Between 2010 and 2019, the Knoxville region grew the 25- to 54-year-old age group by less than ½ percent (i.e., 163 individuals). During the same time, the region witnessed a growth of 6.9 percent in the 15- to 24-year-old age group.
The Knoxville region had the second-highest negative variation between 15- to 24-year-old growth and 25- to 54-year-old growth. (Lexington was first.) That means while Knoxville attracts significant numbers of undergraduate and graduate students to the University of Tennessee and other post-secondary institutions, they quickly move on after graduation. (As they presumably do at the University of Kentucky).
About 37 percent of the Knoxville region’s population is between the ages of 25-54, while regions successful in retaining/attracting this demographic are between 40 and 45 percent. Growing this group by 5 percent would equate to ~16,000 more people.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Knoxville Chamber analysis