2nd Quarter 2013

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% of MSA Exports from Tennessee

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
86%
Chattanooga, TN-GA
85%
Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA
75%
Clarksville, TN-KY 57%

 

Tennessee MSA Exports:
A Comparison of 10 Metro Areas

Most of the urban areas have seen solid export growth over the past several years.
by Steven G. Livingston | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

In the past several months, both the International Trade Administration and the Brookings "Export Nation" project have released estimates of metro area exports for 2012. They provide some interesting details about the export activity of Tennessee's 10 metro areas (formally known as metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs). As one might expect, the large majority of Tennessee exports come from its major cities. About 79% of Tennessee's 2012 exports came from the state's metro areas, versus the 77% of Tennesseans that live in them. (That figure includes only the portions of an MSA located in this state. Several of Tennessee's metro areas — Memphis, Chattanooga, Kingsport, and Clarksville — cross state lines.)

Most of the urban areas have seen solid export growth over the past several years. Chattanooga posted by far the best record, more than doubling its exports since 2007. Jackson and Kingsport-Bristol both exceeded the overall export growth rate for the state, while Knoxville grew roughly at the same rate as the rest of the state. The laggards were the smaller metro areas. Morristown's, Johnson City's, and Cleveland's export activity barely budged in the past five years, each growing by less than 5%. Over this time, four of the 10 metro areas have risen in the rankings of America's top exporting MSAs, as shown in our summary table.  

Tennessee MSA Exports

2012 Exports

2007 Exports

2012 Rank*

2007 Rank*

Chattanooga, TN-GA
$1,849,105,623
$809,170,896 104
148
Clarksville, TN-KY $326,330,250 $309,719,325 244
227
Cleveland
$204,003,726
$172,806,299 295
286
Jackson $396,967,503 $254,694,588 228 250
Johnson City $134,070,413 $130,524,935 319
309
Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA
$4,092,028,070
$2,408,520,440 60
70
Knoxville $2,656,750,920 $2,093,997,297 81 75
Memphis, TN-MS-AR $11,360,128,200 $8,138,188,390 27 28
Morristown $345,324,485 $337,570,284 238 221
Nashville $6,402,109,820 $5,105,870,660 40 39
Source: International Trade Administration data. *Among the 366 American MSAs.

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