Growth of Young Talent

  • What is this?

    Talent takes many forms. For ease of comparison, we focus on people aged 25-34 with a bachelor's degree or higher, which is commonly used in U.S. studies as a proxy for young talent.

  • Why does it matter?

    The supply of young talent makes it easier for businesses to find high quality employees and makes the city more attractive to other young talent. It signals to other young people that Memphis is a good place to build a life.

  • Who is responsible?

    The growth of young talent is a product of many individual decisions that young people make. It is a combination of a number of livability factors, such as a vibrant park system, effective transit, and a safe place to live. Growth of youth talent requires a collaborative effort between the city and other public and private stakeholders.

  • How do we measure performance?

    We look at the net gain of young talent over time.

How do we measure the growth of young talent?

We use data from the American Community Survey. We examine the number of Memphians aged 25-34 with a bachelor's degree or higher and compare that number with the figures for Shelby County and the metro region.

Is the young talent pool growing in Memphis?

Since the low point in 2010 we've seen an increase of young talent in the city, county and region. From 2010 to 2013, the number of young people in Memphis grew by 4.6%, compared to 3.9% in the county and 3.6% in the metro area.

How is the City of Memphis working to support young talent?

We focus on quality of life factors such as transportation, recreation, cultural opportunities, public safety, and sense of place. Our transit agency, MATA, is working to improve frequency and reliability of service; we are doubling the size of our bicycle network every three years; we provide a wide array of recreational activities from sports facilities in our community centers to over 160 public parks; we support cultural amenities such as the Pink Palace Museum, Memphis Botanical Garden, and the Brooks Museum of Art; we work to make our downtown entertainment district, which includes Beale Street, Autozone Park, and FedEx Forum (home of the Grizzlies, Memphis Tiger basketball, and the largest concert venue in the region), the safest precinct in the city; and we support initiatives like MemFix and similar tactical activations that strengthen Memphis's unique sense of place.

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