Surprise! Memphis Gains Population Since 2010

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A U.S. Census report out Thursday says Memphis is the 20th largest city in the country and its population has grown by more than 7500 people since 2010 when the school merger talk began.

The report says the population of Memphis grew from 647,612 in 2010 to 655,155 in July, 2012. The population of Shelby County increased from 928,792 to 940,764 during the same period.

"It appears we are seeing a leveling off of movement from the city as we approach the merger of the school systems," said Maura Black Sullivan, assistant chief administrative officer for the city of Memphis.

She said annexations did not account for the increase. The Southwind residential annexation takes place this year, and the South Cordova annexation came after July of 2012.

The news is cold comfort. Both Mayor A C Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell say the taxable property base is down and the property tax rate will have to rise to yield the same amount of money as last year. The schools merger takes place this year, and there could be a Big Churn when the suburbs start their own systems.

But a gain is a gain. Discount it all you want. Explain it away if you will. Knock yourself out. They're not downplaying the numbers in Nashville. To see how one newspaper handled the report of the growth in Middle Tennessee, see this story from The Tennessean.

Some other numbers from around Tennessee and DeSoto County, Mississippi:

Davidson County (Nashville), 628,021 to 648,295. Nashville is the 25th largest city in the U.S.

Southaven passed with the 50,000 mark. It's population is 50,374.

Fayette County, east of Shelby County, 38,413 to 38,659.

Rutherford County (Murfreesboro), 263,779 to 274,454.

Williamson County (Franklin and Brentwood south of Nashville), 184,063 to 192,911.

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