by John Egan
October 10, 2016
A lot of people from the Windy City are blowing into Music City.
A LawnStarter analysis of U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2009-13 shows the Chicago, IL, metro area sent an average of 1,643 new residents per year to the Nashville, TN, metro area. Chicago ranks fifth on our list of the 16 metro areas that supplied the most new Nashville residents during that period. The Census Bureau released the 2009-13 data in 2015.
The moving-to-Nashville metros ahead of Chicago should come as no surprise: Memphis, TN, is No. 1, followed by Knoxville, TN, No. 2; Atlanta, GA, No. 3; and Clarksville, TN, No. 4.
Nashville, TN, pulls more new residents from Memphis, TN, than any other metro area.
Photo: Metropolitan General Sessions Court of Nashville-Davidson County
So, given the Southern tilt of the Top 4, what caught our eye when we combed through the data is Chicago’s appearance at No. 5. That, then, begs the question: Why are so many Chicagoans settling in Nashville? Actually, Nashville is just one of a number of cities picking up residents who are fleeing Chicagoland.
Why the exodus? In general, Chicagoland residents are fed up. In interviews with the Chicago Tribune, former Chicagoland residents cited an array of reasons for abandoning the Windy City, including high taxes, out-of-control crime, high unemployment and lousy weather.
In fact, so many people are leaving the Chicago area that Nashville doesn’t even rank among the top 10 metro destinations for those putting the Windy City in the rearview mirror. The major metros drawing away the most Chicagoans are Phoenix, AZ; New York, NY; and Milwaukee, WI, according to a data analysis by Crain’s Chicago Business.
“While a whopping estimate of 255,450 people left the Chicago area from 2009 to 2013, Chicago at least gained some 176,200 new residents — mostly from the same cities from the list of places where the most Chicago ex-pats go,” Chicagoist reported last year.
So, Chicago’s loss, as it turns out, is Nashville’s gain. Here’s a list of the 16 metro areas feeding the most new residents per year to Nashville, based on Census Bureau estimates for 2009-13.
Photo: UberNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 2,869
Photo: The Huffington PostNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 2,584
Photo: Courthouses.coNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 1,940
Photo: Flickr/Roman BoedNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 1,643
Photo: Flickr/nateClicksNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 1,395
Photo: Flickr/ConstantinABNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 1,136
Photo: OdysseyNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 1,095
Photo: Flickr/David KabotNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 1,043
Photo: Flickr/Johnny SilvercloudNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 989
Photo: Flickr/Ron ReiringNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 888
Photo: Flickr/Matthew PaulsonNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 852
Photo: Flickr/Christopher WoodrichNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 820
Photo: Flickr/Paul SablemanNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 733
Photo: Flickr/Daniel BettsNumber of residents who moved to Nashville: 648