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View Poll Results: Which will become Tennessee's 4th largest city?
Clarksville will claim 4th largest 0 0%
Chattanooga will claim 4th largest 7 38.89%
Murfreesboro will claim 4th largest 10 55.56%
Other, explain. 1 5.56%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-18-2015, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
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Which city will claim the 4th largest city title by 2035?
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Unless the Nashville growth completely peters out, I think it's Murfreesboro.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:19 AM
 
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Based on 2010-2014 growth:

4) Clarksville - 219,660
5) Chattanooga - 205,798
6) Murfreesboro - 184,999

Based on 2000-2014 growth:

4) Clarksville - 211,833
5) Chattanooga - 201,114
6) Murfreesboro - 199,161

21 years is a long time to predict, though. You could go through multiple cycles of boom and bust in each of the cities.

Clarksville definitely has the advantage in terms of raw growth, as well as it's current position relative to Chattanooga (only trailing by an estimated 26,972 as of 2014, as opposed to Murfreesboro's 52,824 -- nearly double the margin). Murfreesboro not only would have to overtake Chattanooga, but hope that Clarksville's growth slows dramatically.

Murfreesboro has the advantage in terms of proximity to Nashville, as well as having relatively flatter land to develop compared to the other two. However, both it and Clarksville are straining their current infrastructure, and if that continues, it could stunt some of that growth. Murfreesboro needs improved street infrastructure, plus an alternative to I-24 for commuting (rail?). Otherwise, it will have to attract people almost solely off of jobs within the county.

Clarksville has the most volatile economic situation of the three, because so much is dependent on Fort Campbell. While they recently dodged a bullet with the potential relocation of thousands of soldiers, there is nothing that says that won't happen in the next 20 years.

Chattanooga is the wildcard here. It has been slowly growing for the past 25 years, and has seen a recent uptick and has exceeded its peak 1980 Census population. There is far more urban development happening in Chattanooga right now, and it is seemingly becoming an "in" place to be, much like Nashville's "It City" status. It's just not booming in terms of population. At least not yet. However, I think Chattanooga has a tremendous infrastructure advantage when it comes to breaking the 200,000 mark compared to the other two cities.

Clarksville and Murfreesboro aren't currently built to handle that kind of population. They will have to grow outward and expand their borders to do so. Chattanooga, on the other hand, can achieve that simply through building up and with infill development. It has a large street grid and much better freeway access to handle the population (though the latter will likely require widening in spots). Clarksville and Murfreesboro have a single interstate running through them (or "by" them, in Clarksville's case).
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
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^That's what I can't figure out. Why isn't Chattanooga's population booming if it is an "it" place to be? The other two are certainly attractive for families, but don't have the coolness factor, and are still growing very fast.
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakeesha View Post
^That's what I can't figure out. Why isn't Chattanooga's population booming if it is an "it" place to be? The other two are certainly attractive for families, but don't have the coolness factor, and are still growing very fast.
Give it time. Chattanooga has quite a bit of urban development happening right now....probably only second in the state to Nashville in terms of quantity.

Also, the "it" attraction can sometimes take a while to gain enough steam to see in terms of numbers. Census estimates are just that -- estimates. They can be overstated or understated. We won't know anything for sure until the 2020 Census takes place...then we'll have a much better idea of the direction of all of those cities.

I think the only way Murfreesboro can get there is through annexation. It seems by 2035, the 4th largest city would be north of 200,000 people. That's the way the projections look. For Murfreesboro, that means they must grow by 80-100,000 people. To put that into context....if you're familiar with the new LC Henley Station development off of Medical Center Parkway, it would require about 100 or more similar developments. Most of Murfreesboro isn't going to develop as dense as that, though.


**also -- sidenote -- we can't totally assume that Knoxville is out of the woods, either...because based on the growth patterns I worked out for the other cities, Knoxville would end up either 4th or 5th -- however, Knoxville could easily annex enough developed unincorporated land to blow each of these cities away, as there are about 245,000 residents in unincorporated Knox County.
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:39 AM
 
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Wasn't a law recently passed that prevented annexation without referendum? That would slow Knoxville's growth numbers - as most occurs outside the city limits.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
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Wouldnt that slow most cities growth not just Knoxvilles?
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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The main difference between Chattanooga and Mufreesboro is that Chattanooga is the core of a large urban area while Murfreesboro is considered to be a satellite of Nashville. Murfreesboro isn't growing because its Mufreesboro; it's growing because Nashville is growing.

And while Chattanooga is growing significantly, the raw numbers don't show it very because of a massive backlash against annexation several years ago. City taxes are almost double county taxes without much service gain, so annexation is fought bitterly to the point of lawsuits and media campaigns. A lot of the growth around Chattanooga area has been in the outlying areas, including large chunks of unincorporated Hamilton county. Hamilton has grown about 4.5% since 2010 while Chattanooga has only grown about 2.9%. Compare that to Rutherford county (10%) which is actually growing slower than Murfreesboro (10.9%).

I don't know anything about Clarksville.
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:36 AM
 
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I think Clarksville's growth is almost entirely dependent on military policies, is it not? So you'd need a crystal ball to know the presidential results and world politics way into the future.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwkilgore View Post
The main difference between Chattanooga and Mufreesboro is that Chattanooga is the core of a large urban area while Murfreesboro is considered to be a satellite of Nashville. Murfreesboro isn't growing because its Mufreesboro; it's growing because Nashville is growing.
Agree. I say this all the time. While I absolutely love living in Murfreesboro, the growth being seen here is directly linked to Nashville.
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