Survey: Population Increase in Urban Tennessee

Tennessee’s population, especially in its urban areas, continues to grow, according to the American Community Survey (ACS) 2011-2015. five-year estimates released today by the US Census Bureau.

Local partner of the office, the Tennessee State Data Center, is housed in the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research in UT Haslam Business College.

The mission of the center is to provide efficient access to census data and products, training and technical assistance to data users, and feedback to the Census Bureau on the usability of data, as well as to respond state and local government data needs and operational issues.

Urban areas in Tennessee increased their population by 14% between the first five-year census estimates (2005-2009) and the current data set of 2011-2015. In 2015, urban areas accounted for 66.9% of the 6.5 million people living in the state.

Over the same period, estimates show an 8.2 percent decline in the rural population. The state’s rural population, however, registered a 0.5% year-over-year increase.

As the largest household survey in the country, ACS is the only annual dataset that produces this range of statistics for all of the country’s 3,142 counties. This is the only dataset available for the 2,323 counties with too small a population to produce single-year statistics.

Today’s release features data collected between 2011 and 2015 on more than 40 demographic, social, economic and housing topics, including commuting, educational attainment and home value.

“The American Community Survey is important because it allows us to see trends at state and local levels,” said Melissa Stefanini, director of the Tennessee State Data Center. “And Tennessee is following national trends in terms of urban population growth and some of the other urban / rural data.”

Visit the website of the center for additional charts and tables of today’s five-year estimates.


Mélissa Stefanini (865-974-6070, [email protected])

Lydia McCoy (865-974-6086, [email protected])

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