UT Center Analyzes Census Numbers; State Population Trends Toward Cities

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KNOXVILLE — Tennessee’s population is trending with the nation by shifting from rural areas toward urban areas. Twenty-five counties in Tennessee exceeded the state’s 11.5 percent growth rate from 2000 to 2010, while 70 counties grew at a slower pace according to 2010 census data released today. Census results released in December showed there were 6,346,105 people in Tennessee.

Nine of the 10 fastest-growing counties, by percentage, are adjacent to the four largest counties in the state: Shelby, Davidson, Knox and Hamilton. The lone exception is Montgomery County, home to a burgeoning military population.

Eight generally rural Tennessee counties actually lost population since the last Census. Six of those eight were in West Tennessee. Municipalities losing population are scattered all across the state, with 117 out of 347 showing declines in population.

“While not as pronounced as some areas of the upper Midwest, Tennessee mirrors much of the nation in population shifts from rural to urban and suburban areas,” said Randy Gustafson, director of the Tennessee State Data Center.

Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the state with 4.6 percent of the total population. The group’s population increased from 123,838 in 2000 to 290,059 in 2010. Davidson County has the largest Hispanic population at 61,127, while Bedford County has the highest percentage of Hispanics at 11.3 percent. In 2000, Bedford County led the state with 7.5 percent of its population claiming Hispanic origin.

The Tennessee State Data Center, which is housed in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Center for Business and Economic Research, will continue to analyze the results of the 2010 census over the coming weeks and months. Maps and other demographic and economic information are available at the Tennessee State Data Center website at http://cber.bus.utk.edu/tnsdc/sdcmain.htm.

The Tennessee State Data Center was formed in 1980 with its lead agency based at the UT Knoxville. There are now 20 affiliated data centers statewide based in universities, public libraries, regional planning agencies and economic development districts.

CONTACT:

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460, wholmes7@utk.edu)

Randy Gustafson (865-974-6070, randy.gustafson@utk.edu)

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