Nashville on verge of claiming 'largest city' title from Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Nashville on verge of claiming 'largest city' title from Memphis

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
Court Square circa 1900 (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) Court Square circa 1900 (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

"Music City" may soon overtake "The Bluff City" as Tennessee's largest city, which will only further feed the long-held rivalry between the two cities.

It's the battle of the biggest and the best. Broadway versus Beale Street, country verses soul, but it appears Nashville is on the verge of winning the title of Tennessee's biggest.

In 1900, Memphis officially became Tennessee's largest city, and has held on to that census title figure since. But, Nashville is nipping at the city's heels, and Memphis' title is being threatened.

According to census data released Thursday, Memphis' population as of July 2015 was 655,770, with Nashville following at 654,610.

Memphis reportedly lost 712 residents since then, while Nashville gained nearly 10,000.

Memphis native Valerie Bradley admits she moved to Senatobia, Mississippi.

"It (crime) was one of the reasons that I did," Bradley said.

While many millennials move to Memphis, they may prefer Nashville.

"Memphis kind of settled well, for me, with the accounting industry. I could see where they're competing, everybody's wanting to go to Nashville," Courtney Nicholson said.

There are others, however, who are moving to Memphis.

Celia Longhurst moved to Memphis from London 20 years ago.

"It's still a decent cost of living here, certainly better than where I came from. I think people fail to appreciate that," Longhurt said.

The historic shift isn't lost on Mayor Jim Strickland.

"We want to be brilliant at the basics of essential services, so that we can attract new people to our city and remind those who left that Memphis has a lot of great amenities to offer," Strickland said in a statement.

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