Thursday, April 7, 2011

Manchester thriving and Tullahoma dying?

The recent release of U.S. census figures for Manchester and Tullahoma show one town is growing and the other is barely treading water.

Manchester's population grew to 10,102 in 2010, which is a 22 percent increase compared to its population in 2000. Tullahoma's population was fairly stagnant, growing only 3.7 percent to 18,655 people.

What does it mean? It means Manchester is enjoying the benefits of a better geographical location when compared to Tullahoma. Manchester is the county seat of Coffee County and is located along Interstate 24. This is important because Manchester is only a 30-minute drive from Murfreesboro, which has been a boomtown over the last decade.

Murfreesboro's population has now topped 100,000 and Manchester appears to be a logical choice for those not wanting to live in larger cities. Add the exposure the town gets from such events as the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and Manchester appears to be at the right place at the right time.

While Tullahoma is a nice city, it appears adrift geographically from the areas of central Tennessee that have shown substantial growth, and I do not know what can be done about that.

If given the choice of which city to live, Manchester is the obvious place to be right now.

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