- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Memphis is on the verge of losing its title as Tennessee’s largest city to fast-growing Nashville, according to census estimates.

The figures, which were released Thursday, show that as of July 1, 2015, Memphis’ population was 655,770 and Nashville’s was 654,610, the Commercial Appeal reported (https://bit.ly/1TJ74Kd ).

However, that 1,160-person gap closed as Memphis lost 712 residents and Nashville gained 9,881.

John Gnuschke, director of the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Memphis, said that if the latest figures, which cover municipalities and other “sub-county” areas, show Memphis is not growing, they also confirm that the city’s population is not rapidly declining.

“We can take pride in that we’ve at least been stable, which is more than a lot of cities can say,” Gnuschke said.

Most recently, Memphis had about 45,000 more residents than Nashville, according to the 2010 Census.

“My sense is, it has always been a point of pride for Memphis that we were larger than Nashville,” said Wayne Dowdy, senior manager of the history department for the Memphis Public Library and Information Center. “It was a tangible way that we could argue that we were more significant than our sister city.”

Memphis became the state’s largest city with the 1900 Census, when its population rose to 102,320 compared to 80,865 for Nashville.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com


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