MTSU Plays a Large Role in Helping Rutherford County Grow and Plan for More Growth in a Positive Manner

Dec 26, 2022 at 10:30 am by WGNS News

(Rutherford County, TN) Rutherford County continues to be a major stakeholder in the region and is moving towards the position of the number 4-largest county in the state… That was Dr. Murat Arik, director of the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center and holder of the Jones Chair of Excellence in Regional and Urban Planning.

Currently, Rutherford County is only 16,953-residents behind Hamilton County, which is the Chattanooga area, according to the 2021 Census. Once the population in Rutherford County surpasses Hamilton County, Rutherford will be the 4th largest County in the State, just behind Knox County, where the population is sitting at just over 486,677 residents. Rutherford County has a little more than 353-thousand residents and some speculate today’s number is closer to 356 to 357-thousand residents.


In sales tax collections, Rutherford County is a big economic driver for the state of Tennessee, creating the 5th largest pool of sales tax collections in the state, falling closely behind Hamilton County. Dr. Arik told WGNS that he has 5-objectives… Get a closer look at the labor force of Rutherford County and the growth recorded in the Murfreesboro area, along with Middle Tennessee in the digital dashboard here.

On an interesting side note, Sevier County with approximately 100-thousand residents - ranking as the 15th largest county in the Volunteer State, helps to create the 7th highest amount of sales tax collections in Tennessee. Sevier County is home to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Top 10 Counties for Sales Tax Collections: 

  1. Davidson County (Nashville, TN Area)
  2. Shelby County (Memphis, TN Area)
  3. Knox County (Knoxville, TN Area)
  4. Hamilton County (Chattanooga, TN)
  5. Rutherford County (Murfreesboro / Smyrna / LaVergne, TN)
  6. Williamson County (Brentwood / Franklin, TN)
  7. Sevier County (Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg, TN)
  8. Montgomery County, TN (Clarksville, TN)
  9. Sullivan County, TN (Blountville, TN)
  10. Sumner County, TN (Gallatin / Hendersonville, TN)

See More on Growth: Rutherford County is the 3rd Fastest Growing County in the entire United States of America.

Dr. Arik’s area of expertise includes: 

  • Regional Economic Analysis - Business Climate, Economic Conditions, Wage and Benefit Surveys, Cluster Analysis, STEM Workforce.      
  • Industry Outlook and impact Assessments - Health Care, Non-profit, Higher Education, Advanced Manufacturing, Housing Market.       
  • Feasibility and Cost-Benefit Studies - Mixed-use Development, Infrastructure Improvement, Higher Education Degree Feasibility Assessments.     
  • Management and Entrepreneurship - Strategic Management, Management of Innovation, Innovation and Creativity.



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