3rd Quarter 2011

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Propensity to Export:
MSA Status/% Manufacturers Exporting

 

% Exporting
%
Above Avg

# of Counties
Large Urban
21.52%
51.85%
27
Small Urban
22.44%
36.36%
11
Rural
16.43%
37.93%
57

 

 

Counties bordering Davidson and Hamilton are the home of a disproportionate number of new exporters.

County Exporting Trends

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So export activity is not evenly distributed across Tennessee. Rural areas are underperforming, and several urban clusters, notably around Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville, are outperforming the rest of the state.

What's Changed? What's Changing?

Is the pattern of the state location of exporters changing? Let's put our snapshot of 2010 into motion. A county map of new exporters, weighted by the number of establishments that were in the county 15 years ago, shows a disturbing trend. The growth in the number of exporters is flat or declining across a broad swath of the state. Two areas, most of West Tennessee and much of the Cumberland Plateau, have seen disproportionately few new exporters, even when adjusted for their overall level of economic activity. The counties that have seen significantly larger numbers of new exporters over the past decade and a half are, for the most part, the same counties in which export activity already exceeds the state average. Counties bordering Davidson and Hamilton are the home of a disproportionate number of new exporters. In other words, the rich are getting richer, and the gap between counties in terms of export performance is growing larger. This is a worrisome trend.

 

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1995-2010, New Exporting Weighted by Economic Size of County: New Exporting Establishments / Total 1995 Establishments

percent county population that has immigrated into county since 1995