The latest edition of Heartland Forward’s “Most Dynamic Metropolitan” regions report was just released this week, and Knoxville ranks second among nine metro areas in Tennessee and 384 across the country.
The highest ranked city is fast-growing Nashville at #95 nationally with Knoxville coming in at #145 followed by Johnson City (#150), Chattanooga (#162), Jackson (#206), Memphis (#219), Cleveland (#319), Morristown (#322), and Kingsport-Bristol (#351).
Heartland Forward is a Bentonville, AR-based think tank that was launched in October 2019 with significant backing by the Walton family of Walmart fame. In explaining how it arrived at the rankings, the organization wrote: “Our index is based on capturing recent employment growth, wage growth, and GDP (gross domestic product) growth, as well as two entrepreneurship metrics (the density of young business activity within the overall economy and density of well-educated workers within the workforce employed by these young businesses) and the average income, which reflects previous productivity gains. We are also interested in determining which metros have improved over past years.”
The top 25 metros start with San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA followed by The Villages (FL), San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, and three Utah cities.