Chattanooga is one of fastest growing cities in Tennessee

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – For growth, a city like Chattanooga needs at least two things—-jobs and a place to live.

The jobs are here, thanks to the big plants and downtown development and there’s a building boom for homes and apartments.

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News 12’s Ashley Henderson brings us up to date on one of the fastest growing communities in the state.

Five years ago, Kim White of the River City company said the city needed at least 1500 new homes or apartments downtown just to fill the current need.

In the last three years, there are now 3000 more units either completed or under construction.

But, because of the rapid growth of the city and county that just meets the current demand.

The population of Chattanooga, not the county, is now 179,000, a 1.1% increase and the best percentage increase for the state’s four biggest cities.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Christy Gillenwater says “Jobs equal population growth. Definitely, that’s always the case, but at the same time, quality of place equals population growth, right, so in the case of Chattanooga, we have both, and that’s why you’ve seen us you know in 2017 top twenty-five for population growth in the county.”

County Mayor Jim Coppinger says the county has experienced great expansion as well.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger tells us “Obviously we’re real excited about the growth here in Hamilton County I mean we know that uh, ever since the 2010 census that we’ve grown by seven and a half percent, or over twenty one thousand people here in Hamilton County. We attribute that to you know the low unemployment that we have and we also have a great relationship with the Chamber for Startups.”

City Mayor Andy Berke predicted even more people will be moving into the city, because of the Innovation district .

Mayor Coppinger adds that the lack of a State income tax, more spending on schools, and outdoor attractions will continue to be a big draw for years.