For the second year in a row, Clarksville led all Tennessee cities in year-over-year population growth between July 1, 2021 - July 1, 2022, based on the latest annual U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
population inside the Clarksville city limits grew within that one year by 6,062 residents, bringing the total citywide population to a Census-estimated 176,974 people.
The total of new Clarksville residents for that one-year outpaced every other Tennessee city.
Still the state’s fifth-largest city, Clarksville continued to gain ground on Chattanooga, which remains in fourth position with 184,086 residents. Clarksville now has only 7,112 fewer people than Chattanooga as the gap closes.
"These latest Census numbers confirm what has become increasingly obvious to all of us, about our community," said Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts. "Clarksville is a great place to live, work and play, and along with that, it is an affordable community that also embraces and encourages diversity.
"People from all over the nation have discovered our appeal based on these many factors. I'm proud of our showing in the Census estimates, which is largely based on how we are now viewed, globally," Mayor Pitts said.
Tennessee has 15 cities with over 50,000 people. These municipalities all fall into the large city category, according to the U.S. Census.
The state’s largest city is nearby Nashville, and the smallest municipality in the large city category is Collierville.
Here is the large city list with corresponding July 1, 2022 population totals:
6. Murfreesboro – 162,398
10. Hendersonville – 62,896
15. Collierville – 51,594
Jeff Tyndall, Director of the Regional Planning Commission, noted that the Census Bureau releases these population growth estimates every year to compare one-year growth rates and measure which cities are adding the most people annually.
For the one year ending July 1, 2022, the top 15 cities in Tennessee, calculating people added as new residents through that year, are:
Tennessee, as a whole, passed Massachusetts in 2022 to become the nation's 15th-largest state.
The annualized numbers reflect that Middle Tennessee is, far and away, the fastest-growing of the state’s three grand divisions. Eleven of the 15 cities that made this list are in the mid-state, with Clarksville in the lead.
"Clarksville's growth over the past two years was actually greater than Chattanooga's and Knoxville's, combined," said Tyndall, who has been closely tracking the Census numbers.
For the two years of July 1, 2020-July 1, 2022, Clarksville ranks 30th among cities nationwide for total population growth, adding 10,214 people, or 6.1% growth based on the Census estimates.
Montgomery County saw similar growth through the same two-year period, adding 15,132 new residents or 6.9% countywide growth including both the city and unincorporated area. Tyndall said that only Rutherford County saw greater countywide gains during that period.
"It's no surprise that Clarksville is number one for growth in Tennessee," said Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden. "We have a beautiful city, great schools, and the best people.
"Montgomery County is growing faster than anticipated in the City and the unincorporated area, making it critical to focus on responsible growth where infrastructure already exists," Mayor Golden said.
Tyndall noted that, over the two-year period, Clarksville climbed more than any large city in the U.S. total population rankings, jumping from 159th to 153rd-largest U.S. city, passing Garden Grove, CA., Lancaster, CA., Springfield, MO., Pembroke Pines, FLA., Fort Collins, CO., and Palmdale, CA.
Based on subdivision plats approved by the RPC, if developers proceed with their proposed projects, Tyndall said Clarksville will have enough plats to meet the anticipated housing need for the next 5-7 years.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates are based on birth and death records, regional migration information, and building permit data, among other data sets.