Nashville is the capital of the state of Tennessee and known for its music industries, earning it the nickname Music City, and it is also known for several colleges and universities. Nashville has a consolidated city-county government with 6 municipalities. In the 2010 census, the population of the city, not including semi-independent municipalities, was 601,000. Counting all municipalities, Nashville had a population of 626,600.
Nashville is the second largest city in the state, behind Memphis, and the 3rd largest in the Southeastern US. In 2010, the 13-county Nashville metropolitan area was home to 1.59 million people. With 528 square miles of land, the consolidated population of Nashville is estimated at 659,042 in 2016. Nashville's metropolitan area is the largest in Tennessee and encompasses all Middle Tennessee counties.
Nashville has become a trendy destination for immigrants due to a healthy job market and relatively low cost of living. The foreign-born population of the city tripled between 1990 and 2000, from 12,600 to 39,500. The foreign-born population has nearly doubled over the last decade and makes up about 12% of the population. The city is home to large populations of Mexicans, Kurds, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Arabs and Bantus. There are also small communities of Pashtuns from Pakistan and Afghanistan, mostly concentrated in Antioch. Nashville is home to the largest population of Kurdish people in the country, while many of around 60,000 Bhutanese refugees admitted to the country settled in the area. There is also an active American Jewish community here with a history dating back more than 150 years.
Nashville Population Growth
Nashville is enjoying healthy growth due to its music industry, tourists and new residents primarily comprised of immigrants and young people. A Gallup poll in 2013 ranked Nashville as one of the top 5 regions for job growth in the country.
Despite its growth and improvements, many point out that the city still has work to do if it wants to continue on this path. The city is more socially progressive than the state as a whole, but its mostly white population is still struggling with its legacy of segregation.
The modest growth in Nashville allowed it to recover more quickly from the recession, with real estate closings up 28% in 2012 over the previous year, and the unemployment rate remains lower than the national average.
Nashville's metropolitan area is expected to reach 2 million by the next census in 2020, placing it in 10th place for most considerable urban growth.