro areas reported population growth on pace with the national population change or faster. In any area, population change is the result of migration and natural change. Migration refers to the net change in people moving to and from an area, while natural change is the difference between births and deaths.
Due to these factors, the Jackson metro area in Tennessee reported 39.6% population growth in the last five years, the most among 381 U.S. metro areas with available data. The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that Jackson’s population grew to 180,799 from 129,527 in 2016.
The Morristown metro area in Tennessee reported 22.6% population growth in the last five years, the seventh most among 381 U.S. metro areas with available data. The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that Morristown’s population grew to 143,855 from 117,320 in 2016.
The Clarksville metro area , which spans parts of Tennessee and Kentucky, reported 16.9% population growth in the last five years, the 12th most among 381 U.S. metro areas with available data. The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that Clarksville’s population grew to 329,864 from 282,075 in 2016.
Economic opportunity is one of the most common reasons people move within the United States, and areas with strong job markets can provide better economic stability for new families. Over the last five years, unemployment in the metro areas has fallen considerably.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of the end of 2021, 3.7% of the Jackson labor force were out of work, down from 4.8% at the end of 2016. In Morristown, 3.8% of the labor force were out of work, down from 5.0% at the end of 2016. And in Clarksville, 4.1% of the labor force were out of work, down from 5.4% at the end of 2016.
|Rank||Metro area||2016-2021 Pop. change (%)||2021 population||2016 population||Dec. 2021 unemployment (%)||Dec. 2016 unemployment (%)|
|11||St. George, UT||19.3||191,226||160,245||1.8||3.5|
|13||Durham-Chapel Hill, NC||16.9||654,012||559,535||3.1||4.4|
|14||Coeur d’Alene, ID||16.5||179,789||154,311||3.0||4.2|
|15||Boise City, ID||16.1||801,470||690,214||2.3||3.5|