Research Feature: Nashville's GDP Growth is Second Highest in the Nation

The Bureau of Economic Analysis1 (BEA) released its metro & county GDP numbers for 2021. GDP, or gross domestic product, is the measure of the total monetary value of all goods & services produced, or the output of an economy. The Nashville area saw a significant decrease in GDP in 2020 (-3.4%), as did most of the country due to the economic effect of the pandemic. GDP shrunk in Nashville 2.5% in 2020 due to the pandemic. Figure 1 shows this impact in comparison to peer cities.

Figure 1: 2019-2020 GDP Change2

A Strong Recovery in Nashville

As the nation has recovered from the pandemic, the GDP has grown from 2020 to 2021 by 5.7%. Nashville has seen an even stronger recovery, having the second highest growth rate in the nation from 2020 to 2021, with GDP growing at 12%. Figure 2 shows the top ten MSA’s (Metropolitan Statistical Area) in terms of GDP growth during that time. Nashville saw a significant decrease in its tourism sector—an important part of Nashville’s economy—due to the pandemic lockdown but has come back strong and increased 10% from pre-pandemic levels.3

Figure 2: Top 10 MSAs for GDP Growth 2020-2021

Map 1: MSA GDP2 — Nashville has 2nd highest GDP growth from 2020-2021 among MSA’s with 1M population or more


Data Sources:

2 reflects Real GDP adjusted for inflation, 2012 chained dollars.


BLS State & Metro Current Employment Statistics

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