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Justiceham

Tennessee's Second Big Four

Tennessee's Second Big Four   70 members have voted

  1. 1. Which one of these cities has the potential of becoming a major metropolitan area

    • Clarksville
      10
    • Murfreesboro
      41
    • Jackson
      16
    • Johnson City
      3

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48 posts in this topic

Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Jackson, and Johnson City are all experiencing momentous growth, but which one has the most potential (keep in mind that this is not a versus thread)?

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I would rank them:

1. Murfreesboro

2. Clarksville

3. Jackson

4. Johnson City

I the first three esp. gaining bigger and more prominent place among the state's cities, while Johnson City I think will have a hard time creating its own identity outside of the Tri-Cities Metro.

Murfreesboro has a big advantage by having MTSU, tremendous job growth, and amazing population growth. Clarksville has an advatage with Fort Campbell and Austin Peay, while Jackson's main pulls are its low cost of living, business friendly atmosphere, strong job growth, fast population growth, and regional commerical and employment pull on most of West Tennessee.

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Very tough call I believe. They all have their advantages. I think Murfeesboro might edge out if the Music City Star ever runs there.

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Very tough call I believe. They all have their advantages. I think Murfeesboro might edge out if the Music City Star ever runs there.

I believe Murfreesboro will edge out the rest. It already has plans for mass transit this fall, several road improvement projects, and a proactive/progressive city council. Now I'm just curious when we'll start seeing some much needed height...downtown.

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I had no idea Clarksville was over 100k. While I voted for Murfreesboro with the most future potential and agree with that potential, Clarksville isn't doing so bad itself in the current.

Think about this, Clarksville is 48 miles from downtown Nashville; Murfreesboro is 34 miles. That's only 14 miles further out. If I-24 north of town can ever develop like I-24 south of town, that would really create a big boost for clarksville. Of course, I guess the question on developement is a big 'If.' I've always heard that the main reason for fast growth in Antioch, La Vergne, and Smyrna is because the terrain is fairly easy to develop in this area. That is apparently not the same north of town because even Joelton in Davidson county is under-developed. Although I didn't think anywhere this side of the rockies was more rocky than La Vergne!

I would also say that the other thing going against Clarksville is the military base. I know because of it's size and history that you would think it will be open forever, but without knowing this countries future military needs, you can't depend on that. If the Army goes, so go about 50,000 people. Again, I don't know how likely that place will ever close, but it is a possibility.

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I had no idea Clarksville was over 100k. While I voted for Murfreesboro with the most future potential and agree with that potential, Clarksville isn't doing so bad itself in the current.

Think about this, Clarksville is 48 miles from downtown Nashville; Murfreesboro is 34 miles. That's only 14 miles further out. If I-24 north of town can ever develop like I-24 south of town, that would really create a big boost for clarksville. Of course, I guess the question on developement is a big 'If.' I've always heard that the main reason for fast growth in Antioch, La Vergne, and Smyrna is because the terrain is fairly easy to develop in this area. That is apparently not the same north of town because even Joelton in Davidson county is under-developed. Although I didn't think anywhere this side of the rockies was more rocky than La Vergne!

I would also say that the other thing going against Clarksville is the military base. I know because of it's size and history that you would think it will be open forever, but without knowing this countries future military needs, you can't depend on that. If the Army goes, so go about 50,000 people. Again, I don't know how likely that place will ever close, but it is a possibility.

Yeah, Clarksville sits right at about 110,000+ people and advertises itself as the "Gateway to The New South." Another advantage I might ad is the riverfront. That alone will bring in some development in a few years and is very unique to a city it's size. However, one downfall might be the racial tensions that have plagued this area for quite sometime and have came up repeatedly in the news lately.

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Although this town is not on the list, Franklin will almost certainly pass both Johnson City and Jackson in population in a very short time. It will be headquarters to Nissan North America, and many other corporations. As far as I'm concerned it could possibly challenge Murfreesboro for significance in Tennessee. Of course, it is nothing more than a bedroom community for Nashville these days. But Franklin is nearly as old as Nashville, having been founded in the 1700's.

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Franklin is indeed a very fast growing community and the argument can be made that it only exists at the current level because of the proximity to Nashville, but even with that said you are right Hankster; the area is beautiful with its on history separate from Nashville. In reality Williamson County is using the financial pull it currently has to take thunder and momentum from Davidson County with these corporate landings. Franklin and Williamson County are quickly becoming self sufficient and self standing not just with malls and shopping opportunities but not with more high-end jobs too.

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Franklin is indeed a very fast growing community and the argument can be made that it only exists at the current level because of the proximity to Nashville, but even with that said you are right Hankster; the area is beautiful with its on history separate from Nashville. In reality Williamson County is using the financial pull it currently has to take thunder and momentum from Davidson County with these corporate landings. Franklin and Williamson County are quickly becoming self sufficient and self standing not just with malls and shopping opportunities but not with more high-end jobs too.

I believe this is a very prosperous time for Franklin, despite its turn of a dime planning. Franklin is fierce competition for many cities many times its (current) size because it is not afraid to take chances and has community support to back it up. Yes, its proximity to Nashville has something to do with it, but time will fade the bedroom community stereotype.

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Think about this, Clarksville is 48 miles from downtown Nashville; Murfreesboro is 34 miles. That's only 14 miles further out. If I-24 north of town can ever develop like I-24 south of town, that would really create a big boost for clarksville. Of course, I guess the question on developement is a big 'If.' I've always heard that the main reason for fast growth in Antioch, La Vergne, and Smyrna is because the terrain is fairly easy to develop in this area. That is apparently not the same north of town because even Joelton in Davidson county is under-developed. Although I didn't think anywhere this side of the rockies was more rocky than La Vergne!

The ridges on the northwest side of Nashville definately hinder any type of continuous development towards Clarksville. Only Cooperstown, Pleasant View, and Ashland City are on that side, and none of them have more than 5,000 people. You're right about the southeast being easier to develop. Murfreesboro also has an 8 lane interstate (all 30+ miles of it) serving it all the way to downtown Nashville. Murfreesboro is also closer to the interstate and has a very large state university (I know Clarksville has Austin Peay, but let's face it, the only schools that MTSU looks up to in stature are Memphis and UT).

Although this town is not on the list, Franklin will almost certainly pass both Johnson City and Jackson in population in a very short time. It will be headquarters to Nissan North America, and many other corporations. As far as I'm concerned it could possibly challenge Murfreesboro for significance in Tennessee. Of course, it is nothing more than a bedroom community for Nashville these days. But Franklin is nearly as old as Nashville, having been founded in the 1700's.

I'll give the edge to Murfreesboro, even in the future, because I believe that it is less dependant on Nashville than Franklin is.

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It looks as if you guys guys have decided. Murfreesboro wins! :)

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Murfreesboro.. I go to school at MTSU and the population gets a huge boost from the college students. A lot of the gratuates tend to move there after school. Traffic can be a mess as well. Being on campus reminds me of being back home in NYC because good parking spaces are like gold and hard to come by.

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Murfreesboro is tops as the crust of the 2nd tier of 4... they are on Fire! Clarksville was that town about 10 to 15 years ago, but today it can be no other.

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Being on campus reminds me of being back home in NYC because good parking spaces are like gold and hard to come by.

LOL...over here at UT Knoxville there are something like 1.75 parking passes per parking space. I hear it's no different at Auburn. It seems to plague universities everywhere.

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Not exactly. The second big four I'm talking about are Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Jackson, and Johnson City. There is supposed to be a poll for this, but when I try to create one it doesn't show up on my thread, only my comments. Any clues as how to do this?

I have seen projections where Clarksville is to overtake Chattanooga in population within the next 15 years. I do think this is a very real possibility. However, Clarksville's growth will surely not continue unabated during that time and I think Chattanooga has done much to make that city more attractive than its former image as being a "dirty town" and "tourist trap." Chattanoogas revitilization has been transforming.

Clarksville's rapid growth is quite interesting in the sense that no one really seems to know what is driving the growth aside from possibly Ft. Campbell and an area which is very affordable. From it's Northern border through the center of town to the Southern border, Clarksville is roughly 20 miles long, yet, drive through any part of the city and what you will NOT find are any headquarters to major corporations or "white collar" business parks. Those nice office buildings one sees in places like Brentwood and Cool Springs are wholly absent from Clarksville. I do believe, however, that a 'task force' is in place attempting to lure such corporate entities to the Queen City. Clarksville is still very much a 'blue collar' place.

I think one of the unfortunate things about Clarksville's growth is that if one comes into town via St. Bethlehem (I-24 exit 4) and, to a lesser extent, exit 11 then Clarksville appears to be very vibrant. Drive further into town (the old city limits) and one sees that this growth has come with a price. Swaths of blighted areas exist and the central core looks almost abandoned.

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I have seen projections where Clarksville is to overtake Chattanooga in population within the next 15 years. I do think this is a very real possibility. However, Clarksville's growth will surely not continue unabated during that time and I think Chattanooga has done much to make that city more attractive than its former image as being a "dirty town" and "tourist trap." Chattanoogas revitilization has been transforming.

Clarksville's rapid growth is quite interesting in the sense that no one really seems to know what is driving the growth aside from possibly Ft. Campbell and an area which is very affordable. From it's Northern border through the center of town to the Southern border, Clarksville is roughly 20 miles long, yet, drive through any part of the city and what you will NOT find are any headquarters to major corporations or "white collar" business parks. Those nice office buildings one sees in places like Brentwood and Cool Springs are wholly absent from Clarksville. I do believe, however, that a 'task force' is in place attempting to lure such corporate entities to the Queen City. Clarksville is still very much a 'blue collar' place.

I think one of the unfortunate things about Clarksville's growth is that if one comes into town via St. Bethlehem (I-24 exit 4) and, to a lesser extent, exit 11 then Clarksville appears to be very vibrant. Drive further into town (the old city limits) and one sees that this growth has come with a price. Swaths of blighted areas exist and the central core looks almost abandoned.

I'm curious is that projcection for Chattanooga/Clarksville city limits? Hamilton/Montgomery County? Chatt/Clark MSA? or Chatt/Clark CSA?

Chattanooga has the ability to increase it's population if it was to annex 40,000 people just outside of it's city limits. That would put it ahead of Knoxville (city limits). They haven't though because the city doesn't want to spend the money to expand it's services. In general Chatt hasn't annexed much since the early '90's

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I'm curious is that projcection for Chattanooga/Clarksville city limits? Hamilton/Montgomery County? Chatt/Clark MSA? or Chatt/Clark CSA?

Chattanooga has the ability to increase it's population if it was to annex 40,000 people just outside of it's city limits. That would put it ahead of Knoxville (city limits). They haven't though because the city doesn't want to spend the money to expand it's services. In general Chatt hasn't annexed much since the early '90's

Hello Flith,

Insofar as I recall, that projection is strictly for the populace which resides in the city limits.

This is merely something I have heard from many years from various sources. A quick search revealed a study conducted in Dec. 2003; A joint publication of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and The University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research. The results of this study which projects populations for the year 2025 has Chattanooga with a projected population of 175,755 whereas Clarksville's 2025 projected population is 171,485. These projected figures are strictly for the populations within city limits insofar as I can tell.

I would be more than happy to provide the URL but am uncertain if the rules of the forum allow for this. The title of the study and document is *Population Projections for the State of Tennessee 2005 to 2025*.

Other notable municipality 2025 projections are Murfreesboro (124, 885); Jackson (82,442), and Johnson City (71,848).

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Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Jackson, and Johnson City are all experiencing momentous growth, but which one has the most potential (keep in mind that this is not a versus thread)?

Hello Justiceham,

I am not trying to be 'snarky' in the least but my question is; Potential for what?

I have lived in both Clarksville and Murfreesboro and lived in both for many years (Clarksville for 18; Murfreesboro for 10 - my current residence). If you are speaking in terms of population growth then while Murfreesboro is indeed a hotbed of migration, it is not going to surpass Clarksville's population anytime soon unless Clarksville dwindles to zero growth and all studies indicate that Clarksville will also continue to gain population rapidly too. One study which I cited in another thread on this forum projects Clarksville's population to even be extended over Murfreesboro's in 2025 by about 50,000 residents. The disparity now is around 20,000 to 25,000 - somewhere around there.

In terms of city prestige and influence, I think Murfreesboro already is ahead of Clarksville and has been for a good many years. Murfreesboro is the more affluent of the two and I think its connections in both the world of Government and Corporate business has always been more prominent than Clarksville. I think Murfreesboro's politicians have always weilded greater influence and are rewarded with some nice projects. There are some things about Clarksville which must be understood but will be more appropriately addressed in another reply within this thread as one has touched upon Ft. Campbell as well as race relations. I do have my hypothesis with respects to some socio-economic dynamics within Clarksville.

I'm sure all four cities have tremendous potential for growth but I do not foresee Jackson, Johnson City, or Murfreesboro overtaking Clarksville either in physical size or population (Clarksville, for instance, is over twice the size as Murfreesboro; 94 sq. miles vs. 39 sq miles). Personally, I prefer Murfreesboro to Clarksville and think Murfreesboro is by far the more "upscale" of the two. I think its quality of living and educational systems are superior and Murfreesboro is superior in many ways. There is scarcely a bad neighborhood in Murfreesboro!

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I had no idea Clarksville was over 100k. While I voted for Murfreesboro with the most future potential and agree with that potential, Clarksville isn't doing so bad itself in the current.

Think about this, Clarksville is 48 miles from downtown Nashville; Murfreesboro is 34 miles. That's only 14 miles further out. If I-24 north of town can ever develop like I-24 south of town, that would really create a big boost for clarksville. Of course, I guess the question on developement is a big 'If.' I've always heard that the main reason for fast growth in Antioch, La Vergne, and Smyrna is because the terrain is fairly easy to develop in this area. That is apparently not the same north of town because even Joelton in Davidson county is under-developed. Although I didn't think anywhere this side of the rockies was more rocky than La Vergne!

I would also say that the other thing going against Clarksville is the military base. I know because of it's size and history that you would think it will be open forever, but without knowing this countries future military needs, you can't depend on that. If the Army goes, so go about 50,000 people. Again, I don't know how likely that place will ever close, but it is a possibility.

Hello rocky top buzz,

I-24 north of Nashville has seen phenomenal growth in Clarksville itself. Everything you see just off exits 1, 4, and 11 has basically been built within the last ten years. Exit 4 especially could be noted along Wilma Rudolph Blvd. Exit 4 will get a further boost when the new Hospital is constructed behind Governors Square Mall. Already there are plans for the widening of secondary roads, better infrastructure, and possibly an additional exit off the interstate (much like Medical Center Pkwy. in Murfreesboro).

I do think you are correct that Ft. Campbell is a strike against Clarksville but in another way than what you cite. I don't think Ft. Campbell is in any danger of being closed. Ft. Campbell is home to the only complete Air Assault Division in the World (or so I have heard) which is essential to success in current US military doctrine. It is indispensable to America's doctrine of conducting warfare. To be sure, the 101st could be moved or integrated with some other base but I think it much more likely that another base would be integrated with Ft. Campbell. I think the current base is secure for a very long time to come.

Clarksville does have a diverse economy, yet, one cannot deny the economic importance and dependency upon Ft. Campbell and its personell. That is 25,000 soldiers and their familys who buy food, homes, grocerys and clothing! The unfortunate thing is this, IMHO; Everyone knows that soldiers aren't paid squat so they cannot afford that much. Secondly, Ft. Campbell constitutes a very transient population. Soldiers move in and they move out. Tell me; is a 20 year old soldier who knows he is going to probably leave the army in three years going to spend much time and effort in the upkeep of home or is that same person going to take an active interest in the health of Clarkville Tennessee? Why should he/she care about Clarksville?

Obviously, those of a more limited income are not going to eat at fine French restaurants or shop in smart boutiques. Soldiers are not the ones who can support such things. Secondly, Clarksville's population itself has a larger percentage of minorities than the Tennessee average. The more prominent groups are as follows:

WHITE POPULATION PERCENTAGE:

Clarksville: 67.9 %

TENNESSEE: 80.2 %

AFRICAN AMERICAN POPULATION PERCENTAGE:

CLARKSVILLE: 23.2 %

TENNESSEE: 16..4 %

ASIAN POPULATION PERCENTAGE:

CLARKSVILLE: 2.2 %

TENNESSEE: 1.0 %

HISPANIC/LATINO POPULATION PERCENTAGE:

CLARKSVILLE: 6.0 %

TENNESSEE: 2.2 %

Look around Clarksville and you will not see any upscale business parks. Why is that? I may be completely wrong about this but my conjecture rests with the above statistics. In other words, I do think those old prejudices remain although not as overt as in the past. Minorities are still living in conditions, generally speaking, which are a bit less than their caucasion counterparts who control such things as the opportunities. I think these prejudices still obtain in the corporate world and I think, unfortunately, that many companys looking to relocate see the rundown neighborhoods and the greater percentage of minorites in Clarksville and say, "I think we'll choose Brentwood."

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Yeah, Clarksville sits right at about 110,000+ people and advertises itself as the "Gateway to The New South." Another advantage I might ad is the riverfront. That alone will bring in some development in a few years and is very unique to a city it's size. However, one downfall might be the racial tensions that have plagued this area for quite sometime and have came up repeatedly in the news lately.

Hello Justiceham,

I think you are correct that the Riverfront will see a resurgence of grandeur. Of course, there is already talk of placing a marina in the future development of the Riverwalk but what I am wondering is how close will that "ring around the city" come to that side of the river opposite Riverside Drive? I'm not sure what the latest section is called but is an extension of 101st Airborne Division Pkwy and will eventually loop around the city. Certainly the next leg will jump across the Cumberland River which I think should open that entire area to development. Riverside Drive COULD have been a road where one could find nice Hotels and restaurants but it did not develop that way unless you consider places like McDonalds and Taco Johns to be nice restaurants. Once the loop opens up the other side of the river (if it does at all) then Clarksville has a tremendous opportunity to do something special with that land across the river from downtown.

Yes, racial tensions and don't forget about street gangs. I was shocked when I turned on one of those morning TV talk shows (Sally Jesse or some other show like that) to see her talking to a gang member from Clarksville, Tennessee. I don't remember such gangs when I lived there but apparently there are some 12 street gangs and the Clarksville Police now even have a special unit devoted solely for them and their activities.

I do not wish to paint Clarksville with a completely negative brush. Au contraire, I think the city has a tremendous amount in its favor but its growth, population makeup, and socio-economic dynamics make it unique in some respects and bring with it some unique problems to be solved. Clarksville is a great place and I think I was fortunate to have grown up there. Although I have not lived there in a good many years, it will always be the place which I call "home." To be sure, it resembles little of what it was when I lived there but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Hello Justiceham,

I am not trying to be 'snarky' in the least but my question is; Potential for what?

I have lived in both Clarksville and Murfreesboro and lived in both for many years (Clarksville for 18; Murfreesboro for 10 - my current residence). If you are speaking in terms of population growth then while Murfreesboro is indeed a hotbed of migration, it is not going to surpass Clarksville's population anytime soon unless Clarksville dwindles to zero growth and all studies indicate that Clarksville will also continue to gain population rapidly too. One study which I cited in another thread on this forum projects Clarksville's population to even be extended over Murfreesboro's in 2025 by about 50,000 residents. The disparity now is around 20,000 to 25,000 - somewhere around there.

In terms of city prestige and influence, I think Murfreesboro already is ahead of Clarksville and has been for a good many years. Murfreesboro is the more affluent of the two and I think its connections in both the world of Government and Corporate business has always been more prominent than Clarksville. I think Murfreesboro's politicians have always weilded greater influence and are rewarded with some nice projects. There are some things about Clarksville which must be understood but will be more appropriately addressed in another reply within this thread as one has touched upon Ft. Campbell as well as race relations. I do have my hypothesis with respects to some socio-economic dynamics within Clarksville.

I'm sure all four cities have tremendous potential for growth but I do not foresee Jackson, Johnson City, or Murfreesboro overtaking Clarksville either in physical size or population (Clarksville, for instance, is over twice the size as Murfreesboro; 94 sq. miles vs. 39 sq miles). Personally, I prefer Murfreesboro to Clarksville and think Murfreesboro is by far the more "upscale" of the two. I think its quality of living and educational systems are superior and Murfreesboro is superior in many ways. There is scarcely a bad neighborhood in Murfreesboro!

"Which one of these cities has the potential to become a major metropolitan area." I'm surprised that Clarksville is not as dense given it is 94 sq. miles. I do, however, disagree with the population projection. Murfreesboro could easily pass Clarksville in population in about ten years from now especially with talks of consolidating its government with the rest of Rutherford county. Murfreesboro has already done two metropolitan statistical studies and a third (appointed) group will hold meetings this fall to examine the data collected. I do believe when Murfreesboro goes metro it will be hell and high water to get residents from Smyrna and Lavergne to agree to it since they are established communities as well. Clarksville and Murfreesboro are great places to live. In addition, it may be beneficial for Clarksville not to have all the upscale housing and office parks because that says that it is doing just fine without them.

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Hello Justiceham,

I am not trying to be 'snarky' in the least but my question is; Potential for what?

I have lived in both Clarksville and Murfreesboro and lived in both for many years (Clarksville for 18; Murfreesboro for 10 - my current residence). If you are speaking in terms of population growth then while Murfreesboro is indeed a hotbed of migration, it is not going to surpass Clarksville's population anytime soon unless Clarksville dwindles to zero growth and all studies indicate that Clarksville will also continue to gain population rapidly too. One study which I cited in another thread on this forum projects Clarksville's population to even be extended over Murfreesboro's in 2025 by about 50,000 residents. The disparity now is around 20,000 to 25,000 - somewhere around there.

Census 2000

Clarksville - 103,455

Murfreesboro - 68,816

difference - 34,639

Estimate 2005

Clarksville - 112,878

Murfreesboro - 86,793

difference - 26,085

Murfreesboro just killed a difference of 8,554 in just 5 years...so it is possible that within the next 20-25 years Murfreesboro jumps Clarksville....possible.

You also mentioned land area.

(Clarksville, for instance, is over twice the size as Murfreesboro; 94 sq. miles vs. 39 sq miles)

Murfreesboro lies in the middle of one of the largest counties in the state, and has plenty of room to grow.

Also, Murfreesboro already has a larger urbanized area than Clarksville...

Clarksville - 121,775 - 78.85 sq mi - 1,544.3 density

Murfreesboro - 135,855 - 88.33 sq mi - 1,538.0 density

And if any annexation goes on, Murfreesboro has more population potential than Clarksville does.

Unincorporated Montgomery County (2005) - 34,324

Unincorporated Rutherford County (2005) - 71,659

So if anything, the fact that Clarksville has twice as much land area means that they have annexed well beyond their core, because Murfreesboro's core population is about the same as Clarksville's (1,188 people per sq mi city population for Clarksville, 2,225 people per sq mi city population for Murfreesboro).

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Hello Flith,

Insofar as I recall, that projection is strictly for the populace which resides in the city limits.

This is merely something I have heard from many years from various sources. A quick search revealed a study conducted in Dec. 2003; A joint publication of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and The University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research. The results of this study which projects populations for the year 2025 has Chattanooga with a projected population of 175,755 whereas Clarksville's 2025 projected population is 171,485. These projected figures are strictly for the populations within city limits insofar as I can tell.

I would be more than happy to provide the URL but am uncertain if the rules of the forum allow for this. The title of the study and document is *Population Projections for the State of Tennessee 2005 to 2025*.

Other notable municipality 2025 projections are Murfreesboro (124, 885); Jackson (82,442), and Johnson City (71,848).

Interesting, I had never seen or hear that before. I only moved from Chatt. in 2001.

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Census 2000

Clarksville - 103,455

Murfreesboro - 68,816

difference - 34,639

Estimate 2005

Clarksville - 112,878

Murfreesboro - 86,793

difference - 26,085

Murfreesboro just killed a difference of 8,554 in just 5 years...so it is possible that within the next 20-25 years Murfreesboro jumps Clarksville....possible.

Oh, of course it is possible! One thing though and that is that if other estimates are correct then Clarksville's current population is already at 120,000. I first read this on a basketball discussion board of all places but then saw that figure on some other site. Uhm, please don't ask me to try to find it because I am sure that I can't. Ha.

I do not see either city maintaining their current rates of growth for the next 15-20 years and while it is certainly possible for Murfreesboro to surpass Clarksville in population during that time, I still don't see it happening and I have seen no studies in projected growth which make that prediction.

You also mentioned land area.

Murfreesboro lies in the middle of one of the largest counties in the state, and has plenty of room to grow.

Also, Murfreesboro already has a larger urbanized area than Clarksville...

Clarksville - 121,775 - 78.85 sq mi - 1,544.3 density

Murfreesboro - 135,855 - 88.33 sq mi - 1,538.0 density

And if any annexation goes on, Murfreesboro has more population potential than Clarksville does.

Unincorporated Montgomery County (2005) - 34,324

Unincorporated Rutherford County (2005) - 71,659

So if anything, the fact that Clarksville has twice as much land area means that they have annexed well beyond their core, because Murfreesboro's core population is about the same as Clarksville's (1,188 people per sq mi city population for Clarksville, 2,225 people per sq mi city population for Murfreesboro).

I fully agree that Clarksville has annexed well beyond its core. There are areas within the city limits which are actually rather rural (the city leapfrogged in order to get some neighborhoods around the interstate) but is filling in fast such as the area around Exit 1 and the Northeast H.S. area. Indeed, Murfreesboro does have greater potential through annexation. No argument there.

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"Which one of these cities has the potential to become a major metropolitan area." I'm surprised that Clarksville is not as dense given it is 94 sq. miles. I do, however, disagree with the population projection. Murfreesboro could easily pass Clarksville in population in about ten years from now especially with talks of consolidating its government with the rest of Rutherford county. Murfreesboro has already done two metropolitan statistical studies and a third (appointed) group will hold meetings this fall to examine the data collected. I do believe when Murfreesboro goes metro it will be hell and high water to get residents from Smyrna and Lavergne to agree to it since they are established communities as well. Clarksville and Murfreesboro are great places to live. In addition, it may be beneficial for Clarksville not to have all the upscale housing and office parks because that says that it is doing just fine without them.

Don't get me wrong, Clarksville does have quite a few very nice and wealthy neighborhoods and has always had its wealthy class. I also think the more white collar corporatations and businesses are going to come in the future. I do think these are important for future growth as the wealth these corporations bring add to a citys quality of life and a city is more apt to procure better selections in entertainment, eateries, shops, etc. Such entities are also able to spawn social programs which also benefit the citys in which they are located - that is, presuming these corporations have a penchant for anthropology.

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