Rutherford County Expanding and will Surpass Hamilton County in Population by 2027

Apr 10, 2024 at 09:10 pm by WGNS News

Above numbers from the UT Boyd Center


RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN - Research released this year by the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Development at the University of Tennessee indicates that Rutherford County is poised to surpass Hamilton County in population within the next 2.5 to 3 years. Rutherford County Assessor of Property Rob Mitchell suggested the importance of this data, saying it makes for a pivotal planning tool for community leaders and citizens.


As we approach 2025, projections for Rutherford County's population suggest it will reach 380,052 individuals, with a projected annual growth rate of 2.2%. The county is also on track to reach the significant milestone of 400,000 residents between 2027 and 2028, and it is estimated to surpass 500,000 residents by 2039 to 2040. Looking further ahead, Rutherford County is likely to grow to 768,218 residents by year 2070.

Data from the Boyd Center at UT also indicate that Hamilton County is expected to have a population of 385,749 residents by 2025, with Rutherford County trailing behind by 5,697 individuals. In 2026, Rutherford County will pick up its pace, falling only 68-residents behind Hamilton County's count. However, Rutherford County is forecasted to close this gap by 2027 and surpass Hamilton County's growth rate by the end of that year, gaining 5,628 more residents than the Chattanooa area. By 2028, Rutherford County's population is projected to reach 404,645 people, while Hamilton County is estimated to have 393,230 residents.

In terms of age demographics, both males and females aged 20 to 24 represent the largest segment of the population in Rutherford County, followed by those aged 25 to 29. Additionally, 11.2% of the county's population is aged 65 or older, while residents aged 20 or younger make up 27.4% of the total population. The median age in Rutherford County is currently 33.9 years old. Interestingly, that number will change year after year. 

By year 2033, the median age in Rutherford County will climb to 35.7 and the largest age group in 9-years will be those who are between 20 and 24, according to the UT data. The second largest age group in 2033, for both males and females, will be 25 to 29-year-old's. At that point, 40.4% of the population will be 25 to 54 years of age and 14.4% of residents will be 65+. Those who are 20 and younger, will account for 26.9% of the county's' population in 2033.

In year 2042, the median age will stand at 36.5 and the largest age group at that time will continue to be the 20 to 24-year-olds. The second and third largest age groups for males and females in Rutherford County, will be the 25 to 29-year-olds and the 15 to 19-year-olds, respectively. In 2042, seniors aged 65 and older, will account for 15.5% of the population and 25 to 54-year-olds will add up to 39.7% of the population. As for the younger generation, those who are 20 and younger will equal 26.6% of the population.

When considering Tennessee as a whole, the population is expected to increase from 7.1 million to 7.2 million by 2027. However, some counties, particularly in West Tennessee, are experiencing population declines. For example, Shelby County is projected to see a decrease of up to -0.5% in residents, while other counties like Dyer, Henry, and Haywood are also expected to have declining populations.


Click Here to see the UT Research.


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