Welcome to The Memphis Economy.  

The Memphis Economy is a partnership between the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County, EDGE, and the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Memphis. 

The goal of this site is to provide curated data that describes the Memphis and Shelby County MSA’s economic condition and provide comparisons to peer metros throughout the country.  The information collected can be used as an economic barometer and measurement tool for local elected officials, community leaders, economic development professionals, community-based organizations, and the general public. 

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Memphis MSA Key Economic Indicators






Economic Analysis

Can Memphis Survive with Slow Growth? An Analysis of Demographic and Economic Data Help Answer the Question

John Gnuschke, Ph.D., Director
Jeff Wallace, Ph.D., Research Professor
Sparks Bureau of Business & Economic Research
The University of Memphis

In this article we focus on demographic and economic data to answer the question posed in the title.  In particular, our focus is on data available from U.S. government sources including the U.S. Census Bureau (Census), the American Community Survey (ACS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Our purpose in doing so is to provide the reader with a brief overview of commonly used and easily accessible data so as to better understand demographic and economic trends impacting the Memphis area.


Shelby County Demographics on the Map

Ryan Hanson, MA, MSBA, Senior Researcher
Sparks Bureau of Business & Economic Research
The University of Memphis

Demographics take on new meaning when put into their spatial context. Maps enable new relationships and patterns to be viewed and understood more easily than tabular data alone. The new information created by placing the data in its spatial context can allow for better understanding and decision-making than was previously possible.

The following series of maps show demographic indicators for Shelby County by ZIP codes. The data come from the American Community Survey five-year averages and are related to several topics: population, household income, and race. Although there are only three different demographic topics mapped, similar spatial patterns are seen across all the indicators due to the relationship between socioeconomics and geography.