NASHVILLE, Tenn.--A new study from the University of Tennessee'sBoyd Center for Business and Economic Researchestimates the state's population will grow by over 1 million people the next 20 years with the midstate absorbing most of the growth.
According to the 2018-2070 projections released by the Boyd Center, Tennessee's population will grow from 6.77 million in 2018 to 7.84 million in 2040. By 2070, that number will swell to 9.35 million.
Middle Tennessee, specifically Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, and Sumner counties are expected to see more than half of the 1.07 million in population growth by 2040. The analysis projects 66 of the state's counties to see increases while 27 rural counties to see decreases.
In the next 30 years, Rutherford County is expected to become the state's third-largest county, surpassing Hamilton in 2026 and Knox by 2050.
By 2040, Rutherford will see the largest increase with 180,506 new residents. Williamson County will see the second-largest increase with 129,833, followed by Davidson (+111,901), Wilson (+64,668), and Sumner (+63,301).
Montgomery County will also see a big increase, jumping by 95,835 residents for a total of 301,785 by 2040.
The state will also get older thanks to declining death rates and retirement-aged people moving to Tennessee. By 2040, one in five Tennesseans is projected to be 65 or older.
Hispanics will also become the state's second-largest racial group by 2063 with 1.47 million residents.