Nashville Region’s Vital Signs

Study Overview

Each October, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the MPO publish a major report to the region that tracks data points related to key issues affecting Middle Tennessee’s economic well-being and quality of life in order to facilitate conversation about community-driven solutions to reinforce our strengths and address our weaknesses.

Major Findings

The report states that the regional economy continues to experience growth that is the foundation of a high quality of life in the area. Job growth is high, unemployment is low, and our dollars go farther. The report includes a dashboard of indicators on a variety of issues to identify emerging issues that may threaten quality of life and seeks to answer the following three questions:

1. What is required of our labor force to continue our prosperity?
2. How does the well-being of our residents impact our quality of life and prosperity?
3. How well are we connecting people to jobs, housing, and recreation?


The report includes a number of recommendations regarding education, employment, healthcare, and transit access, among others. 

1. Education attainment levels are increasingly important to a region’s economic competitiveness. What we should do:
• Leverage Tennessee Reconnect, Gov. Haslam’s initiative to help adults enter higher education and gain new skills to advance in the workplace, to increase education attainment rates for adults.
• Share best practices throughout the region to ensure Tennessee Promise students complete their associate degree or credential.
• Continue commitment to K-12 reforms, including rigorous standards, aligned assessments and accountability for results. 

2. While Nashville-region residents have greater access to quality care than residents in peer regions, they fare worse on many health outcomes compared to peers – even when accounting for differences in demographics. What we should do:
• Take advantage of our health care system to coordinate care, reduce costs and focus on preventive care.
• Expand health insurance to Middle Tennesseans without it.
• Strengthen partnerships to better serve low-income Middle Tennesseans.
• Enhance public infrastructure to promote healthy living.

3. Traffic congestion is expected to increase, and without other options, our inability to move about the region will jeopardize future economic development efforts as we become less attractive to new residents and businesses. To remedy this, regional leaders must be engaged to ensure that our transportation system keeps pace with anticipated growth. To guide action, Middle Tennessee should:
• Dedicate local funding to expand public transit options and call on state and federal leaders to identify additional revenue to address unfunded transportation needs.
• Leverage the strengths of the region through “Moving Forward: Transit Solutions for Our Region” to achieve community-based goals for the expansion of public transit options.
• Implement “Complete Streets” to better connect the transportation network to local destinations, improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, and provide better access to transit.
• Upgrade existing roadways and transit services with modern technologies to improve traffic flows and provide real-time travel information.





  • Nashville Region’s Vital Signs

Completion Date

  • Annually, usually released early October


  • Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

Study Partners

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