Our Changing State

Four Trends Transforming Tennessee’s Population

Data for this study was provided by States of Change: Demographics and Democracy, a collaboration of the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for American Progress.

  • Our state gets more diverse every year. Tennessee’s minority population grew steadily from 1980 (17%) to 2014 (26%), and that trend is projected to continue, increasing by about three percentage points every decade. In 2030, 30% of Tennesseans will be minorities; by 2060, the minority population will total about 39%.
  • Tennessee’s minority population itself is diversifying. The overwhelming majority of minorities in 1980 were black. In 2014, one third of Tennessee’s minorities were Hispanic, Asian or other; by 2060, 46% will be.

Read the full Our Changing State report here.

Note: The percentages in this report describe the share of the Tennessee population that falls into each demographic category. Notably, the changes articulated here are year-over-year comparisons of proportions, not gross population figures. For instance, a demographic group can be described as “shrinking” when it is proportionally smaller relative to a previous year.