Our National Reputation Grows

Clarksville has been identified as the most desirable ZIP code in the country, according to a recent study by Opendoor.com. The San Francisco-based real estate company found that Clarksville (ZIP code 37042) ranked above Austin, Atlanta, San Diego, and Orlando among others, as a destination for people relocating last year.

This latest recognition follows MONEY Magazine's 2019 Best Places to Live rankings.

Jay Cherry, Opendoor’s general manager in Nashville, said the city’s location, costs, and amenities make it an ideal destination for people coming to Middle Tennessee.

“Nashville is appealing to many because of the massive job growth the city has seen over the past few years, as well as great entertainment, restaurants, and outdoor spaces. Clarksville’s proximity to Nashville, combined with a strong jobs market, growing economy, thriving local community, and housing affordability, all make the area a highly sought-after city in 2022,” Cherry said.

There's so much to love about living in the South—the warm climate, unique architecture, and world-class hospitality are just some of the many reasons American's are choosing to call southern states home. But it's not cities people are flocking to. According to editors at MONEY, the South's most exciting places to live aren't the metropolitan hubs that we all know and love. Thanks to outstanding diversity, higher income levels, low living costs, top education systems, rock-bottom crime rates, and overall amenities, smaller, lesser-known cities and towns have earned the top 10 rankings as part of MONEY's 2019 list of Best Places to Live in America.

None of the 50 places on the list scored as high on the rankings as Clarksville, Tennessee. A burgeoning city of 160,000 residents with a msa of 320,00, which is expected to nearly double its city population by 2040. Less than an hour outside of Nashville, Clarksville is home to one of the fastest-growing economies in the South, MONEY reports, and the flourishing community is attracting new homeowners faster than it can keep up with. The small-town feel of the city's vibrant downtown district is amplified due to the number of small businesses being started there, often supported by the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at nearby Austin Peay State University.

There is little doubt — Clarksville's charm, coupled with its overall economic growth and well-groomed education system, rivals some of the South's better-known destinations. But other southern cities and places across the nation in MONEY's top 10 also show similar attributes. Editors partnered with research firm Witlytic to dive into towns and cities with populations greater than 50,000—places that had crime rates double the national average, less than 85 percent of its state's median household income, or that lacked overall ethnic diversity were then eliminated. Then, editors spent months discovering what made each place tick and even went as far as to interview some residents firsthand.

Other top spots in the South include runner-up Round Rock, Texas, where median incomes average $90,000, 60 percent of people own their homes, and job openings are abundant; Country Club Heights, North Carolina, a sprawling southern community that's number five on the list thanks to an abundance of stunning green spaces and involvement opportunities for newcomers; and Bentonville, Arkansas, which came in at number seven, a beautiful town on the outskirts of the Ozark forest that's known as the birthplace of Walmart (and a very low 2.9 percent unemployment rate). Winter Garden, Florida, rounds out the top 10—and who wouldn't want to live here? Besides the warm weather, this Orlando suburb has transformed its historic Downtown district with restaurants, boutiques, and two museums.

The reason for the attraction of these cities lies heavily in their growth. The word’s been out on Clarksville for some time — In 2020, Clarksville saw a 7% increase in jobs growth and a 30% increase in educational attainment, according to a study by EMSI Burning Glass, a Boston-based labor market analytics firm. That increase landed Clarksville in the 6th position nationally for the competitiveness of workplace talent recruiting. That same study found, in 2021, the city’s population rose by 10% and net migration increased by 96%. Those numbers are clear indicators of why Clarksville has emerged from Nashville's shadow and is no longer viewed as a bedroom community to the Music City.

You can find a full explanation of MONEY's methodology, and how they declared this year's list of winners, right here. Head over to the magazine's site to read more about this year's top 10 as well as all of the 50 places that have earned their spot on the list.