Estimates released yesterday from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey show Clarksville’s population at 149,120. Just shy of the 150,000 mark, this growth reflects an 11.6% increase over the past five years.
In the same report, Montgomery County population is growing quickly toward a population of 200,000, with a 2015 estimate of 193,479, which is also up 11.6% from 2010. The number of households in the county increased to 70,494, up 7.7% over 2014.
“Clarksville-Montgomery County is, and has been, experiencing a very positive growth trend,” said Economic Development Council Chairman Tommy Bates. “For the past 20 years, we’ve been working collectively and diligently to recruit strong industry, assist with small business development, and create a community where people want to live and raise their families. We don’t get everything right every time, but we are undoubtedly doing some things well.”
While Tennessee as a whole grew 13.6% in the past decade, Clarksville and Montgomery County both experienced growth rates of more than 35%. At the county level, that means almost 10 net new residents per day.
“We are fortunate to continue to attract new companies bringing more jobs; have great educational opportunities with CMCSS and Austin Peay; and have existing business expansions - all these bring people to our area,” said Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett. “We have been feeling the effects of our growing population, and now we have the official numbers to back it up. The future for Montgomery County is bright!”
Also included in the report was data for age and educational attainment.
Clarksville remained one of the youngest cities in the state with a median age of 29.7, nearly nine years younger than the state as a whole. Only a handful of Tennessee cities offer a median age lower than 30, those being Martin, Cookeville, Henderson, Cumberland Gap and Darden.
“Clarksville continues to grow, which confirms that we are moving in the right direction,” Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said. “We’re working hard every day to continue to make this the best city in America to live, work and raise our families. I’m proud of our success in economic development and job creation, which is reflected in our population growth. But this also means we have to keep planning and working on our infrastructure, sustain our public safety gains, and enhance our quality of life assets to serve our citizens.”
Countywide Educational Attainment numbers are also showing very positive trends. Nearly 94% of residents now hold a high school diploma or higher. These is up from 87% in 2010. Those with a bachelor’s degree of higher total 26%, up from only 18% in 2010.
“CMCSS continues to be impacted by the growth in the community as the school system now has more than 33, 500 students - approximately 1,000 more students than last year, said Clarksville-Montgomery County School System Director B.J. Worthington. “While rapid growth always comes with challenges, we wouldn’t want these students to go anywhere else. The School System's focus on graduating 100% of our students college and career ready contribute to this community in so many ways, including a better educated workforce and a better quality of life. When CMCSS asked the community to be a part of addressing our graduation rate in 2005, we were at around 76 percent of our students graduating. Our most recent data from 2015, shows the astounding increase to 96.5% of students graduating. This is reflective of a successful community and schools partnership.”
“These are the trends we want to see – not just spikes here and there, but sustained growth and educational improvement over a long period of time,” said Economic Development Council Executive Director Cal Wray. “Positive growth perpetuates positive growth; success breeds success. A stronger educational base attracts business and jobs that need a more highly educated workforce. We would expect to see the ripple effects in coming years with higher incomes and stronger retail spending, which means higher-level retailers will be looking in this market. It all works together for a strong, diverse economy, which is what we have here in Clarksville-Montgomery County.”
About the Economic Development Council
The Economic Development Council was formed in 1995 to develop, coordinate and implement a comprehensive marketing plan for economic development in Clarksville-Montgomery County. This strategic marketing initiative and funding mechanism is now the 501(c) (3) Aspire Clarksville Foundation and is governed and funded solely by private investors.