top of page


Metro Studies

Metropolitan Tennessee is a first-ever analysis of the role of the state’s ten metropolitan areas in jobs, human capital and state tax revenue. These ten metropolitan areas cut across traditional divisions between rural, suburban and urban and are located in each of the state’s grand divisions. Read the report: Metropolitan Tennessee: The Role of Metropolitan Areas as the Economic Engines of the State Economy (January 2010).

The 363 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the United States account for 83% of the national population and 86% of all employment. In Tennessee, 73% of all residents live in the state's ten MSAs, which also account for 79% of all employment and 83% of the state's GDP. The four largest MSAs in Tennessee, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, alone account for 58% of all residents, 66% of all employment and 72% of the state GDP.

Because the United States is a metro nation and Tennessee's economy is driven by its metros, the Ochs Center will focus increasingly on issues that cut across individual cities, suburbs and rural areas. The Ochs Center is a partner in the Brookings Institution's Blueprint for American Prosperity: over the coming years, it will work with other partners in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville to study issues in Tennessee with a more regional and metropolitan perspective.

In addition, the Ochs Center will increasingly examine issues in midsize cities and metropolitan areas across the nation. While discussion of urban policy often focuses on issues from the perspective of the nation's largest cities, those with more than one million residents, more people actually live in midsize cities like Chattanooga (with population between 100,000 and 300,000 residents) that are often the center, or a vital part, of metropolitan areas.

As part of the Restoring Prosperity program at Brookings Institution, Chattanooga's revitalization is featured in a case study. the report highlights the "Chattanooga Way" in which public and private forces work together to move Chattanooga forward. To read the report, click here.

For a powerpoint presentation see: Why Mid Size Cities Grow (September 2007).


For reports see: Fiscal Impact of Land Use in Hamilton County (July 2008), May Town Center Analysis (July 2008), Murder in Mid Size Cities (August 2006).


To read an op-ed by David Eichenthal on why place matters, click here.

Learn more...

Metro Studies

Region Reports

Other Reports

Neighborhood Maps

bottom of page