Lewisburg: 14th most dynamic small city

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dynamic might not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Lewisburg, but a study released today says otherwise.

The Walton Family Foundation released their study of the nationís 531 micropolitan areas on Wednesday, ranking Lewisburg as the 14th most dynamic micropolitan city in the nation.

The Bentonville, Ark. foundation looked at several economic indicators between 2012 and 2017 to assess the strength of each of the nationís smaller cities.

A micropolitan statistical area consists of one or more counties, anchored by a city between 10,000 and 50,000 in population.

The Lewisburg micropolitan statistical area includes all of Marshall County as well.

Lewisburg ranked second out of the 531 small cities studied in medium-term annual pay growth and 10th in medium-term job growth.

The one factor where Lewisburg lagged was in the 2016 per capita income number, which ranked 360th.

The addition of new industry, as well as expansions to existing businesses, figured strongly in the positive outlook.

The report noted the cityís successful marketing of itself as a well-situated manufacturing location as particularly noteworthy.

Lewisburg also benefits from the spillover of people and ideas from the neighboring Nashville statistical area and its location along the rapidly growing I-65 corridor between Nashville and Huntsville.

Lewisburgís ranking stood out from most of the other highly ranked small cities in that it was based on manufacturing growth.

Only three of the top 20: Lewisburg, Findlay, Ohio, and Calhoun County, Ga., had economies based on manufacturing.

Most of the top 20 cities had tourism and travel-based economies, such as Key West, which ranked one spot below Lewisburg at 15, and several, like Culhowee, N.C., at 13, are also anchored by four-year universities.

The top ranked city, Pecos, Tex., has benefited from the boom in shale gas production, better known as fracking, over the past five years.

Sevierville, ranked at number 26, is the only other Tennessee micropolitan area in the top 50 of the study.