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Knoxville-Knox County Planning ‘Facts & Figures’ report provides outlook on region

By Kailyn Lamb, Marketing Content Writer and Editor, PYA

The Knoxville-Knox County Planning office released its annual “Facts & Figures” report, which provides an overview of the area’s businesses, homes, and other important statistics.

The report starts with a brief history and some stats for Knoxville, the largest city in East Tennessee. The Knoxville metropolitan area has a cost-of-living score of 83.6 compared to the nationwide average of 100, according to the first page of the report. It also included a list of reports with accolades for Knoxville, including most affordable, best place for young professionals, and more.

In the “Population and Housing” section, “Facts & Figures” had the 2021 population of Knoxville as 192,648, Knox County (including Knoxville) as 486,677, and the metropolitan area as 893,412. So far in 2022, the median single-home sale price in Knox County is $325,000, in the metropolitan area it is $307,900. Both areas are below the median single-home price in the U.S., which is $368,200. The same can be said for the median rent in 2020. In the U.S. it was $1,096, whereas it was $933 in Knox County and $864 in the metro area. In Knox County, 3,810 new units were added in 2021, with new construction valued at $826.4 million. The total number of units was 214,053.

After those stats, the report gives a list of events, theaters, performing arts groups, museums, and news organizations. In the “Recreation and Tourism” section, the report highlights much of the green space, trails, and waterways in the Knox County area. As many will know, the region is home to the nation’s most visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains. Other parks, such as the Ijams Nature Center, are also a draw for both residents and tourists. Some stats from parks and recreation include 6,442 acres of parks, 207 miles of trails, 20 recreation and community centers, 10 dog parks (with nine more planned in the coming years), and more.

Sports had a quick focus on the University of Tennessee, the Tennessee Smokies, Knoxville Ice Bears, and the newest addition, the One Knoxville SC pre-professional soccer team. The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame is also a draw for tourists to the region.

In “Education,” demographics for 2020-2021 elementary and high schools include 91 public schools with 4,391 teachers and an enrollment of 61,526. The graduation rate for 2019-2020 was 91.2 percent. There are also 31 private schools in the region. There are four two-year colleges in Knox County and the surrounding area, as well as 10 four-year institutions. In Knox County, 38.8 percent of the people have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

There are more than 250 neighborhood associations and civic organizations in the Knox County area. The City of Knoxville is led by a mayor and nine council members on four-year terms. Knox County has its own mayor and 11 commissioners also on four-year terms.

As of 2022, there are 18 public libraries in Knox County. The six general hospitals in Knox County have 2,347 beds and the Children’s Hospital has 152.

The top three employment industries make up more than 50 percent of Knox County’s total employment. Education and Health Services, Professional and Business Services, and the Retail Trade were the top three industries in 2021. The labor force that year was 254,838 in Knox County. The top three industries had 57,793 employees, 39,603 employees, and 30,655 employees respectively.

In 2021, the average weekly income was $1,100 for Knox County. In 2020, the median household income was $59,250 in Knox County and $56,857 in the metropolitan area. Both were lower than the median income in the U.S., which was $64,994. The unemployment rate in 2022 is 2.8 percent in Knox County, 3 percent in the metropolitan area, and 3.4 percent in Tennessee. All were lower than the nation’s unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.

In the “Transportation” section, the report provides a breakdown of workforce commuting patterns in and out of the nine-county area, including Knox County. The largest portions of Knox County residents commuting to other counties for work are going to Anderson and Blount counties, with 16,300 and 12,300 workers, respectively. However, a similar amount of workers drive into Knox from Anderson and Blount, 11,300 and 18,100 workers, respectively. Around 136,700 workers both live and work in Knox County.

Read the full report here.

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