Hispanics help Nashville become state’s largest city

Nashville’s faster growing Hispanic population is a significant factor in that city’s moving ahead of Memphis to become Tennessee’s largest city, U.S. Census Bureau numbers show.

Census count numbers show that Memphis’ Hispanic population increased from 20,189 in 2000 to 41,994 in 2010 while the Nashville Hispanic population increased from 25,774 to 60,390.

In 2010, 6.49 percent of Memphis’ residents were Hispanic and 10.04 percent of Nashville’s residents were Hispanic.

Estimates of cities’ Hispanic residents on July 1, 2016, are not currently available. However, countywide estimates, which were released earlier in the year, show Davidson County with a net gain of 3,091 from international migration in the year ending July 1, 2016, and a Shelby County net gain of 1,258.

In both cities, many residents gained from international migration are Hispanic.

And since Nashville and Davidson County have a consolidated government, Davidson County census numbers are more reflective of Nashville, than Shelby County numbers are of Memphis.

In reporting city populations, the Census Bureau refers to the Nashville city population as “Nashville-Davidson metropolitan government (balance).” The population numbers of six incorporated municipalities that are either entirely or partly located in Davidson County are listed separately from the Nashville numbers.

The July 1, 2016, population estimates show 660,388 of Davidson County’s 684,410 residents, or 96.5 percent, are included in the Nashville number. In Shelby County, the estimates reflect that 652,217, or 69.8 percent, of Shelby County’s 934,603 residents lived in Memphis.

Shelby County remains the state’s largest population county.

According to the 2016 city estimates, which were released in May, Nashville had 7,761 more residents than Memphis. The estimates for July 1, 2015, in the 2016 report were Memphis, 654,454, and Nashville, 654,078.

And it might be just a one-year aberration in the numbers, but the census county estimates for July 1, 2016—which were released in March—show Davidson County with a net domestic migration loss of 2,039 in the previous year.

That means an estimated 2,039 more residents moved out of Davidson to other counties in the United States during the year than moved into Davidson from other counties.

The county estimates also show that Davidson had a net gain of 10,489 from domestic migration since 2010 and a net gain of 17,445 from international migration. Over that same period, Shelby County had a net loss of 36,795 to domestic migration and a net gain of 7,859 from international migration.

Other major factors of population change are births and deaths. The census reports show that Shelby County had a population natural increase of 36,853 from births exceeding deaths during 2010-2016 while Davidson County’s natural increase was 30,279.

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