Another way to look at the impact of foreign investment across the state is to compare county figures to national averages. Below are maps comparing each Tennessee county's foreign-owned firm employment to the national average. Again, county figures are weighted by the size of county employment.
We see first and foremost that most of the state is more reliant upon foreign investment than is America as a whole. This reliance has grown, relatively, over the past 15 years. Then we see that it is middle Tennessee that is most reliant within the state. This concentration has accelerated, though most of the state's major metro areas continue to feature large foreign-owned sectors.
Foreign investment has grown rapidly in this state, more rapidly than for the nation, but it is not evenly spread. This is not, however, exactly a rural/urban divide. The most rural parts of the state are indeed largely ignored by foreign investors, but the industry structure of a county seems more important than its population density in the ability to attract such investment.
Counties that are enmeshed in the state's automotive, chemical, and electronics sectors receive a disproportionate amount of it. Basically, county globalization is mirroring industry globalization. Those industries that are the most globalized produce the most foreign investment, and that investment goes to the localities in which the globalized industry is already active. For Tennessee, this serves to exacerbate existing differences in county wealth. This may be the most difficult issue for the state as the amount of foreign investment activity increases in coming years.