Tennessee is on the eastern edge of America’s Heartland, as defined by a recent report from the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution and the Walton Family Foundation. Titled “The State of the Heartland,” the study examines the economy of 19 states and reports on 26 socioeconomic measures. The Heartland region, as defined for the report, is unusual as it combines North and South Dakota with Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
A quick examination of the report shows some interesting facts about the region, compared to the rest of the nation, since the financial crisis a decade ago:
- Job growth at young firms in the 19 states is down .3 percent while it’s up .4 percent in the rest of the nation;
- R&D spending is up .9 percent in the region compared to 3.2 percent for the rest of the country;
- Venture capital investments are down 5.8 percent compared to the previous period, a stark contrast to the 5.9 percent increase in the other 31 states; and
- Both overall population growth and increase among the young adult population in the Heartland is about one-third of the rate of growth in the rest of the country.