ThinkTennessee unveils updated State of Our State project

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 5, 2018) – ThinkTennessee released its annual State of Our State dashboard today, providing an at-a-glance look at how Tennessee ranks nationally across 100 different indicators.

“For Tennesseans, 2018 will bring new leadership at all levels of government, from city hall to the U.S. Capitol,” said Shanna Singh Hughey, president of ThinkTennessee. “More than ever, it’s important that voters and candidates alike have a clear sense of the opportunities – and challenges – facing our state.”

The full State of Our State dashboard, including all 100 rankings, is available here.

Key findings:

  • Tennessee is making strides: Between 2017 and 2018, more dashboard rankings improved than worsened.
  • But there’s still more work to do: Tennessee’s average ranking in each of the dashboard’s 11 categories was in the bottom half of the nation.
  • There are some bright spots:
    • Economy: Across measures like the wage gap (#13) and unemployment (#12), Tennessee is outperforming most states.
    • Education: Tennessee’s high school graduation rate (#8) is one of the highest in the nation.
  • And some areas for real improvement:
    • Civic participation and representation: Tennessee continues to lag most states in terms of civic participation measures like voter registration (#44) and turnout (#47).
    • Healthy communities: From obesity rates (#45) to opioid prescriptions (#49), Tennessee’s communities are struggling to stay healthy.
    • Connectivity: Relatively few households have access to computers (#41) or broadband subscriptions (#44).

For the sake of consistency, rankings have been standardized so that low numbers always reflect positive outcomes; put another way, being ranked 1st is always preferential to being ranked 50th. For each metric, ThinkTennessee used the most recent publicly available data available as of Mar. 1, 2018. Where possible, government data were favored over other sources for uniformity and reliability.