NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On average about 3,600 people from abroad move to Nashville every year. It’s no secret Nashville’s population is expanding in both diversity and ethnicity, enhancing the region as a cosmopolitan place to live, work and play.
Nashville has seen a major culture shift in the last decade and many believe it’s for the best.
“We are an international music city,” said former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
This town is a music magnet, and it has been since the 1930s. There’s a sharp eye for talent and more than five thousand musicians live here.
“You started having people say, ‘I want to live there,'” said John Scannapieco, a partner with the law firm, Womble Bond Dickinson.
Music City is not only drawing in singers, nurses and manufacturers, but also filmmakers, chefs and entrepreneurs.
“That cultural tie is attractive internationally. People want to be in a city that has music at its heart, which we have, which is a key element of our success,” said Dean.
It’s likely why Nashville’s culture continues to shift. “To think of Nashville being a magnet for foreign investment or for companies from abroad to locate here, I never would have thought that was possible,” said Scannapieco.
The city has seen a melting pot of occupations as the popularity grows in finance, technology and life-sciences.
“Particularly the Japanese, now Korean, who have come in and I think they’ve added a lot to the community, and I think we’re going to continue to see more of that, and it won’t necessarily be manufacturers it will be people in service industries as well,” said Seth Bernstein, CEO of AllianceBernstein.
And it’s not just immigrants from Asia.
“They’re literally coming from all over,” said Scannapieco. “In my neighborhood alone we have people from India, Turkey, Africa. My kids now grow up looking at all of these people from different places, different food, ideas, holidays, and they realize the rest of the world is a cool place.”
According to 2022 Regional Economic Development Guide, one in eight Davidson County residents is foreign born.
“On the cultural side, I think it’s great,” said Checko. “I think people bringing their experiences to Tennessee and starting small businesses is great.”
The Nashville area is now home to more than 630 arts, culture and humanities destinations. More than 1,500 businesses are owned by Hispanic entrepreneurs. And more than 120 languages are spoken in Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Some see the growth as a gain, while others see it as a loss.
Butch Spyridon, CEO, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation said, “We are always concerned about our creative culture and authenticity, and it is a balancing act.”
Scannapieco said with equilibrium we succeed. “I think now with all these folks coming into the city bringing different cultures, different ideas, different perspectives, it only makes us better.”
Dean added, “The thing that drives the success of a city is more about the culture. It’s more about the people, and if we are a city that attracts talented hard-working people, then we’re going to continue to succeed.”
Nashville’s explosive growth and rising real estate prices are due in part to outside influence. News 2 shows you how investors from around the world are shaping the area with our special reports Outside Influence.