By DON FENLEY
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – An average of about three out-of-state residents moved to Johnson City every day during the first eight months of this year. That’s an estimate based on the number of residents per household. Most (193) who got a BrightRidge connection were under 50. The largest age group was between 20 and 29. And most of the newcomers were from North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia. Based on current Census household data, the out-of-state relocations boosted Johnson City’s population by about 773. Census population estimates for 2022 won’t be available until next summer.
Johnson City’s – and the rest of the Tri-Cities’ – population growth comes from new residents because the region’s death rate is higher than the birth rate. Net migration is the key because there’s also a local group who strike out of other areas.
The city’s current population estimate of 71,278 is as of July 21, 2021. At that time, the city accounted for a little over 55% of Washington County’s population growth. That’s about the same share of the out-of-state newcomers who located in the city during the first eight months of this year. And although those coming from other states get most of the public attention, most new residents are typically from within the state, which is not part of the BrightRidge count.
Washington County’s current annual population growth estimate is 0.9% – the same as the state’s rate. According to Census, the only local counties with an equal or higher growth rate estimate are Johnson County (1.2%) and Hawkins County (1%).
Jonesborough-Johnson City Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Cantler said his organization is especially excited about the number of Millennials and GenZ new residents. The share is slightly less than what it was during the pandemic location but is still representative of the city’s drawing power for younger residents. “They are bringing a lot to our workforce and adding a good vibe to the community,” he added.
Another closely watched economic and demographic update is the just-released American Community Survey 1-Year Report. It’s one of the first looks at how things are changing since the pandemic. Here’s a sampling of some top takeaways from the 2021 Johnson City selected economic characteristics compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic data.
– The number of people working from home (4,124) increased by 2,239 (118.8%).
– The number of private wage and salary workers, 23,969, was down 3,079 (-11.4%)
– The number of government workers, 6,636, was up 574 (9.5%)
– The number of those self-employed, 2,029, was up 384 (23.3%)
– Median earnings for workers $34,753, up $8,444 (32.1%)
– Median earnings for full-time, year-round male workers, $59,150, up $23,994 (68.3%)
– Median earnings for full-time, year-round female workers, $44,120, Up $6,343 (16.8%)
– The number of women 16 years old and older in the labor force was 18,763, up 1,007 (5.7%)
– The number of women employed was 17,197, down 27 (-0.2%)
– Total labor force was 36,060 down 332 (-0.9%)
– Households with incomes up to $49,999 accounted for 43% of the city’s total households, down from 55.7% in 2019. And the number in each of those income tiers declined.
– Households with an income of $50,000 to $74,999 increased by 1,858 (41.7%)
– Households in the $75,000 to $99,999 increased 1,975 (90.5%)
– Households in the $100,000 – $149,999 declined by 576 (-15.1%)
– Households $150,000 – $199,000 increased by 539 (48.3%)
– Households $200,000 or more increased by 89 (4.3%)
– Median household income $56,248, up $13,451 (31.4%)
– Average household income $82,385 up $10,731 (15%)
– With Social Security 9,066 down 107 (-1.2%)
– Avg. Social Security income $21,608 up $3,823 (21.5%)
– With retirement income 8.555 up 1,545 (22%)
– Avg. retirement income $32,909 up $11,124 (51.1%)
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