Press Release

Nashville Ranked No. 1 in Millennial Population Growth in U.S. Among Small Tech Markets

July 14, 2021

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Nashville – July 13, 2021 – According to CBRE’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent Report, Nashville ranks first in millennial population growth in the U.S. among small tech markets, defined as cities with a tech labor pool of less than 50,000.


Nashville increased its millennial population by 14.8 percent (60,909 people) since 2014. Nashville also ranked ninth overall for the most concentrated millennial markets in 2019, with millennials accounting for 30.4 percent of its population.


Numerous indicators underscore the resilience of tech talent during COVID-19. These occupations registered job growth of 0.8 percent in 2020 in the U.S. while non-tech occupations declined by 5.5 percent. Software developers and programmers were the most in demand tech-job category last year, adding 85,000 U.S. jobs for a 4.8 percent growth rate from a year earlier. Beyond the tech industry itself, those that added tech workers last year include financial activities, professional & business services, and government.

Nashville ranked tenth among the small tech talent markets nationally with a labor pool of 35,190 tech workers, a 36.1 percent increase from 2015. Following the pandemic, factors including the size of a market’s talent labor pool is a key indicator of a region’s economic recovery.

“Nashville continues to stand out as a city that attracts tech talent firms due to its top-ranking millennial growth, brain gain, diverse tech workforce and low operating costs,” said Stephen Kulinski, a Managing Director at CBRE in Nashville. “There has been an influx of new companies, especially technology organizations, setting down roots in the market in the past year. This will drive more job opportunities and attract more tech talent in the years to come.”


Overall, the top five markets for tech talent were the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Toronto and New York City, all large markets with a tech labor pool of more than 50,000. Music City moved up one spot from last year, ranking #41 overall this year as North American tech-talent employment weathered the pandemic better than most other professions.


“Many factors already are in place to fuel strong tech-talent job growth this year and beyond, including demand for tech to facilitate continued remote work, robust e-commerce growth and streaming services,” said Todd Husak, Managing Director of CBRE’s Tech & Media Practice Group. “Big tech markets will gain from their established pipelines of tech graduates and many workers’ return to city centers. Smaller markets will reap benefits from their cost advantages in labor and real estate as well as the tech industry’s embrace of remote work for certain employees.”


CBRE’s annual report, now in its ninth year, ranks the top 50 North American markets by analyzing 13 measures of their ability to attract and develop tech talent, including tech graduation rates, tech-job concentration, tech labor pool size, and labor and real estate costs, among others. CBRE also ranks the Next 25 emerging tech markets on a narrower set of criteria. Tech talent is defined as 20 key tech professions -- such as software developers and systems and data managers – across all industries.


Nashville stood out in the report in a number of other key areas:


  • Nashville stands out as a tech-job creator and tech talent attractor, adding 9,330 more tech jobs than graduates from 2015 to 2020, ranking 10th among the top 50 markets to report a “brain gain.” Music City had 4,323 tech degrees completed between 2015-2019.  
  •  Overall, Nashville’s expenses for operating a tech company remain low. The average one-year cost for operating a 500-employee tech company occupying 75,000 sq. ft. in Nashville amounts to $39.9 million. That ranks #40 among the top 50 tech-talent markets.
  • Nashville’s average annual apartment rent amounts to 17.6 percent of the average tech-talent wage. That ties Nashville with Chicago as the 12th most expensive among the 50 tech talent markets.
  • Nashville has among the most diverse tech talent workforces. Underrepresented groups* amount  to 17.1 percent of its tech talent workforce, which is a greater ratio than the city’s overall office-using workforce.

*Hispanic, Black, Other Non-White/Non-Asian


Top Overall North American Tech Markets

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To download the report, click here.

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2023 revenue). The company has more than 130,000 employees (including Turner & Townsend employees) serving clients in more than 100 countries. CBRE serves a diverse range of clients with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at