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Demographic growth is a key source of the workforce and a major driver for the local economy. The demand for public services reflects the size and composition of the local population. In general, slow steady growth communities like Memphis are stable and manageable. Economic fluctuations are minimized as a result of a broad and diverse employment base. Slow, steady economic and demographic growth stabilizes the housing market and minimizes the chaos associated with rapid growth or contractions.

In general, nearly all the economic and demographic indicators suggest that Memphis, Shelby County, and the MSA mirror the growth seen by urban areas around the nation. But while growth in Memphis, in particular, is slow, and manageable; it is too slow to be dynamic and too slow to allow room for error. The outmigration of the population and the associated movement of the employment and income opportunities outside the central city suggest that a major meaningful intervention needs to occur quickly to protect the vitality of the core city. Dramatic action plans with essential evaluation requirements need to focus on accelerating economic and demographic growth in Memphis. The County in general and the MSA are growing at sustainable rates and everyone will benefit from a push to transform and revitalize Memphis.  Memphis, Shelby County, and the MSA are changing, but economic and demographic growth is not a zero-sum game. Everyone wins or loses together. is a joint venture between the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research (SBBER) at the University of Memphis and EDGE. The purpose of the endeavor is to provide curated data that describes the Memphis and Shelby County MSA’s economic condition and provides comparisons to peer metros throughout the country.