Nashville Gaining Workers from Chicago and New York, Losing to Northwest


According to research by LinkedIn, Nashville is experiencing net positive migration of workers from across the country. This means more people are moving to the Nashville area than are leaving the city. In fact, Nashville is No. 8 on LinkedIn’s list of cities that gained the most workers, with 44.2 of every 10,000 LinkedIn members having moved to the area in the last year.

Overall, Nashville is gaining the most workers from Chicago, Knoxville and New York. In fact, for every 10,000 LinkedIn users in the Nashville area, 6.5 workers have moved to the city from Chicago in the last year.

While Nashville is still experiencing net positive migration according the LinkedIn’s data, the city is still losing workers to other areas with the top three cities being Seattle, Tampa and Portland.

Furthermore, Nashville is experiencing the most gross migrations with Atlanta, both gains and losses. For every 10,000 LinkedIn users, 27.2 workers either moved to or from Atlanta.

What does this mean for the Nashville economy?

First of all, it’s fantastic that the region is able to attract the high-quality talent that has made the region a popular destination for business relocations and expansions. Our economic development team works hard to attract these talented workers and it’s gratifying to see these efforts paying off.

However, there are many challenges that arise from high rates of migration.

One of these issues is a highly-competitive and increasingly expensive housing and rental market. The current median rent in Davidson County is $924, which requires workers to make $17.77 an hour to be able to live alone without spending more than 30% of their income on housing. According to the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the average housing costs by percentage of income is 29% for the Nashville area. This means that the average housing cost is approaching cost-burden levels for our region.

This means that the average housing cost is approaching cost-burden levels for our region. Another issue caused by high levels of migration is transportation. Transit is a hot topic in the Nashville region and many organizations including the transit advocacy initiative Moving Forward. These organizations and initiatives are attempting to find creative solutions that make the Nashville region friendlier to commuters. You can learn more about Moving Forward and read the 2017 Report on their website here.  

If you are thinking about moving to Middle Tennessee or relocating your business to the region, get in touch with our economic development team.

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