Nashville, Tenn.

fastest growing metro areas nashville
  • Population: 1.8 million
  • % gain : 1.8%
  • New residents: 31,153

A thriving music industry, a host of big healthcare employers and a burgeoning start-up scene have made Nashville a hotspot for several years.

The city's famed Music Row, with its record companies, music publishers, clubs and guitar shops, is where some of the city's 20,000 music industry jobs can be found.

Yet, many more of the area's residents work in the much less-glitzy field of healthcare.

"About half of all the for-profit hospital beds in the country are administered from Nashville," said Matthew Wiltshire, head of Nashville's department of economic and community development. "Healthcare is a $30 billion industry here."

Another big attraction: the reasonable cost of living, which is 14% less than the national average, according to Wiltshire.

First published March 27, 2014: 12:25 AM ET
Source: Based on U.S. Census Bureau population data for July 1, 2012 through July 1, 2013. Rankings are based on largest percentage population growth in metro areas with a population of one million or more.

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