Census: Nashville becomes 25th largest city in United States

Census: Nashville becomes 25th largest city in United States

Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 9:04 pm
By: AP

By DUNCAN MANSFIELD Associated Press Writer Music City has made the big time. Nashville-Davidson County, a single metropolitan unit since 1963, has broken into the ranks of the Top 25 most populous cities in America, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released today. Tennessee’s capital city has 590,807 residents, not counting one of its latest arrivals — star couple Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s new baby girl, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban, born Monday. Nashville displaced Wash-ington, D.C., at the No. 25 spot. The city added 5,212 residents over the previous 12 months, according to 2007 population estimates. That’s less than a 1 percent gain. The figures do not account for populations in outlying suburbs. More significantly, though, is Nashville’s trend over the last seven years. The city added 44,878 residents, up 8.2 percent, since 2000. Meanwhile, Memphis ranked 18th, though its population of 674,028 continues to shrink. And Clarksville, home of the U.S. Army’s Fort Campbell, ranked ninth among the fastest growing cities with more than 100,000 population. “This is great news for Nashville,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a statement to The Associated Press. “We are a city that has been recognized in recent years as a top location to live, work and do business. Our growth reflects the city’s vibrancy.” There are no signs of slowing down in the established home of country music, pro football and hockey, corporations engaged in everything from prisons to publishing to health care, and a presidential debate this fall. “How about that? Well, that is very interesting,” said Margaret Mahery, executive director of the Tennessee Municipal League. “So that means Nashville has a lot of challenges then, doesn’t it?” Some already are leery. The activist Tennessee Environmental Council worries a proposed mixed-use development for 40,000 people on Bells Bend along the Cumberland River will destroy “one of the last and largest remaining areas of open space and farmland remaining in Davidson County.” “It will rival downtown Nashville,” the group says. “Welcome to the Atlantification of Nashville.” Atlanta didn’t make the Top 25 list. But it did rank 14th among the fastest-growing cities with more than 100,000 population. The Georgia city tallied 519,145 residents, up more than 20,000 people between 2007 and 2006, a 4.1 percent jump. Clarksville grew even faster. The city grew 4.8 percent in a year, adding 5,411 people to tally 119,284. “I would think this war has contributed tremendously to Clarksville’s growth,” Mahery said, weighing Fort Campbell’s impact. Memphis, meanwhile, lost 3,300 residents from 2006 to 2007, and a total of 16,083 since 2000, the Census said. “I think if you look at the suburban cities that are around Memphis, we would probably see population growth in all of those areas,” Mahery said, noting problems with Memphis’ schools may be driving young families to the suburbs “even if they work in Memphis.” The nation’s largest city, New York City, is more than twice as large as No. 2 Los Angeles with nearly 8.3 million residents. That makes New York about 14 times larger than Nashville-Davidson. New Orleans was the nation’s fastest-growing city, swelling nearly 14 percent in a year’s time and adding nearly 29,000 people. But that’s still about half its population before Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Published in The Messenger 7.10.08

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