Six things you may not know about Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee

There’s good reason why Nashville is known as Music City. After all, it’s home to the Grand Ole Opry, which has been going strong since 1925.

And that’s not all Nashville has going for it musically. Did you know that Nashville has more music industry jobs than any other city in the US – including New York and Los Angeles? The industry generates $10 billion for the regional economy and employs nearly 60,000 people.

But there’s a whole lot more to Tennessee’s capital city than just its world-renowned, toe-tapping music scene.

Here are six interesting things you may not know about Nashville:

1. One smart city

Nashville’s got a lot to brag about when it comes to education.

The area’s 24 colleges and universities enroll more than 123,000 students annually – the largest concentration in a four-state region. What’s more, 60% of those graduates stay in the Nashville area to take advantage of the city’s robust economy, job opportunities, and high quality of living. In fact, more than 35% of adults in the region have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Nashville’s even been singled out for its commitment to higher education. Since October 2017, it’s been designated a Talent Hub by the Lumina Foundation. Nashville earned that distinction by meeting high standards to attract and retain talent while boosting post-secondary learning.

Bonus fact: Tennessee offers high school graduates two years of tuition-free community or technical college.

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2. Health care capital

Nashville’s music industry might employ 60,000 people, but it’s got nothing on the numbers of the area’s health care sector.

According to the Nashville Health Care Council, more than 500 health care companies have set up shop in Nashville, contributing a whopping $46.7 billion to the local economy and over 270,000 jobs. Plus, the reach of Nashville’s health care sector extends far outside of the region’s boundaries. Seventeen health care companies headquartered in Nashville are publicly traded, and combined employ nearly 600,000 people worldwide and generate more than $92 billion in global revenue.

In a study, 95% of health care CEOs said having headquarters in Nashville is essential to their company’s success.

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3. Global attraction

Nashville has become a hot spot for international companies looking to expand operations.

From 2017 to 2018, 45.3% of all new job announcements in the region were the result of foreign direct investment. There are over 300 foreign-owned companies in the Nashville area representing 30 different countries, employing more than 50,000 Middle Tennessee residents.

“No city of similar size offers as great a setting and potential for international trade and investment,” claims the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

4. Hub for young professionals

With a booming tech sector, loads of resources for entrepreneurs, a trendy food and craft brewery scene, and, of course, lots of music, Nashville has become a beacon for young professionals.

That’s probably why the Penny Hoarder ranked Nashville number seven on its list of 25 US cities that millennials can afford and actually want to live in. And SmartAsset rated the city number six on its list of the best US cities for young professionals.

Nearly 70 people relocate to the area every day, and it just so happens that Nashville’s median age is 34.

5. History and architecture galore

All work and no play isn’t a lifestyle that many want to follow. Thankfully Nashville makes it easy to take in a ton of culture and history without having to go too far.

Want to check out the Parthenon but can’t make it over to Greece? Then head to Nashville’s Centennial Park where you can see the world’s only full-scale replica of the Parthenon. Built for Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition in 1897, the building houses Nashville’s art museum and has a re-creation of the 42-foot statue of Athena.

Nashville’s Greek influence doesn’t end there. Located in the middle of the city, Tennessee’s State Capitol building was completed in 1859 and is one of the country’s oldest capitol buildings still in operation. Architect William Strickland modeled the building’s design after the monument of Lysicrates in Greece and saw it as his career’s greatest achievement. The capitol building is considered one of the most highly regarded examples of Greek Revival architecture in the US. No wonder Nashville has the nickname ‘Athens of the South.’

Interested in seeing some Egyptian Revival architecture? Nashville has that, too. The Downtown Presbyterian Church is one of the largest and best-preserved examples of Egyptian Revival architecture in the US. The church, which was finished in 1851, was used as a hospital during the Civil War.

6. Burgeoning diversity

Nashville has become a favorable destination for immigrants. And it’s no wonder considering the area’s strong job market, relatively low cost of living, and various resources and initiatives specifically geared to assist immigrants.

The number of foreign-born residents in Nashville has more than doubled in the past decade. Approximately 12% of Nashville’s population was born outside of the US, and nearly half are recent immigrants who have arrived since 2000. In fact, 30% of students enrolled in the local public school system speak a language other than English at home.

Nashville is also proudly home to the largest Kurdish population in the US, totaling more than 15,000. There’s even a section of the city referred to as Little Kurdistan with traditional Kurdish food markets, restaurants, and shops.

Even if music isn’t your scene, there’s no question that Nashville holds an array of opportunities and experiences for people and businesses alike.

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