How Do You Say Y’all in Spanish?

The Nashville Hispanic population tripled in ten years; a trend likely to continue if more folks like me are calling Nashville casa

 

To some it was an odd choice.

Why Nashville? It is after all a city known more for country music, honky-tonks and cowboy boots. But to anyone that’s been paying attention to the growth of the Hispanic population in the American South, President Barack Obama’s decision to speak in Nashville shortly after announcing his executive order on immigration was a logical choice.

In short, Nashville is what we can come to expect in the years and decades to follow as the Hispanic and immigrant population grows in cities and towns all across the country. This growth follows a predictable pattern of previous immigration waves as folks move to new cities attracted to places where there are jobs and opportunities. Nashville is no exception.

What’s more, Nashville could become the country’s next 100 billion dollar city. This growth, according to Matt Murray, Associate Director at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Center for Business and Economic Research, is happening because:

“Nashville’s got such a rich array of health care services, financial services, and of course it has the entertainment industry,” he said, adding that the city also has strong automakers and other manufacturing companies. All of that means that the city’s economy doesn’t lean too hard on any one sector, and Nashville employers have a good selection of skilled workers.”

And while the Hispanic population may be relatively low when compared to cities like Miami, New York and Los Angeles, Nashville’s Hispanic population nearly tripled in size from roughly 26,000 in the 2000 Census to 61,000 plus by the time the 2010 Census came around.

This trend is likely to continue, especially if more folks like me are calling Nashville casa.

After living in Washington, D.C. for nearly twelve years, my family and I decided to relocate to Music City for many of the reasons why others have decided to move to the South, but also to be closer to family.

And since arriving, Nashvillians have been friendly and welcoming, excited to show off their city and happy that others are discovering what they have known all along – Nashville is a special place.

Hispanics, like other Americans, will flock to cities like Nashville as long as it has a growing economy and is seen as a place where people can start a business and pursue their dreams. In fact, a quick drive around the area where the President spoke reveals dozens of Latino markets and businesses catering to the growing Hispanic population.