TN Now has 2 Top 25 Fastest Growing Cities In Nation

Jan 02, 2024 at 11:44 am by WGNS

Top Photo: Rutherford Co. Courthouse / Bottom: Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN

(MIDDLE TENNESSEE) The word is out — Middle Tennessee’s quality of life and lower cost of living are attracting families to migrate here. What part of the country do most newcomers to the Volunteer State come from? Good Question! The answer...  U.S. Census data shows most new residents to Tennessee are from California and Florida. That said, research shows slightly more of our new residents are from the Sunshine State (FL) as compared to the Golden State (CA).


Calculated over a 5-year span, two Middle Tennessee cities rank in the top 25 fasted position for growth among cities in America. Murfreesboro is ranked at #16 with a 5-year growth percentage of 19.1%.  Clarksville tallied in at number 22 on the list, with a 15.5% growth rate.

Murfreesboro #16 of USA's Top 25 Fastest Growing - A study by SmartAsset, a financial technology company, showed Murfreesboro’s estimated 2023 population to be 166,218.

Murfreesboro is the geographic center of the state and is known as “The Heart of Tennessee.”

A little over 12-months ago, SmartAsset ranked Murfreesboro as the #3 “Boom-town in America”. The rating was due to a 15% growth in new businesses and a 31% growth of area housing

Rutherford County Mayor Joe Carr is making a second request of the 113th Tennessee General Assembly to allow the county to charge fees to the developers that are building structures that create growth. That legislative body reconvenes at noon on Tuesday, January 9, 2024. Mayor Carr is introducing a new website that is designed to take the resident’s pulse for their views on this issue:

While on WGNS, Mayor Carr said, “Rutherford County should have the same tools to pay for growth (impact fees, development taxes) that other cities in Rutherford County and neighboring counties already have.”

Clarksville is #22 - The population within the Clarksville city limits hit 178,602 (2023 estimates). That city is growing at a rate of 2.21% annually and its population has increased 6.78% since the 2020 census (167,258).  Clarksville is known as the “Gateway to the New South”.

TN Population Shifting - Updated 2024 population estimates for Tennessee’s largest counties (over 300,000 population):

  1. Shelby County (Memphis) 930,584

  2. Davidson County (Nashville) 751,564

  3. Knox County (Knoxville) 497,677

  4. Hamilton County (Chattanooga) 378,103

  5. Rutherford County (Murfreesboro) 373,038

In fact, the #4 and 5 positions are nearing each other. Hamilton County has approximately 5,000 more residents than Rutherford County — and predictions are that Rutherford is about to pass Hamilton. In fact, some estimates show that may have already occurred.

The next grouping of counties in Tennessee are those with a population in the 200,000 range. The three include: Williamson (273,542 persons), Montgomery (239,165), and Sumner (210,537) counties.

Can You Imagine - Here in Rutherford County, we see the challenges brought about with a 19.1% growth rate over the past 5-years. Imagine how it is in Buckeye, Arizona where they have had 54.3% growth rate. In 2010 Buckeye’s population was 50,000, and 2022 estimates show 105,000 residents.

By the way, Buckeye, Arizona’s geographic size is approximately 640 square miles. Rutherford County is similar in size, with 619.3 square miles.

News Radio WGNS will keep you updated on Rutherford County Mayor Joe Carr’s efforts to have the ones creating the growth to fund the expanded needs of fire, police, ambulance and educational infrastructure needed to serve the exploding population.

WGNS would like your thoughts on “growth issues”. Please post them under this story, or email them to us at



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