Tennessee's immigrant population approaches 5 percent

May 22, 2015

Credit BERC

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A mid-state researcher says Tennessee’s immigrant population is approaching five percent of the total.

Middle Tennessee State University economist Steven Livingston studies international trade for the Business and Economic Research Center. He says there are now 300,000 legal immigrants living and working in Tennessee.

Livingston says goods and money move and people follow. He says studying that movement to detect patterns is important to business interests.

He says one of the more interesting findings is that the largest concentration of Tennessee immigrants is right here in the mid-state.

“A little bit more than half of permanent residents in the state of Tennesse  -- permanent residents is someone who’s gotten legally here from another country  --  have settled in the Nashville area.”

Livingston says immigrants settle where they’re most likely to find work. He also notes that the rate of new immigrant settlement in Tennessee is fairly steady at between 8,000 and 9,000 new residents a year.

Would you like to review the BERC study on Tennessee immigration?