data Center - talent

Over 33 Percent of the Working-aged Population Have Completed a Post Secondary Education Including 27 Percent with Either a Bachelors or Advanced Degree.

  • Investments in higher education reflect a community’s commitment to increasing economic growth and improving prosperity.  For many companies, the presence of a large educated labor force is one of the most important local attributes.


  • Memphis has a working aged population in excess of 1 million and has a substantial portion of the population with associates, bachelors or advanced degrees. 


  • The Memphis working aged population grew by 3.43 percent over the last 5 years.   Relative to the national and Tennessee growth rates of 5.06 percent and 5.02 percent respectively, the Memphis working aged population experienced slower growth.  By comparison, Nashville’s working aged population grew by 15.94 percent.


  • The 5-year percentage change in advanced degrees in the Memphis labor market was 1.6 percent.  That exceeded the gains in the nation, the state and most of the comparison cities.


  • The change in the percentage of people with bachelor degrees was also positive—an increase of .3 percent but lagged behind the nation (1.3 percent) and the state (1.5 percent).    However, the gains at this education level also trailed most comparison cities.

Peer Metros Comparison

Associate Degree


5-Year % Difference

United States 0.60%
Tennessee 1.20%
Shelby County, TN 1.50%
Memphis City, TN 1.10%

Jacksonville 3.00%
Louisville 1.90%
Memphis 1.80%
Oklahoma City 1.70%
Birmingham 1.60%
Little Rock 1.20%
St. Louis 1.00%
Omaha 0.80%
Nashville 0.70%
Kansas City 0.40%
Tulsa 0.10%
Greensboro 0.10%
Charlotte NA
Indianapolis NA
New Orleans NA
Cincinnati NA

Working Age Population

5-Year % Change

United States 4.78%
Tennessee 4.69%
Shelby County, TN 0.75%
Memphis City, TN -0.40%

Nashville 15.88%
Jacksonville 9.59%
Oklahoma City 7.47%
Omaha 6.12%
Little Rock 4.70%
Tulsa 4.65%
Greensboro 4.36%
Kansas City 3.66%
Memphis 2.86%
Birmingham 2.26%
St. Louis 1.07%
Louisville 0.24%
Charlotte NA
Indianapolis NA
New Orleans NA
Cincinnati NA

Advanced Degree


5-Year % Difference

United States 1.30%
Tennessee 1.10%
Shelby County, TN 0.70%
Memphis City, TN 2.40%

St. Louis 1.80%
Jacksonville 1.70%
Kansas City 1.70%
Nashville 1.60%
Little Rock 1.50%
Greensboro 1.40%
Memphis 1.20%
Omaha 1.10%
Birmingham 1.10%
Louisville 0.60%
Oklahoma City 0.60%
Tulsa 0.60%
Charlotte NA
Indianapolis N A
New Orleans NA
Cincinnati NA

Bachelors Degree


5-Year % Difference

United States 1.40%
Tennessee 1.40%
Shelby County, TN -0.20%
Memphis City, TN -1.20%

Omaha 2.30%
Kansas City 2.20%
Louisville 2.20%
Jacksonville 2.00%
Nashville 1.90%
Birmingham 1.80%
St. Louis 1.60%
Little Rock 1.20%
Oklahoma City 1.00%
Tulsa 0.30%
Greensboro 0.00%
Memphis -0.30%
Charlotte NA
Indianapolis NA
New Orleans NA
Cincinnati NA

Missing values due to data availability, reporting, or changes in geographic definitions